caroline on crack, corianda blog, corianda dimes, corianda dimes blog, estarLA, exploring LA, food, food reviews, food studies research, Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gum, la food bloggers, named for a food, Next Door Lounge Hollywood, ramen little tokyo, The Minty
Restaurants in this post earned the following shiny badges:
As I mentioned, I have three food-related projects this semester. Yeah, I’m hacking college. One is a big ol’ research project.
Here’s the rundown (in less than professional diction): there is a lot of buzz of people getting tired of celebrity chefs and food TV. LA foodies can be highly critical of sell-outs and fakers, and it’s easy to get caught up in that. But is that really the case for the rest of America, and most importantly, the middle-aged moms filling up America’s grocery carts who have the most buying power?
The research will be done at the end of the semester, so stay tuned. Part of my research is a massive survey of that target demographic (thanks for taking it, family friends), but the other part is interviewing LA food bloggers to serve as a contrast. And naturally, when interviewing food bloggers, you eat and drink wherever they recommend. Thanks to everyone who’s helped out (Lucy & Bill).
The lovely EstarLA sent me to the Next Door Lounge where we hit up happy hour, noshed on fried spaghetti and were served up by bartender Joseph Brooke. No, I didn’t write his name down. I literally googled “Next Door Lounge hot bartender.” (To my credit, his “hotness” credentials, both physical and by winning many competitions, have been officially recognized by Caroline on Crack. Who counts as an official judge on these matters.) I had a cold and my senses were dulled, but the drinks were tasty. And EstarLA is an awesome happy hour buddy.
Hakata Ramen, fun fact, is known for customization. The Minty let me know that sometimes this just means firmness of noodles, but this place let you choose firmness of noodles, “oiliness,” strength of broth, and then a cornucopia of extra toppings that come on the side. It’s like the Build-A-Bear of Ramen.
We went a little crazier than the average patron, ordering a mess of toppings from mushrooms and fried pig ear to won tons and miso butter, because there was no way I was passing up “Miso Butter” on a menu.
Maybe ramen snobs will disagree with me, especially when Daikokuya is right across the street, but I had a blast picking whatever my heart desired. Thanks again to all you awesome bloggers. I want to be you when I grow up.
Conversations with awesome people, delicious drinks, tasty noodles. All amazing.
Next Door Lounge • 1154 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038-1205 • (323) 465-5505
Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi • 132 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013 • (213) 687-7108