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Amidst the steakhouses and Italian restaurants that line Canon Drive in Beverly Hills is the Japanese restaurant Shiki. Actually it is in the former location of Enoteca Drago, across the street from Wally's and Wolfgang's Steakhouse. Shiki is owned by Zen Noh, Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, the largest agricultural cooperative in Japan. Zen Noh was started in 1972 to support small farmers. They opened Shiki in Beverly Hills in order to showcase and increase awareness of local specialty products, such as Wagyu beef and Japanese rice, amoung other products. shiki-beverly-hills-2 Chef Shigenori (Shige) Fujimoto is from the Gifu Prefecture in Japan. He trained in tradiitonal washoku as well as sushi and worked in Japan before coming to Los Angeles in the early 1990s. He worked at Matsuhisa Restaurant in Beverly Hills from 1993 to 2004 and then at the former Shige in Santa Monica, Irori in Marina del Rey and Asanebo in Studio City, which received a Michelin Star. In 2013, Fujimoto began working at Shiki. Chef Shigenori (Shige) Fujimoto
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Sake is Japan’s best known libation. But outside of Japan, this mysterious beverage is not as well understood. For me, sake is a subject for which I have only basic knowledge.
I, like most people, was introduced to warm sake at Japanese restaurants and have even been known to do a “sake bomb” (a shot of sake dropped into a pint of beer) from time to time, long ago. But when I worked for an importer selling wine over a decade ago, I was introduced to the beauty and nuance of sake. Kampai - Sake
An age-old staple of Japanese culture and cuisine, sake is made from rice. There are more than 70 different sake brewing rice types, and sake is categorized by how much each grain of sake brewing rice is polished or milled. KAMPAI_Harper_koji-making
But sake continues to be a subject about which we know very little. While I was “bitten by the wine bug” and spend my time as a student of wine, there are others who have been “bitten by the sake bug.” Three of these people are profiled in a new documentary titled “Kampai! For the Love of Sake,” which has opened in theaters and is available on-demand.
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