Small Bites: Jin in Japan; did someone say hot toddy?
Big in Japan: If you're trolling the depachika (food floors) of Japan's department stores next month, you may come across chocolates from Venice-based Jin Patisserie. From Feb. 3 to 14, three locations will carry Jin pastry chef Kristy Choo's chocolates: Mitsukoshi in Nihonbashi Ginza in Tokyo, and Daimaru in Osaka. The chocolate flavors include: 1842 (tea flavor), roasted black sesame, café rum, Earl Grey, green tea, mango basil, mango kalamansi, sea salt caramel banache, vanilla and yuzu. Choo, a Singapore native, says in a statement, “I am very honored to have our chocolates sold in Japan. Many of the details in my creations are influenced by the Japanese culture.” Two- , four- , six- and nine-piece boxes will be available. Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi 1-4-1, Nihonbashi Muromachi Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 03-3241-3311; Mitsukoshi Ginza, 4-1-16, Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 03-3562-1111; Daimaru Shinsaibashi, 1-7-1, Shinsaibashi Suji, Chuo-ku Osaka-shi, Osaka, 06-6271-1231. In Los Angeles: 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-8801, and the lobby of the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles; www.jinpatisserie.com.
Hot toddies at the beach: The Beachcomber Cafe & Bar at Malibu Pier has introduced a lineup of $5 hot toddies, available Monday to Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., through the end of March. There's hot buttered rum (dark rum, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg); hot almond chocolate (hot chocolate, butterscotch schnapps, Amaretto almond liqueur and whipped cream); traditional hot toddy (whiskey, honey, lemon juice, hot water); cinnamon toast (Captain Morgan spiced rum, hot apple cider, sugar and cinnamon). The restaurant also provides blankets and outdoor heaters. Its "Martini Time" menu includes five appetizers and five cocktails for $5, starting at 5 p.m. (when the martini flag is raised). 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, (310) 456-9800, www.thebeachcombercafe.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Kristy Choo at Jin Patisserie in Venice. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times