One would think that for a cosmopolitan city like Los Angeles, its bi-annual dineLA Restaurant Week event would have a decades-long history. Not so. The very first Restaurant Week was held in 2008, less than ten years ago.
I did not intentionally seek out tea cuisine during this past January’s event, but my current penchant for the less suety Japanese foods – sashimi excluded – naturally propelled me to choose Japanese eateries among hundreds of participating establishments, which in turn enhanced the probability of stumbling upon matcha-flavored dishes.
Some Yelpers cried foul on Izakaya Akatora’s green tea flan, calling it a smoothie. I liked the dessert’s texture but was baffled again by the differences among flan, pudding, panna cotta, cream custard, custard cream, etc. My Internet research came to a halt once the statement “flan is a synonym of pudding” popped up on the screen, which is unlikely the accurate definition, but becomes an adequate one as I started losing interest in the subject.
A Pasadena Franco-Japanese fine dining joint’s green-tea Baked Alaska was so mediocre that even as a culinary philistine I felt compelled to write a demotic Yelp review. By the way, do you know that Baked Alaska is named so to commemorate the 1867 purchase of Alaska?
The one dish that I should have tried and could still try anytime is Lukshon’s seemingly tea-less Tea Leaf Salad, inspired by the Burmese street food Lahpet Thoke. I long to visit countries like Burma and Cuba before they succumb to any additional form of foreign invasion. Tasting the authentic Lahpet Thoke on the roadside will require some convincing though.
Does your town have its own Restaurant Week?
Images courtesy of Ifang Hsieh.