New Empire--If you happen to drive by Japanese Kitchen (6521 America’s Parkway, 884-8937) in the coming weeks, don't get freaked out by the construction mess and dark windows. The folks at the sushi and teppan restaurant say they'll have rolling closures for about two weeks in June for renovations. You know how Japanese Kitchen is broken into two buildings, separated by a courtyard? First on the to-do list is an expansion of the "new" wing, where the sushi bar currently resides. That'll be followed by a massive gutting and rebuilding of the "old" teppan grill side. When it's business as usual (call to be sure), ask about their Omakase dinners. The Omakase is a traditional Japanese dining experience similar to a multicourse chef's tasting. Japanese Kitchen is one of two Japanese restaurants in town that do it (the other is Noda's in Rio Rancho), with dinner starting at around $35 per person--but the sky's the limit, really. The chef will personally contact you to determine the menu, so reservations--made several days in advance--are a must.
It’s always unfortunate when a great dish gets typecast, but there are few tear-jerkers more depressing than the case of miso soup. This broth is rich in culture (both historical and microbial) and is one of the best hangover cures. But the way Americans stereotype miso as a cheap sushi appetizer and an alternative to salad is criminal. Here, we spruce it up and drink it like morning tea, with a plate of oven crispy curry fries—oil being the next best hangover cure.
Can a white girl make decent sweet potato pie? This has been the debate since as long as I can remember cooking my first meal (I think I was 8), and it came to a head last year when I planned to bake a pie for an African-American studies class. My roommate at the time, whose family has soul food down to an art form, was beyond skeptical of my proposed endeavor. I remember the conversation going something like: