About Rachael

I'm Rachael Faught, a food loving, globe-trekking geek girl extraordinaire. Based in Los Angeles, I am dedicated to the life of a true bon vivant, experiencing all life has to offer and then promptly writing about it. When I'm not on the go, I'm typically at home cooking up a storm and obsessing over Attack on Titan with strangers on the internet.

Osawa Shabu Shabu + Sushi – Pasadena

OSAWA Shabu Shabu - Pasadena

Osawa Shabu Shabu + Sushi

Osawa Shabu Shabu + Sushi is one of those places I used to walk by frequently, as I used to play trivia at Slater’s 50/50, their neighbors on the corner of Union and Raymond Avenue in Old Town Pasadena. For whatever reason or another, however, be it time, money or forgetfulness, I’ve never managed to go in. I’ve dined on shabu shabu a handful of times in the past, but found I’ve preferred Chinese Hot Pot to its austere, albeit delicious, Japanese cousin. However, Osawa Shabu Shabu offers more than this upscale hot pot, including other traditional Japanese cuisine, flavors and components using preeminent ingredients and techniques.

Owner Sayuri Tachibe employs Omotenashi, the Japanese art of hospitality, where customers are honored guests and eating at Osawa Shabu Shabu + Sushi becomes more than just a meal, but an an elevated experience in traditional Japanese dining.

Last week I was invited to sample the dinner menu at Osawa Shabu Shabu and I took my friend and fellow food fiend, Evan, who would be having his first experience with shabu shabu.

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LA Weekly Tacolandia 2014

Tacolandia Header

One day I will return to normal, I keep telling myself, knowing I am full of lies. Not in that cute, convenient way The Doctor is, but a real, tangible way that needs tender, loving care and a good swift kick in the ass. I would also like to order more time and energy, please. With a side of fries. July is never an easy month for me; it’s my birthday month for one thing, now throw in house/dog sitting, catching up with friends, blogger events, and of course, Steffie’s wedding – which is three weeks from today!

All of my writing, reading, and artistic endeavors have come to a grinding halt in the meantime, but whenever I have a moment (and a bit of energy to string a couple of sentences together!), I think of Glass of Win and say to myself, “I should probably get on that.” So here I am, getting on it, with my recap of the second annual TACOLANDIA.

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Recipe: Tonnarelli with Chef Vic Casanova

Tonnarelli by Vic Casanova

Tonnarelli with Chef Vic Casanova

WHEW! This week has been busy, and next week will be even busier. I still have Tacolandia to report on, and a lot of mouth-watering features on the horizon, so keep a lookout! So, in a previous life (career) I was a nanny, and much like the might garden weed, children grow up, as mine have. Today, the youngest of a family I nannied for turned 16. I’m ecstatic to still be part of their lives, even if they are (nearly) grown-up and able to take care of themselves. Now, I’m off to again to assist bride Steffie with some last-minute DIY assemblage for her gift bags, then back home to prepare for my own birthday festivities. July has always been my busiest month of the year!

Chef Vic Casanova

Let’s give a warm welcome to guest Vic Casanova, Executive Chef and Owner of West Hollywood’s Italian eatery, Gusto, has always been committed to using the best of ingredients and hand-making each of Gusto’s six pastas for eight hours every day. As a chef and businessman, being a father always takes precedent in his life, and in the midst of preparing to open his second restaurant this summer and experiencing the warm months with his 3-year-old daughter and newborn son, Chef Casanova loves being able to cook and spend time with his family simultaneously. As a perfect summer dish, and his daughter’s favorite meal, Chef Casanova would love to share his recipe for Gusto’s infamous Tonnarelli, complete with parmigiano reggiano and the summer months’ freshest tomatoes and basil.

with Tomatoes, Basil, & Parmigiano Reggiano

Courtesy of owner/executive chef Vic Casanova


San Marzano Tomato Sauce

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely minced
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 t chopped fresh oregano
½ medium carrot, finely minced
2 28-ounce cans peeled san marzano whole tomatoes, passed thru a food mill
20 basil leaves, hand torn
¾ c parmigiano reggiano, grated
¼ c extra virgin olive oil, high quality finishing oil
Kosher salt to taste

Fresh Tonnarelli

2 cups caputo “00” pasta flour, plus more as needed
4 large eggs
⅓ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water


San Marzano Tomato Sauce

1.In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and cook until translucent.

2. Add the oregano and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often.

3. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt.

Fresh Tonnarelli

1. Measure 2 full cups of unsifted flour and add it all in the bowl of a food processor; process for a few seconds to aerate.

2. Mix the eggs with the salt in a separate bowl.

3. With the food processor running, quickly pour in all the eggs through the feed tube. Process continuously, as a dough forms and gathers on the blade and cleans the side of the bowl. If the dough does not come together or clean the bowl after 30 seconds or so, stop the machine, scrape down the sides, and sprinkle in a couple of tablespoons more flour.

4. Process for a few more seconds – and add more flour if necessary – until a fairly firm ball of dough forms.

5. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead by hand for a minute or more, until it is smooth and firm. If it’s at all sticky, incorporate more flour as you knead. Press the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour. Cut the dough in four equal pieces.

6. Roll each piece through a pasta machine at progressively narrower settings, to form long wide strips, about 1/8 inch thick (no thinner) and as wide as your machine allows. If the strip grows longer than the strings of your tonnarelli, cut it crosswise into two shorter strips.

7. To cut the tonnarelli, lay a strip of dough over the strings of a chitarra. Using gentle but constant pressure, roll your pin lengthwise up and down the pasta, so the strings cut it cleanly into strands of tonnarelli that fall onto the tray of the chitarra. Dust the freshly cut strands with flour, and gather them into a loose nest on a floured tray. Cut all the strips into tonnarelli, and collect them in floured nests.

8. Leave the tray uncovered at room temperature until you are ready to cook the pasta. To cook, bring to boiling a large pot of well-salted water (at least 6 quarts with a tablespoon or more of salt). Using your hand or a colander, shake excess flour off the nests of tonnarelli and drop them into the pot. Stir and separate the strands as the water returns to a rolling boil, then cook the pasta for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just before al dente.


Finishing Touches:

1. Add cooked pasta & ½ c water from the pot that cooked the pasta to the 3 qt. pot with cooked tomato sauce.

2. With the heat on medium, keep moving the pasta in the pot to ensure it absorbs the sauce. When sauce is clinging to the pasta turn off the heat.

3. Add basil, parmigiano reggiano and mix well while slowly adding extra virgin olive oil. Then season to taste.

Buon appetito!

Review: Good Housekeeping Family Italian Cookbook

Good Housekeeping Family Italian Cookbook

You know the saying, “When it rains, it pours?” This seems to apply to my life when it comes to the sudden torrential storm of books that was sent for me to review. Most of them cookbooks. There is a pile as high as my cat Otis waiting to be read, tested out, photographed, edited, and written up on. My Party Brazil phrasebook video was time sensitive, so thanks to my friend Nani, we were able to at least get a start on it. Now, it’s time to make an official dent and take on each cookbook. First up: Family Italian Cookbook from Good Housekeeping: 185 Trattoria Favorites to Bring Everyone Together.

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Recipe: Green Smoothie for the Red, White and Blues

As I take a moment to catch my breath from the chaos that is dog-sitting/Anime Expo/Fourth of July-palooza, I decided to whip up a green smoothie to help fortify me and get me through the next 24 hours. This might come in handy for those of you going hog-wild on BBQ, booze and junk food and may be in need of a detox come Saturday. I used some coconut water imported from Thailand, about 3/4th cup. Enjoy!

RECIPE: 4 baby carrots, 1.5″ peeled fresh ginger, 1 sliced green apple, 1 celery stalk, 1 small peeled beet and coconut water.

What goes in your favorite green smoothie?

High-Five Friday

1. Anime Expo

I’ve not glanced at the largest anime convention in North America since 2008, when I attended for one day to co-host the Jrock Events in honor of one of my favorite musicians. Over the last 10 months, though, my momentum and interest in what was once an annual tradition for me kept gaining speed until finally I solidified plans to attend on Saturday. That doesn’t mean I haven’t already been down there – twice – to accompany friends and pick up a badge for a friend meeting me tomorrow. Anime Expo has always been large, but this year is reminiscent of Comic-Con 2006, the last SDCC I attended due to overbearing crowds and little to no progress in getting to the events I wanted to get to. I have to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow just to give myself ample time for the line of the Sailor Moon panel. Not something I am looking forward to, but a small price to pay to capture a bit of nostalgia.


Tomorrow is the world debut of Sailormoon Crystal, the official re-boot anime of the classic magical girl anime. While Sailormoon was not my first anime by any means, it was the anime that made me propel myself head-first into the world of Japanese pop culture. Words can’t even begin to capture what Sailor Moon means to me and how infinite my love for her world is and will always be.

3. Central Air Conditioning

Enough said.

4. Trying new things

Ever since starting Glass of Win and getting into my kitchen to really learn how to cook, I’ve broadened my palate by leaps and bounds. Still, there are certain foods I’ve yet to try, either out of wariness or lack of opportunity. Last week I had the opportunity to try chicken feet – something I never had the desire to try. I’ll be honest, I disliked it, but better I try and know then wonder if I am missing out on something.

5. Mushy, junky TV

As much as I love to tackle big reading during the summer, I also like to let my brain rest and turn a bit to mush with the worst kind of television imaginable. I only binge a couple of times a year on crap like this (honestly, shows I am too shamed to even name here!), and am only sorry I am not sorry about it!

A Taste of Summer

Summer is for

August Sunset over the San Gabriel Valley
Sunsets that look like paintings…

A Morning in Highland Park
Discovering a new summer drink…

Highland Park
Midweek movie deals…

Home Grown
Fresh fruit off the vine…

My Parasol and I

Bee on Rose
Stopping to smell the roses…

Birthday Kebabs
Backyard barbecues…

Going Cukoo
Flea markets…

White Sangria
Mother effing sangria!

What does summer mean to you?