In honor of our nation’s birthday, this week’s food section is dedicated to beer, which is perhaps what you want to be drinking while you watch Uncle Stu work his way through the fountains, sparklers, snakes, strobes and ground spinners that are the alpha and omega of a safe 'n' sane Fourth of July. Our ace suds correspondent John Verive tells you everything you need to know, except possibly how you might get his job.
I stop by Kinjiro, a newish izakaya in Little Tokyo, which serves at least 10 different bottles from Japanese cult brewer Hitachino Nest and where the drink that may go best with its meaty small-plates cuisine is Cowboy, a traditional yamahai sake known for its affinity with beef. Yee haw! With your Cowboy, you will be eating thick slices of grilled beef tongue, Wagyu carpaccio with sansho pepper sauce, bone marrow dengaku, and a tripe and sinew stew with miso. Will there be potato salad for the holiday? Yes: flavored with salmon roe and wasabi. It makes me feel more American just thinking about it.
Elsewhere in offal, the new, well-hidden Simbal, also in Little Tokyo, serves its marrowbones with the Chinese crullers called you tiao, and Amy Scattergood is there. S. Irene Virbila reports on the impending opening of BierBeisl Imbiss, a downtown outpost of spurting sausages and Austrian beer from Bernhard Mairinger, late of BierBeisl in Beverly Hills. And Jenn Harris visits Jason Neroni’s new Catch & Release in the Marina, where she uncharacteristically sips a Dalmatian Posip with her lobster roll instead of a frosty ale.
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And be on the lookout for Wednesday's In the Kitchen newsletter, with cooking tips and news, including new recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.
Beer and more beer
Our beer issue: John Verive reports on the state of craft beer in the L.A. area, with info on more than 30 brewpubs, a guide to glassware and what all goes into the excellent beer we're drinking these days.
Bar food in Little Tokyo
What to eat with all that beer? Jonathan checks out Kinjiro, a newish izakaya in the Honda Plaza, next door to Sushi Gen. Kinjiro specializes in bowls of ochazuke — kind of a hybrid of a rice bowl and a bowl of soup — and odd sakes.
BierBeisl is back
Austrian chef Bernhard Mairinger returns, or rather his much-lauded restaurant BierBeisl does, in the form of a new downtown restaurant called BierBeisl Imbiss. S. Irene Virbila tells us that an imbiss is a snack, and thus this place is a more casual iteration of Mairinger's restaurant, with pastries and schnitzel, sausages and beer and house-made breads.
Bone marrow and Chinese doughnuts
Simbal, which opened in early June in Little Tokyo, specializes in Vietnamese cooking crossed with modern small-plates cuisine. Which means lots of dishes with lots of flavors, from a banh mi salad with headcheese to a short-rib pot pie with lemongrass. The chef is Shawn Pham, a Vietnamese American who grew up here but returned to Vietnam for four years to explore the food.
Jason Neroni goes fishing
Jenn Harris checks out Catch and Release, the new Marina del Rey restaurant from Jason Neroni (lately of Superba Snack Bar). If you can't bear to drive east of the 405 (you know who you are), this could very well be the Connie and Ted's of the Westside.
What we're reading
What to eat in Nairobi when you're craving McDonald's, from the journal Lucky Peach.
Mark Bittman eats (and cooks) with the folks at Grand Central Market's China Cafe, in The New York Times.
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