Thursday, February 08, 2007

Little Tokyo afternoon: Ramen and froyo

I wanted to pick up some black cod and sundry Japanese groceries at Mitsuwa, so we stopped for lunch in the Little Tokyo Square mall at Hana-Ichimonme, which was recommended on Rameniac's blog. It was a perfect lunch spot, cute and cozy with a wide selection of ramen and bargain combination lunches. We had the signature Hanaichi ramen with is made with a soy sauce base; it has a distinctive taste of fish stock, which was fine by us but lighter and distinctive from the rich pork-based broth at Daikokuya. They also have the pork-based one and a miso-based one, with toppings like corn, kimchee and stir-fried vegetables. The pork gyoza were light, yet crispy and greasy in the best way; there's also a huge selection of rainbow-hued fruit drinks with various combos of red beans, ice cream, rice cake, gelatin cubes, etc. And my favorite, coffee jello. But we skipped dessert there and instead tried out Fiore/IF, the Pinkberry-esque spot in the Japanese Village Plaza. I like the clear plastic chairs and furry pink couch on which Matt chills in the photo, and I found the sour yogurt/green tea swirl very intriguing. I kept sampling a bit of the green tea and a bit of the sour flavor to see which I preferred, until it was practically gone. Very refreshing after a bowl of hot, salty ramen, but I don't think I'll be rushing there all the time when Pinkberry opens in Silver Lake.

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