Monday, August 28, 2006


Focus Osaka:

Bread in Osaka, Japan- Home Bakery Brunnen - go to Nakazakicho on the Tanimachi line. Go out Exit 1. Inside the arcade to your right, on the opposite wall, a few doors down is the tiny bakery. Ask for the Sesame Walnut loaf- it's the best bread in the world. Don't worry, they speak English.

Nepalese food, Osaka Japan: The best "Indian" food I have tasted in the Kansai area is actually a Nepalese restaurant named Kantipur near the bakery Brunnen. It's in the same Nakazakicho mall, the one purported to be the longest in Osaka. From Nakazakicho Exit 1 on the Tanimachi line, turn right and go four short blocks into the mall and take a left. You should be able to smell the Tandori oven and you'll see a green tent of a building with a plastic entrance. The phone number is 0663-593-884.

Pizza, Osaka Japan: If you crave pizza, like I do, at the very bottom of the Namba Nankai station in the Namba City mall, at the very back is the best pizza place in Osaka. Their pizza is a true Italian thin crust pie that comes very close to pizza we've had in Italy because the family that owns the restaurant sends their son Shunsuke around the world to taste different foods and learn how to prepare them for their various restaurants. Shunsuke was educated in the US so his English is excellent and he speaks Spanish to boot. The name is La Campagna.

Monday, August 21, 2006



Bikitan Bar, Tokyo, Japan
Truly a hidden gem this tiny little wood building nestled between highrises that house gay bars and sex shops in the heart of Shinkjuku is over a hundred years old. The name has something to do with toads, but there are lots of cats around. Get Someone who knows Japanese to help you find it:: 〒160−0022 東京都新宿区新宿2−15−9 tel 03−3352−8317

Bed Supper Club, Bangkok, Thailand
Ok it's not so hidden, but it is cool. With it's all white interior (including white leather doors) it feels like you are walking into a dystopian movie set. The patrons of the restaurant eat while lounging in beds, and notice how the chair-table-chair configuration of the bar furniture spells the word bed when looked at from the side. Only drawback, I don't think they are licensed to allow dancing so it's strictly a lounge.

Coffee and Whiskey, Kamakura, Japan Named after the Jim Jarmusch movie "Coffee and Ciggarettes" this tiny Jazz bar is a great place to have a Suntory Whiskey and a chat with the friendly owner. I'm having trouble finding the contact info, but it's close by the main train station in Kamakura, which is a gem of town in it's own right. For now, Just ask somebody.

Dagoba Chocolate, Ashland, OR, US- the holy grail of chocolate if you ask me. Have you tried their chocolate chips? Holay Mole!
(OK it's not so hidden)

Bananas, Chiang Mai, Thailand- Best bananas in the whole world come from one tree at the Siamese Traders' Chinese Tea Pavillion- property of the Austrian Tea Baron Nikolaus Prachensky. The bananas are insane, as is the tea of course... Here are directions taken from "Siamese Traders Tea Pavilion is located near the Lanna Hospital. Drive down the Soi and turn right on Soi 2. Drive toward the ancient who tree and look for the sign with the elephant logo."

Airlines: ANA, Japan: (Also not so hidden) I know most people love Singapore Airlines, which I do too, the service and food are great. But for my yen, it's all about ANA. I have been bumped up to business class on more than one occassion, and for the price of a Y class ticket, that can't be beat. Granted, I go the extra mile for them as well: when I go to Osaka I take their SF-Tokyo-Itami route instead of another airline directly to KIX. It's actually cheaper, adds FF miles and gives you half a day to wander around the temple in the town of Narita before your flight home. No airport town can claim such beauty.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

CDs i'd hope to have if I crash landed on a desert island
Aimee Mann, Lost in Space
Duke Ellington Money Jungle
Mad Finder, Hit the Grass
Jimmy Cliff et al: the Harder they come
Air, Moon Safari
Beatles Rubber Soul and Revolver
Beck, Mutations

Of course, there are many more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

BBQ Pork Bao aka pork bun or Butanikuman in Kobe, Japan: I am always on a search for good Pork Bao which are so easily found at any dim sum (Yamcha) joint in Chinatown, the Sunset or the Richmond distrticts in San Fran. Likewise, in Japan you have to go to China town to get the sweet kind. Don't be fooled by 551 Horai's or any convenie's nikuman- they are salty. Only the anman are sweet. The pizzaman are interesting in a fast food kinda way, but for the real deal, get yourself to kobe's chinatown and ask for "amai butanikuman."

Bun Thit Noung, San Francisco- Can you tell I am a pork eatin' yid? The best Bun (Vietnamese Vermicelli) to be had thus far (including in VietNam) is from Yummy Yummy 1015 Irving Street, (between 11th and 12th avenues), San Francisco. It's well, yummy.

Plastics- New York, NY- One bit of advice for you son- "Plastics." Canal Plastics on Canal street is plastic fantastic.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Hot Chocolate in Sapa, Vietnam- go to the french hotel where they teach kids the hospitality bidness. Best cup of cocoa on the planet.

Hole in the wall bar in Dubrovnik, Croatia- along the western edge of the old city is literally a hole in the wall with a sign that says "cold drinks." The name in Serbo-Croatian is Buža which I think means hole. Best damned bar in the world, run by a former eye model for Stern Magazine who was a hero in the war. Hopefully the place is still there- it's been a few years.

Bagel and Cream Cheese with Lox in Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi, Vietnam- Cafe Au Parc and Au Lac respectively. Same owner? Perhaps not the best in the whole world, but when you are jonesing in VN for your bagel fix, these are the places to go.

BBQ chicken in San Francisco, CA: Memphis Minnies on Haight St- so good the chicken is.

more later...
Apparently about a millionbillionkabillion new blogs are started each day. This is the zillion and one-th blog added to the bloggety blogosphere.
Will it be complete drivel? Or will the random thoughts of this demented fool change the world? Who knows? I'll keep you posted.