Robot Restaurant: Girls and Robots

It’s obviously ftw. Japanese bikini clad Girls and Robots mixed in a cabaret setting in a Tokyo restaurant and guess what, there’s more. They fight! This doesn’t seem like the best entertainment, but it has to be worth a view. At $40 you also get dinner in the form of a bento box! Yes, we need video don’t we? See below! (Reuters – Robot Restaurant)



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V3 – Digital Media Conference – Biennale Presentation

Fugetsu-Do – The Prize for talking about the Giant Robot Biennale 3 at JANM. At the end of the day when everyone was exhausted from a day of programming, that’s the best time to get on state to talk about the exhibition. I did a “pecha kucha” type presentation. 20 slides, 20 seconds each. Why? Because I couldn’t control or even see the person handling the projector. The job? Fill in the gaps and speed up when the slide changes. Yeah that’s the only way I could see doing this without saying, “Next!” 20 times. Yet, it kind of worked.

I showed off some customs. You can see Okkle on the bottom left (it’s an amazing piece) and Cris Rose is obstructed by the lights. Yes, the screen system there doesn’t work well in the later afternoon. Since it was a difficult presentation and the frankly the photo by Lori Kodama below makes the pics look more visible! Thanks much V3!

Thanks Jozjozjozjoz

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Fungus Ingredient to Spice Up Your Meals: Koji

We wrote a bit about it earlier this year. (GR - Koji) Betty Hallock, my collegiate friend wrote extensively about Koji once again. Read her first sentence, “The latest trendy cooking ingredient in Japan is a fungus. And that fungus is spreading. Professional and home cooks in Japan are crazy for it, and it’s flying off the shelves at Japanese markets in the U.S., too.”

Basically it’s fungus instead of salt. Not quite, but do read on, it might be your regular cooking ingredient one day soon. (LA Times – Koji)

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Lobster and Caviar Burgers at Wendy’s Japan

These actually look great. The price $16+ is inflated thanks to the Yen power, but it’s a Wendy’s. Can it really be “upscale”? The locations are in the high rent Omotesando district and Roppongi Hills complex. (Wendy’s – Caviar Burger)

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Obon Sunday Views

Sunday Obon. The sun was going down slowly, and walking up La Grange street, you can hear and see people down the street having a good time. It was the last hour of the Obon in West LA. I used to revel in this event. It was one of the greatest moments of the year. I was small and the event was huge. Everywhere I walked felt like something great was happening. These days, it’s just as large, the foods are different and perhaps the changing times are dictating what happens.

No longer can you just buy at the booth. You need to purchase tickets from the specific place. Basically money can’t get messed with by the booth folks. The prizes aren’t the same as they once were. The bake sale area is gone. Goldfish are no longer prizes. Dime pitch into actual glass plates and cups where you keep the item you pitched into, is history.

Yet, the Obon odori (dance) is still festive, the same bonsai look healthy, shave ice (although I didn’t try it this year) looks as great as ever, chicken teriyaki still rules it, chili rice is a solid winner, imagawayaki (pictured below) is something newer and with blueberry and chocolate chip is heroic, bingo remains a favorite, and that’s Obon.





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West LA Obon Photos

Images from West LA Obon. I’ve wanted to attend this for the last decade, but it unfortunately always took place the same weekend as Comic Con. This year, Comic Con moved up a couple of weeks making my attendance possible. My goal has always been to shoot the photo that captures the event. A single image. I didn’t quite get it, but it’s somewhat close to what I’ve been picturing. We also had the Theo Ellsworth exhibition at the same time. Maybe we’ll make this an annual event.

Chili rice with weiner.



Frozen Coca Cola in Hong Kong


Radness. Coke, frozen style sounds great on a hot day. Can’t beat it. It’s in Hong Kong.

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In-N-Out Burger Pop Up in Singapore Sells out in 5 Minutes

Bigger Belts Needed Soon in Singapore! 300 wristbands to taste a pretty decent burger happened in Singapore. It’s actually happening elsewhere too. Burgers are taking over the world. The question is, will there be “Animal Style” added to the menu and the those little Biblical religious messages on the cups? Perhaps they’ll curtail it to the religions of the region. Buddha 1:1 (Huffpo – In-N-Out)

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NPR: Manju is Not Candy

C’mon NPR, manju is not candy and fresh manju doesn’t last for days. This covers a new shop in Seattle called Umai-do that’s been open only a year which is remarkable. Most manju shops have been around for decades. This is the key point in the story which should be the focus. These shops may one day disappear.

(NPR – manju)

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Sanrio – Hello Kitty Back at Yogurtland

Some people only collect the spoons below since the cups don’t save well. It’s back at Yogurtland. We haven’t heard dates yet, but check your local Yogurtland for their spoon schedule. There are events at Universal Citywalk on July 10th. 

