The 2015 World Tea Expo was held in Long Beach, California for the second year in a row. The show itself will be covered in a separate post… but here, I'll provide a simple visual recap of the foods consumed outside the expo based upon my previous post, 2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour.
Aji Peruvian Cuisine
Aji was a wonderful initiation into the Long Beach scene. A nice sized local ethnic diner with a nice ambiance, great wine selection and a bunch of local beer on draught. None of that is what I would go for though. I had been curious if they had Horchata, a traditional latin american spiced milk drink… but they did not. Instead the waitress suggested a traditional Peruvian fruit drink which I instantly acquiesced to. Damn if it wasn't so good that I forgot to take a photo!
All the food at Aji was delicious, but it was the company which truly made the night. Nicole, Phil, Jason, Timmy, Rachel and I had a brilliant time chatting and letting loose a bit after the first day of the expo.
Aroma di Roma
Aroma di Roma is how we started day two of the expo. Who can resist such a wonderful breakfast! The service was a bit slow, but I don't believe they expected a sudden troupe of seven invading their space on a Thursday morn. I chose to go with a nice Machiavelli Machiatto, which was much more sweet than I imagine Machiavelli ever truly was. The service was a bit slow, but when the food came to us it was all wonderful!
Great conversation from all in attendance, and a good ribbing here and there made for a lively and relaxing morning.
Adobo Taco Grill
For dinner on the second night the group was split. Many at the expo had arranged to attend the North American Tea Championships award ceremony that evening and so it was just Phil from World Tea House and myself. Not a bad pairing at all if you ask me. We chose to hit a well regarded neighborhood taco place up in Lakewood for dinner and didn't regret one bite!
Friday morning required additional sustenance, but with no other breakfast place on the list this year, I folded back to my best breakfast from last year… at Blackbird Cafe!
Phile, Jason, Timothy and I had a wonderful breakfast, if slow and somewhat imperfect service.
Baja Fish Tacos
At the end of the day Friday the conundrum was whether to hit Los Angeles for some Korean BBQ (tasty noms) or to hit Open Sesame in Long Beach for some Mediterranean. With everyone famished from a long final day of expo, and an hour plus wait at Open Sesame for sufficient table space (for a group of nine), the group chose instead to hit a place across the street… Baja Fish Tacos.
I've been craving California's famous fish tacos for a long time, and this joint had decent, but I imagine not great tacos. The interior was a bit fast-food… is, but the quality was great.
The team from The Finest Brew's booth (one of the best in terms of tea quality this year) met us for dinner and one of the brothers was celebrating a birthday! So, naturally… I bought him a beer. He chose Modelo. I went with a Dos Equis. Everyone enjoyed their meals. Natasha's salad looked freaking fantastic! I enjoyed both of my fish tacos (one blackened, one not), and about half of my burrito (chicken)…
I got so distracted in conversation, I almost forgot to eat. I had a great time running through the basics of American Baseball to the Finest Brew family who are all Cricket fans. They now better understand the complexities and need for strategy in baseball… AND why so few runs are scored in the sport.
It was another completely wonderful year at the expo. With 2016 returning to Las Vegas, I am excited to post next Year's agenda and get everyone hyped for the absolutely fantastic eateries Vegas has, off the strip!
What do you think of our choices? Did your mouth water for some of these tasty tasty meals?
By request of fellow expo attendees and bloggers I am sharing my tour list for the 2015 World Tea Expo from a culinary perspective and not guaranteeing the tea quality. As usual I will try to focus on mom and pop shops instead of chains as that is where my passion lies. While the area is full of Asian eateries with quality… I am going to try and pick from a fair spectrum of culinary interests. After the Expo, you can check this year's list for my reviews of where I went.
The following establishments are in alphabetical order, and this agenda does not have dates set. The list is not extensive, and -not- all places will be visited by me while at World Tea Expo 2015. I welcome all to join me for one or more meals.
- Adobo Taco Grill (Mexican - 5 stars across hundreds of reviews can't be a mistake!)
- Aji Peruvian Cuisine
- Araya's Place (Thai - Vegan)
- Aroma di Roma (Gelato, Cafe - HIT FOR BREAKFAST)
- Bacaro LA (Italian, Tapas, Vegetarian friendly)
- Carreras Cemitas (Mexican)
- Genwa Korean BBQ (KBBQ FTW!)
- Pier 76 Fish Grill (Seafood - Near the expo)
- Pizza Studio (Build your own pizza, unlimited toppings, specialty crusts)
- Open Sesame (Mediterranean)
Each of these places attracted me for different reasons. Some are up in LA, others are in Long Beach, closer to the expo and where most everyone is staying.
Adobo Taco Grill
This place on the eastern side of Long Beach looks killer! I crave authentic Mexican as well as California's famous fish tacos. What's not to love here? To top it off, the place has maintained a 5 star rating across hundreds of reviews. Not a fluke.
Aji Peruvian Cuisine
I always like to discover new cultures through their cuisine. I believe we can learn things about how they are as a people based on how they subsist with food and beverage. I've had Peruvian before, but Aji looks something special and I am very excited to discover the heart of Peru from right in the heart of Long Beach.
This Thai vegan restaurant up in LA caught my eye. I love spicy foods, Thai has that. I love exploring vegetarian and vegan dishes because there's something limiting about always being required to present a meat. And, frankly the reviews of their noodles are fantastic. And who doesn't LOVE good noodles?
Aroma di Roma
This little gelato cafe has one of the highest rated breakfasts in Long Beach. That's really all I needed to know.
I went looking for unique places where I could try a variety of things at a reasonable price. Plating had to be beautiful, reviews needed to be good and the menu had to have things that sounded and looked delicious. Here's Bacaro LA up in Los Angeles.
"A second Mexican place?" you ask! Well, we're in Southern California! Where else but Mexico will we find truly authentic Mexican food? And Carreras Cemitas has a high rating across significant reviews. I'm sold!
Genwa Korean BBQ
The Seoul of Los Angeles is Koreatown. No two bones about it. And Genwa is one of the most respected charcoal BBQ locations in Koreatown… which is truly saying something. Certainly a drive from the World Tea Expo down in Long Beach, but… WELL worth the drive!
Pier 76 Fish Grill
Pier 76 is a fairly rated seafood establishment with decent prices near the expo. Really… that's all I was looking for here, and I think this should turn out well.
"Pizza?" you ask incredulously… "I thought we were going on an adventure here!?!" Calm down friend! Pizza has its staples and its adventures. Just like the tea world does. Pizza Studio lets you build your own pizza pie, with unlimited toppings for a flat price. What could be cooler than building a bunch of different pizzas and sharing slices of each others' creations? Nowhere near the expo though, we'll be headed to LA for this one!
Vegetarian friendly mediterranean deliciousness! I always like to have a go-to place for some tasty hummus, fresh baked pita and a well fired shish! Open Sesame is on the southern side of Long Beach, with high quality reviews and delicious looking food.
Here we are yet a couple years later and they’re in need of cleaning again. Somewhere along the line I realized I never once wrote anything about cleaning either of the Zojirushi CV-DSC/CV-DYC water boiler units I happen to have.
So, here we go. Something you should always know how to do, and basic maintenance I tend to perform every six to eight months depending on water hardness and ph level.
Using Citric Acid
While I happen to buy the official Zojirushi Citric Acid cleaning packets on Amazon… you’re not obligated to do either. I’ve seen people use other brands of citric acid, and I’ve heard of still others who buy the stuff very cheaply by the pound to save money longer-term. Still, at only about $8 USD for four packets at the time of writing this, It’s a good deal to help your Zojirushi Water Boiler live longer and boil stronger.
I use a small plastic container to mix the citric acid with how water before pouring it into the Zoji unit, but others have no problem pouring the citric acid directly into their Zoji. For what it’s worth, Zojirushi officially suggests pre-mixing.
Cleaning your Zojirushi Unit
The water boiler unit shown above was actually the cleaner of the two I own (yikes.) The other had been in a corporate office for an extended period and shared with dozens of others who used it as frequently as I did.
It may be difficult to see at first, but there’s a lot of calcification at the bottom of this unit and a little on the sides. This is only 6mo between cleanings.
I’ve seen some boilers (Zojirushi and others) with all kinds of stuff floating around inside because they’d never been cleaned. If this is the case with your unit… it may be tempting to just toss it and buy a new one. DO NOT do that. It’ll generally take only two or three cleaning cycles to cleanse the worst offenders! So for less than $10 you can definitely get yours up and running without nasty floaties!
These units are fairly simple to clean. Most Zojirushi units within the past decade or so have a cleaning mode built in which reboils several times to make sure everything inside breaks up properly.
To clean the unit normally, just pour in the citric acid pre-mixed, add water to the max fill line in your unit and let it boil as you normally would. You can activate the built-in cleaning mode of your Zojirushi water boiler by holding down the reboil button until the temperature indicator looks like it kinda bugged out.
Once the boil cycle is completed, or the cleaning cycle returns the temperature indicator back to a normal numeric reading you can empty your Zojirushi water boiler.
It is important however that you run all the cleaned water through the normal spout and not dump it from the top of the unit like abucket. Using the dispense mode allows the citric acid remaining to clean the tubing which leads to the dispenser spout. This will lead to cleaner tasting brews.
Also, while Zojirushi doesn’t officially recommend it, I also suggest running an extra boil cycle with fresh water in your now-clean water boiler in order to ensure everything is flushed out. Once again, running the entire vacuum empty of water using the dispense mode on the unit.
Conclusion - Enjoy Fresh, Clean Water Again
Now that your Zojirushi water boiler unit is completely clean, you can use it as you normally would, boiling up you water for tea, fresh pressed coffee, oatmeal, hot cocoa and anything else you need variable temperature water for.
Have at it!