Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Los Angeles sake tastings @ Itacho and Silver Lake Wine

A good weekend for sake tastings in L.A. On Saturday (9/12), there's an afternoon tasting at Itacho on Beverly Blvd. I haven't been to the restaurant lately (it's under new management and now serves sushi) but the Itacho of old was my favorite restaurant when it was on Highland Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. in a very grungy mini-mall. I first tasted "Golden Dream" cold sake there with gold flakes in a box (masu). Now the Beverly Blvd. restaurant has six hot sakes and 13 cold sakes by the glass on its menu. Saturday's tasting will feature 35 different sakes from several distributors and is designed as an introduction to sake. Appetizers will also be passed.
Order tickets through (I'm a member and previously attended a Learn About Wine sake tasting through the site); I first heard about the tasting from Drink:Eat: Play Los Angeles--that group is organizing a 70-sake tasting September 26 at Gonpachi.
Sunday is a five sake tasting paired with dishes from catering company Heirloom LA at Silver Lake Wine. Two are from Kasumi Tsuru, one is an extra dry Kimoto, the other a namazake, which is unpasteurized draft sake--super fresh, usually very light and drinkable and must always be kept cold. From Niigata, there will be a Ichishima Honojozo (70% or less of the rice grain remains). Ichishima Brewery has been around since the 1700s so expect a very well balanced sake.

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