Tag Archives: little tokyo restaurants

The Dynamic Duo

Many newly-formed couples made headlines in 2012: Kim & Kanye, Romney & Ryan, and Honey Boo Boo & TLC to name a few. But, to me, the most noteworthy new pairing of the year was Steak Tartare & Mustard Ice Cream. While raw beef and a scoop of frozen spicy dairy seem the unlikeliest of pairings, once mixed together, they transform into one the most incredible dishes I have ever tasted.

This ingenious coupling is the highlight of the menu at Eat Drink Americano, a cool little gastropub that opened downtown earlier this year. Located in an alley in the hipper-than-hip Downtown Arts District, just outside of Little Tokyo, the restaurant has a very cool industrial chic, steampunk-esque interior. It’s cozy, dark and intimate, with exposed brick walls, a giant graphic mural and a wine bottle chandelier.

The menu is eclectic and some items are much better than others. Besides the Steak Tartare and Mustard Ice Cream, I recommend the Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with wakame seaweed and saffron aioli on an English muffin. Other dishes, such as their “Third Street Salad” and the Classic Ceviche, are nothing to write home about. I love that they have an open kitchen, but they can use more than just two people working in it, as the service can be extremely slow. But if you order correctly, it’s definitely worth the wait.

Eat Drink Americano is located at 923 E. Third Street, Los Angeles (Downtown).

Craft Beer Sampler

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with wakame seaweed and saffron aioli on an English muffin

Third Street Salad with butter lettuce, corn, black beans, bell pepper, tomato, red onion and a cilantro lime vinaigrette

Classic Ceviche with fresh caught yellowtail, peppers and choclo in a spicy citrus marinade

Exposed brick walls and a wine bottle chandelier

Eat.Drink.Americano on Urbanspoon

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Let’s Spoon

Fat Spoon is my favorite restaurant in Little Tokyo. Sitting right next door to the perennially packed Daikokuya Ramen, it’s a fun and inexpensive little cafe specializing in Japanese curry and pasta dishes. Japanese curry is one of the most popular foods in Japan and is quite different from other types of curry. It’s thicker and sweeter than its Indian cousin and usually milder as well, although it can be made spicy upon request. Fat Spoon offers a wide variety of curry dishes served atop rice or noodles, including ones with shredded Jidori chicken, pork cutlets, seasonal vegetables and seafood. My favorite curry dish there is the Hamburger Curry, which I recommend getting in the Hawaiian “Loco Moco” style with a fried egg on top.

But Fat Spoon’s menu is not just limited to curry dishes. Their appetizer of Mini Kobe Beef Corn Dogs is a must-have. They also offer several salads and pasta dishes. In fact, Fat Spoon’s most acclaimed dish is not one of their curries, but rather their Uni Pasta, an incredibly delicious bowl of spaghetti with an uni (sea urchin) and mushroom cream sauce. They also have a great Pasta Carbonara with pancetta, egg yolk and parmesan cheese, as well as a tasty Tarako Pasta with salted cod roe, cream, dried seaweed and chopped green onions. For dessert, I highly recommend the Baked Sweet Potato which has been transformed into an edible bowl holding a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce. It’s truly outstanding! After your meal, you can burn off some of the carbs walking and shopping the streets of Little Tokyo, one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city.

Fat Spoon is located at 329 E. First Street, Los Angeles (Downtown, in Little Tokyo). UPDATE: I was shocked to find out that Fat Spoon has closed, especially since the food was so good and it was always crowded when I was there. The owner says it might reopen, perhaps on the Westside. Fingers crossed!

Mini Kobe Beef Corn Dogs with Curry Ketchup

Hamburger Curry Loco Moco Style

Uni Pasta

Chicken Curry with Brown Rice

Baked Sweet Potato with Vanilla Ice Cream

Custard Pudding

Fat Spoon on Urbanspoon

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