Chuck’s first stop on Sawtelle Boulevard in the Little Osaka neighborhood was Mizu 212°, a shabu-shabu restaurant, where he met with chef and owner, Irene Park. Irene told Chuck, that it is a cook-it-yourself restaurant. Miso means water, and shabu-shabu means swish-swish. She showed him how to add items to the boiling water. He added the Kobe beef to the mixture, right after she added the Thai chilies, and got a mouthful of chilies and the virtual steam came from his ears. After he walked it off, he was ready to add seafood, crab, lobster, shrimp and salmon. He loved every bit and had a fun time with Irene, and got a great lesson.
He and Alex Yu, co-owner of Blockheads Shavery, where he shared a secret about Sawtelle, if you see a line, jump in it. However, first he and Alex stopped at Nijiya Market to stock up on supplies. They purchased taro root, that looked like a sweet potato and purple yams to make the shaved cream. This cream is not made with water. So the peeled and cut up the taro root and purple yams. They boiled them in hot water to soften them, then added them to 2% milk and froze it. When they shave it, the consistency is like ribbons. He made Chuck the original sundae where he added milk and sugar to the cooked taro and yams, mixed it up with a large inversion mixer, next froze it in a block. He then added; egg pudding, coconut flakes, and rice cake balls, and topped it with condensed milk. It was something completely new to Chuck, and he told Alex, when he wanted to open in Canada, to let him know.
Of course, he could not leave Little Osaka without having sushi. At Bar Hayama, Chuck met with chef and owner, Toshi Sugiura. He is the sensei of the California Sushi Academy. Chuck had to get a lesson after watching Toshi and his assistant make the sushi that contained, lobster and tuna. He loved every morsel.
Last stop was Primo’s Donuts to meet owners, Celia and Ralph Primo. They have been running this operation since the Eisenhower administration. They showed Chuck how they made their most popular donut, the buttermilk. Once fried, they were given a powdered sugar glaze. Chuck could not resist having one hot from the fryer, but Ralph told him to be careful, because they were really hot. He loved it and told them it was probably the best donut he ever had and the perfect ending for a perfect day on this episode of “Chuck’s Eat the Street.”