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Zombie – Resident Evil Restaurant

Japan, of course. “Biohazard Cafe and Grill S.T.A.R.S restaurant” will the name, and they’re sell some limited good, it’ll supposedly last a year and really, that’s all the info Capcom and game folks have figured out. The easiest part might be the menu. It can be straight up ugly and crappy and it’ll still work. (Huffpo – Zombie)



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Food, the New Sneaker

The coolest trends or should we say fads are often are born, if not, then bred by Asians or Asian Americans. Streetwear, sneakers, fixies, the boutique shop and food are just some of them. In a the day when a new generation matures, somewhat away from the internet boom of the early 2000s, it’s a look back into craft and working with your hands. Yet, all of a sudden, food has stepped up as being some kind of important thing to line up for. Really? Is it? Can the kids of today hybrid food enough to make it something that you need to line for? Is it better than our own parents or is it just derivative of it? Is it just heavy sauces and cheap fat or bacon that’s making everyone happy? Although article after article will make stars out of new young chefs, we’ll see how soon it passes once every possible hybrid gets made. The market will continue to flood and we’re already seeing less food trucks. Like all things, a few strong will continue to innovate and many will fall. After people realize that although the experience was great at the time, it all just ends up in a toilet. Sneakers? They get worn down. Fixies need brakes. Boutique shops battle the internet. It’s a cycle. (Time - Food)

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How to Order Off of the Secret Chinese Restaurant Menu?

Funny List of how to pick a Chinese restaurant and how to order off of the secret menu. We can picture it already.

You: Can I see the other menu?

Them: There is no other menu.

You: Surely there must be other food aside from Mu Shu Pork?

Them: No, but would you like Chow Mein?

After all this, what do you do? What if the menu shows up in Chinese and then the conversation switches to a mountainous dialog of Chinese? Doom. This crap isn’t going to work. Do Chinese restaurants really have another menu that’s ready to go? It’ll take an entire different fridge, cooking techniques and time. A few may do it, but do you really think over 50% would entertain this? (MSNBC – Chinese food)

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Beer with Frozen Foam

Kirin frozen beer tops perfect for the summer. It’s soft serve made from beer itself. It’s available in 100 locations! (ABC – Frozen Beer)


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Memorial Day Pizza Box Recycling

The other day while working, a colleague and I finished off a box of pizza. It was great and the box was a 20″ square behemoth. It was in great condition and looked like a box that I could almost pack art in. Yes, the pepperonis left oil stains. The slices got moved around a bit, meaning, sauces were spilled. Deth P Sun once did a painting that said, Pizza is Forever, and like almost anything man made it leaves a footprint including a problem in recycling. The contaminants that come from oil, cheese, and the tomato sauce actually hinders recycling and can cause an entire recycling batch to go wrong. So what to do? In a nutshell cut out the contaminated parts and recycle the cleaner parts. (Recycle Bank – Pizza)

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Roy Choi, Riots, Quitting Cooking…

Kogi’s Roy Choi is quitting? Yes, he might have single handedly created a new food truck craze which then led to another restaurant craze which then led to millions of overnight food critics on Yelp. The foodista movement began and in it’s wake destroyed as much as it began. Healthy food, no, much of the food trucks out there is rich, oily, buttery and is shit  you wouldn’t make or eat at home. Maybe that’s what most people want, but not if you knew how it was made, and maybe not if you ate better versions of it that’s been around much longer.

Yes, I’ve interviewed Roy early on for Giant Robot. He is great at what he does. Yet him wanting to not cook, not eat beef, and this is big news? C’mon. It’s a dietary and lifestyle change. His shits will be different, his tastes will be different, and it’s just his own evolution. His commentary on the riot look back? As much as he’s a great guy and does make a point of what’s important today as well – the current youth, it’s a look back at a tragedy. As much as 9.11 was covered again, so is the LA Riots by LA papers. Why not let LA papers re look at the riots? It’s the web, it’s writing and it’s important. If you think he makes sense, then let’s transpose The LA Dodgers? The kids are more important than them as well. (Huffington Post – Roy Choi)

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Last Day in LA Manzanar Fishing Club


Today is the last day in Los Angeles. Yes, it played over the weekend and it looks to be an interesting film. Fishing in the concentration camps? It’s yet another angle to tell a story. There’s a hefty and detailed write up in the Rafu Shimpo. (Rafu – Manzanar Fishing Club)


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Eel is Fetching $2000 a Pound!

Elvers! Yes, they’re fetching up to $2000 a pound in Maine. When is the last time you’ve seen eel on a menu when it’s not at a Japanese restaurant? Eel is scarce and may some day get on the endangered list. They net them and a typical fisherman might haul two pounds a day. Last year it was at $891 a pound. Time to start an eel farm?

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Virgin Boy Urine Eggs

What’s for breakfast? How about eggs cooked in piss? In Dongyang, China, that’s what’s special. Virgin boys under the age of 10 pee into buckets and those get used to cook the eggs. Yes, the eggs crack after cooking and then more piss is added. Want to prevent head stroke? Then eat these eggs. It takes a day to make them and it sounds like something that can be made anywhere.

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Jellyfish Hunting in Georgia

Asians have eaten jellyfish as an ingredient for ages, but for Georgian fisherman, this is a huge crop. It’s technically not an animal, according to some vegans since they have no nervous system. They’re like floating plants, but the word “fish” persists which keeps many away. It has a crunch, a flavor that tastes simple yet offers a strange experience. Add soy sauce, it’ll taste like soy sauce. After you get over it, it becomes a staple. No big deal, but gladly it’s an alternative food source. (VOA news – Jellyfish)

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