Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Superb Cuisine at Banbu Sushi! La Mesa, CA

January 27, 2010

Showcasing beauty and tradition, Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill is focused on high quality, fresh ingredients. The distinctive features of Banbu Sushi are its classic Japanese design with a modern bistro look.

Banbu has a pleasing atmosphere paired with it’s stylish round sushi bar, a great outdoors patio.  It is very chic and well decorated. The fire pit adds a nice touch, it gives a sense of elegance that is needed for this location.  When you think of La Mesa, you probably don’t think of great sushi places.  Banbu is trying to change that, and they’re doing a fine job.

This clean restaurant boasts trendy and historic décor and plays great music.  It has  fantasic sushi,  fair prices, and generous portions.  It’s cuisine is fresh, delicious, and there’s a ton of variety and choices.  We highly recommend this place!

At Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill, Executive Chef James deliciously incorporates his background of Classic French Cuisine with Asian Fusion Cuisine taking his culinary treats a step beyond awesome!

Executive Chef James’ culinary philosophy: “Make it nice or make it twice. Everything on my plate is edible. No waste of ingredients, especially inedible garnish!” MicroGreens are especially his favorite as they are garden fresh, deliciously edible, and aesthetically pleasing.

Executive Chef James Montejano says to keep a lookout for the opening of Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill’s new location in La Jolla in 2010!

Here are some of their new 2010 menu items!

Korean Short Ribs with Fresh Origins Gold Haricot Shoots™.

Truly Mouthwatering!

This plate was a visually stunning presentation with the contrast of the bright yellow color of the  shoots and the earthy tones of the ribs.  The meat was extremely tender and melted in your mouth, the way short ribs should be. The dish was an irresistible combination of sweet, salty and spicy! The Gold Haricot Shoots­™ added a wonderful touch to the dish with their fresh Haricot Vert flavor and crunchiness.
Gold Haricot Shoots™

Stunning gold leaves with pure white stems. Tender and succulent, with a wonderfully fresh Green Bean flavor. This French Legume is a fantastic addition to most anything, especially savory entreés, premium salads and sandwiches. Enhance the fine dining experience with vibrant looks and great flavor!

Banbu Bites with Fresh Origins Gold Edamame Shoots™, Micro Pak Choy, Micro Wasabi.

Exceptionally Creative!

This fabulous dish combined yummy shitaki mushrooms stuffed with crab, spicy sesame ahi, and surrounded by sweet tempura. The vribrantly colored pink ginger, and Gold Edamame Shoots™ created an eye-catching and unique presentation.

Micro Pak Choy

Light green leaves with white stems. This fresh, flavorful micro has a crunchy texture with the taste of cabbage and mustard. Fantastic garnish for most any dish, especially Asian creations. Sushi and Kalbi really love its unique presence. This healthy micro contains Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium!

Scallop, Yellowtail, Albacore & Salmon Sashimi with Fresh Origins Petite Edamame™, Micro Mitsuba, Red Kaiware Shoots™

Fantastically Fresh!

The freshest of fish and the dramatic colors and textures in this dish make it a very special menu item. Presented in an Asian style bowl, this dish is truly a thing of beauty.

Petite Edamame™

Another Fresh Origins’ exclusive products, Petite Edamame™ is the latest greatest thing! These Japanese green soy beans have a deep green color and resemble a bean that is opening with a new leaf coming through the middle. This Petite can be used as a substitute for regular edamame, it has even better flavor, and is easier to eat because there are no pods to deal with! Saute, boil , flash fry, steam, or just eat fresh! Also great as an extremely healthy veggie side dish or side salad. Petite Edamame™ boasts a full-bodied, nutty and beany flavor. This yummy legume is an excellent source of protein! Unlike any other garnish out there!

Spiced Lamb with Fresh Origins Petite Asian Mix

Seriously Spectacular!

Chef James’ incredible passion for fine food is expressed in this dish.  Attractive and satisfying, this tender lamb was wonderfully paired with Petite Asian Mix, which combines a wide variety of Asian herbs and greens, enhanced by a citrus vinaigrette.

Petite Asian Mix

Fresh Origins Petite Asian Mix blends the very best fresh Asian herbs and greens. Wonderful flavors of Mizuna, Tatsoi, Shiso, Mitsuba, Pak Choy, Peas, Mustard, Shungiku  and others truly make mouths water. Not only tasty and healthy, this combinbination contains different colors, shapes and textures to enhance the look of any plate. Asian entreés are a perfect match for this delicious mixture. Top seafood and meats, use as a beautiful edible bed or just add a light vinaigrette to create a wonderful fresh side salad.

Short Rib Ramen with Fresh Origins Micro Chamomile

Simply Sensational!

This was by far our favorite dish. The sweet meat was cooked to perfection, the unique layers of flavors brought smiles to our faces and intrigued our mouths.  The fresh shitaki mushrooms and large soft noodles definitely added to the dish.  It was extremely filling. This was comfort food with a refined twist. It was pure bliss.
Micro Chamomile
Fantastic and feathery, Micro Chamomile is the newest item from Fresh Origins! This is the first time that Chamomile has been grown as a MicroGreen. The leaves are juicy and taste of freshly picked Chamomile. You can add visual and culinary diversity to any number of dishes with this delicate and tasty herb.

Surf and Turf, Filet Minon, Port Wine Sauce, Maine Lobster Tempura, Firecracker Potato Spring Rolls with Fresh Origins Micro Shungiku.
Deliciously Enticing!
The crunchy lobster tempura had a lovely sweet and spicy flavor.  The hot and fiery potato spring rolls were a unique and special side dish.  The scrumptious filet minon was full of flavor and created the perfect balance between meat and seafood!

Micro Shungiku

These uniquely shaped chrysanthemum leaves boast a succulent and juicy texture with a great earthy flavor. It is a stunning garnish for any plate, especially perfect for appetizers, sushi and stir-fries. Float on soups or add a tasty twist to fresh mixed green salads! Shungiku is also a nutritious green, containing Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B6.

8555 Fletcher Pkwy
La Mesa, CA 91942
(619) 589-0071

Tis the Season for Rosemary! Happy Holidays!

December 16, 2009

Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops

This attractive evergreen herb boasts numerous needle like leaves and an incredibly fragrant aroma. Long-lasting and durable, this aroma-therapy herb has a concentrated fresh flavor that compliments a wide variety of foods. Rosemary is not only an aesthetically pleasing garnish, but is also a fabulous seasoning when cooked with food. Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops have more tender leaves than regular full sized rosemary, without the hard stems but still contains a concentrated great flavor!

Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, it is frequently used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine and is a member of the mint family.  High in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. Rosemary has been said to help the memory and mental focus! The results of a study suggest that carnosic acid, found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s.   Rosemary contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds, including antioxidants such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. (

Here are some of our favorite Rosemary Recipes! Enjoy!

Honey-Mustard Pork Roast With Bacon and Rosemary


  • 1/4 cup Mustard Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 1 (3 1/2 lb)  center-cut boneless, pork loin roast
  • 12 slices bacon (about 1 pound)


  1. Special equipment: kitchen twine.
  2. Put an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a small bowl, add the Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, honey, garlic, and Rosemary and mix together until smooth.
  4. Arrange the pork in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and spread the mustard mixture evenly over the pork.
  5. Starting on 1 side, lay a piece of bacon, lengthwise, on the pork. Lay another slice of bacon on the pork making sure to slightly overlap the first piece. Continue with the remaining bacon, until the pork is fully covered in bacon.
  6. Using 3 pieces of kitchen twine, secure the bacon in place.
  7. Roast for 1 hour. Cover the pan, loosely, with foil and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 160 degrees F.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Cover the pan with foil and allow the pork to rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the kitchen twine and slice the pork into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  10. Garnish with Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Rosemary Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken With Wild Mushroom Sauce


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Wild Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 4 ounces morels, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise or 1 ounce dried morel, rehydrated
  • 4 ounces black trumpet mushrooms, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Origins MicroGreen Chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Remove the backbone and wings from the chicken. Press the chicken open like a book. Carefully remove the bones from the chicken leaving the whole chicken intact with the skin.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, rosemary, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mash together.
  4. Turn the chicken over so the skin side is up. Gently loosen the skin by inserting your fingers underneath it to make a pocket. Stuff the rosemary goat cheese under the skin evenly over the breasts and legs. Tuck the skin back over the chicken.
  5. Season both sides of the chicken well with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken and rub well.
  6. Heat oil in saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer when swirled, add the chicken, skin side down. Cook the chicken until the skin side is a deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Carefully turn the chicken over and transfer to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  8. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
  9. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and return to the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the shallots and saute for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and remove from the heat.
  10. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with Fresh Origins Micro Chivesand Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Chicken Cutlets With Spicy White Beans, Kale & Rosemary


  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, halved horizontally (6 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 handful Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup kale leaf, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Origins MicroGreen Parsley Italian


  1. Pound chicken breast halves, one at a time, between 2 sheet of plastic wrap, until each piece of chicken is 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Stir together the 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow container.
  3. Heat a large saute pan over high heat.
  4. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking and removing any excess.
  5. Saute chicken in 2 tablespoons oil in the hot pan until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. transfer chicken to a warm plate, cover with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. In the same pan used to cook the chicken, saute onion in the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the 2 teaspoons flour and Rosemary; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  9. Deglaze the pan with broth, bringing liquid to a boil and cooking until mixture is slightly thickened.
  10. Stir in beans, kale and chili garlic sauce; cook until kale is wilted, 1-2 minutes.
  11. Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley.
  12. Season cannellini and kale with salt and pepper; serve with chicken cutlet.
  13. Garnish with Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Pomegranate-Rosemary Royale Cocktail


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups champagne or sparkling wine


  1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring sugar until it dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat; add Rosemary, let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  4. Pour 2 T pomegranate juice and 1 T rosemary syrup into 4 Champagne flutes or glasses.
  5. Top each serving with 1/2 cup Champagne.
  6. Garnish with Fresh Origins Rosemary Tops.

Recipes from