August 14, 2012 – It seems natural brewmaster Jonathan Porter would make a must-try porter, and Smog City’s Groundwork Coffee Porter factored into gelato at Trattoria Neapolis. Chef Bryant Wigger serves scoops with fennel pollen and pistachio cookies in Pasadena.
August 16, 2012 – Ayara Thai has some dishes that aren’t typically on Westside Thai menus, including Kang Som, mixed vegetables in a tangy tamarind chile broth with shrimp.
August 17, 2012 – We took a two-stop ramen tour in the San Gabriel Valley, beginning with Ramen Yukino Ya, named for the owner’s daughter. Thus the house (ya) of Yukino. Their tonkotsu comes with either egg or flour noodles (specify hard), easy boiled egg (organic), black pork belly (cha-shu), fish cake (naruto), seaweed (yaki nori), bamboo shoots (menma), bean sprouts, ginger and scallions. Next time, they said to request a “garlic press.”
August 17, 2012 – Fujin Ramen resides in West Covina’s Hong Kong Plaza and is named for the god of wind. Miso Ramen features a broth “boiled all day long” that incorporates pork head, knuckle bone, feet and chicken bone plus “ocean product” like clams.
August 18, 2012 – After lunch at Shaanxi Gourmet, we walked across the parking lot to Le Arbre Teahouse, which has a mural of a woman swinging under bird cages. They also play covers of pop songs and make therapeutic drinks made from real flowers, including Flower Mist #5, which is supposedly good for the digestive tract.