Oishii. Beer and Noodles in Little Tokyo.

It’s the best week(s) of the year! I am of course talking about Los Angeles Beer Week. Two jam packed weeks full of beer. Every good bar in the city is holding events in celebration of locally made brews. We really aught to extend the festivities and  just call it LA Beer Month. I don’t think that too many people would complain.

For my first event of the week my friend Garrett and I went out to Little Tokyo to check out a bar called  Far Bar, which was releasing Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Gradually, Quietly, Steadily), a collaboration between Dogfish Head and one of my favorites, The Bruery.  In my four years living in LA I have not really spent much time exploring downtown LA. I’m sure like many people, I thought that downtown was for bums and basketball games. I was wrong. Little Tokyo is an amazing example of what downtown has to offer.

 

The collaboration brew (FBBB) was a really interesting beer. It’s Japanese inspired and the ingredients list reflects that with kumquats, a seven spice shichimi togarashi blend and a sake yeast. Even though I had no idea what a kumquat smells or tastes like I picked up on a definite citrus and fruity smell. From then on it was all spicyness. Letting the beer linger on the front of my palate, I could really detect the shichimi blend. But, I couldn’t pick up individual components of the blend, but it doesn’t matter. This beer was DELICIOUS! At 8.5% ABV, there was surprisingly no lingering alcohol burn. I could drink this one all day.

After the FBBB, I had Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew. This special release was brewed in honor of Miles Davis’ album of the same name. It’s a fusion of an imperial stout and a honey beer with gesho root. Bitches Brew was interesting but not my favorite beer.

After finishing our beers Garrett recommended that we get some food and since we were in Little Tokyo he insisted that we get some ramen. I was skeptical at first because my only experience with ramen is the dry kind you can buy at the grocery store. I told him to order for us because I would have no idea what to get. We waited about ten minutes until two enormous bowls of piping hot ramen appeared in front of us. What set’s this place apart from the ramen of my past is that they make their broth with pork bones. This style of ramen is called Tonkotsu or Hakata. I added crispy onions, a fried egg, spicy seaweed and sesame seeds before digging in. With my first bite of noodles and slurp of broth I knew that I was in love. It’s been several days and I still can’t stop thinking about my ramen. It’s that freaking good!

My trip to Little Tokyo made me realize that I need to get out more and explore all that LA has to offer. I need to escape the safe and familiar confines of the westside and take an adventure to somewhere.

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