Sake’t to Me: Miso Horny

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Despite being slightly hungover from the night before, the UGs decided that the best cure for their ailment was to head to LA Sake Fest thrown by their good friend at Drink:Eat:Play. As we always say Dan, the founder, is responsible for our social life as he has brought us to 80s Prom and Dessert Decadence. Yesterday he told us that he had a few more events to throw and then he would be going into hibernation for a couple of months. We will be unsocial girls for that time but you better believe will we do everything in our power to go to his next few events:

Aug 29th: OC Beer Festival
Sept 19th: Septemberfest -America’s answer to Oktoberfest
Nov 7th: Speakeasy

Be sure to check their site for all additional information but basically his events are always packed but somehow manage to also be also line free and never run short on supplies, food, and/or drinks. We arrived at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel and upon entering the Sake Fest room we were immediately transported into an entirely different space equipped with lanterns, sake galore, and geisha girls.

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We grabbed some sake and noodles and talked to the girl that we were sharing a cocktail table with and she explained that she just went to the sake class offered at the event. We were jealous because Dan had remarked that the classes were all full. The girl then mentioned that her and her boyfriend were signed up for the second class too but that we could take their place because they were anxious to enter the karaoke room. We were thrilled but when we ran into Dan in the hall we felt like we just got caught by the principal. We went in to our full story, we felt like he didn’t buy it, but he let us in anyway. Like the studious girls we are we headed to the front of the class and were prepared to learn everything there is to know about that delicious rice based alcohol. The class was taught by the only Master Sake Sommelier in the world, Yuji Matsumoto, who works for Kabuki. We learned about the fermentation process, types of sake, health benefits, his preferred sake list, and where to buy and how to select sake. Our favorite part of the presentation, besides the samples, was the chart he created called the Matsumoto Sake Positioning Map. You smell and taste the sake to see the aroma and body and then you know what to best pair it with. He was even kind enough to send us his map so that we could share it with all of you.

Preview of “Matsumoto Sake Chart UG.xls”Yuji was so kind, so knowledgeable, and I am sure if you follow him on Twitter he’d be happy to answer any of your sake questions. He said that his dream was for all waiters/waitress to ask “Would you like a glass of red or white wine or some sake?” He also challenges any wine sommelier to a pairing competition and explained that sake is meant to be served with food. Carina’s favorite fact was that sake contains no sulfites which means you get a buzz but no hangover. Amen to that. Josie’s favorite thing she learned was the phrase, “Drink Sake, Not Bombs”. Here we are with our Sake Sensei:

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After leaving class we walked back into the sake room with a new found arrogance. We believed we were sake experts. In our opinion, and with only a half an hour of instruction, our favorite was the Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto. There were all you can eat rolls provided by Kabuki, a big spread of food in the middle, and the karaoke room got very popular as more of the endless sake tasting cups were consumed. It was a very cool, thirst quenching, and educational event and thanks again to the host Dan for continuing to out do himself.

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The event ended at 11PM and we left only a little before then. While exiting the Hollywood and Highland Parking Structure we were harassed by two young men. One had a water bottle full of Captain Morgan and told me that he had big bottles and all I had to give him was $10. The funny part about this interaction was that Josie was driving my car so I could research/tweet where to go next and as they were approaching she told me to lock the door and roll up my window. I was busy on my Blackberry and did no such thing but Josie then proceeded to roll down her window and told them that she was 35 and married. Neither of which is close to being true. We had so much fun laughing with/at these men that we ended up making a left on Highland, which is the worst thing to do on a Saturday night when people are leaving the Hollywood Bowl. It took us 45 minutes just to get on the 101, which is only a mile up the road. I tweeted that we were: “Looking for a mellow small lounge in hollywood/los feliz/silverlake/pas with cute boys and light bites.” I have been meaning to try Barbrix for a while and I suggested we go there. As we exited the freeway Josie said something about wanting onion rings and/or chicken wings. We were in Thai Town/Los Feliz area, which once played home to all of my ex boyfriends, and as we drove by Jumbo’s Clown Room I told her that I was pretty sure that they were famous for chicken wings. I knew it was a strip club but I was positive that my ex, who was a big foodie, mentioned the chicken wings there often. We found parking and while we were walking in there was a dancer on her smoke break and Josie asked if they have onion rings and chicken wings. The dancer laughed and said, “There are breast, thighs, and legs in there but I don’t think it’s what you are looking for.” We walked in and were just about the only girls there besides the dancers. We were slightly ignored by the bartender and feeling just more than a little out of place so we exited and Josie said, “Didn’t you say you wanted a mellow classy place.” As we were walking out, I checked our replies on Twitter after posting “Nevermind at Jumbo’s” and we found this gem from our Twitter Friend Darryl_Pierce: “@uncouthgourmand Looking for that same mellow small lounge with cute girls.” We laughed as we headed in to Silverlake in search of Barbrix. We missed it atleast 4 times but we spotted Barbarella. As soon as we saw that I said, “Oh I think that’s what I meant Barbrix is more of a restaurant”. We walked into Barbarella and couldn’t even tell that it was the old Zen Sushi space.

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We were both very impressed that the kitchen was open after midnight and Josie was particularly happy about their selection of beer and the 5 beer sampler that she got to choose for $10. I had the Sea Dog blueberry ale and the buratta with artichoke, pesto, and currants. Josie had fries, lamb sliders, and 5 brews. All of the food was quite good and so were the beers, the prices were reasonable, and it was a very interesting mix of people.

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For some reason, for a Silverlake lounge, this  place wasn’t hipster infested at all. Although sometimes Josie and I like that and swoon for those boys. This place was spinning hip hop and had a great LA mix of people. In fact, we had to break the news to a Brit that he wasn’t in Hollywood. He was devastated and we made his night even worse when we told him that all bars and clubs in LA close at 2AM. He has only been here for about 6 weeks and Josie was cracking up when he said that his Colombian friends were teaching him to speak Colombian. This was a very cool bar to meet new people and may be a regular for nights when other kitchens close at midnight and for when we want to meet new people.

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Contest: The first person to correctly tell us where this Betty Boop is located in Barbarella will receive a free beer with the Uncouth Gourmand Girls

The last final funny moment occurred when we were leaving the bar, at closing time, and the valet guy began talking to me in Spanish. For some reason, when I am drunk I am great at accents, impressions, and speaking in other languages. I had a long conversation with the man and then I looked at Josie and said, “I bet you didn’t know I could speak Colombian”

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6 Comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for the rave reviews and awesome recap of your time at Barbarella! So glad you enjoyed yourselves and found a cute Brit to hang with too. Come in again soon and make sure to introduce yourselves to the owner, Anat Escher.

    xoxoxoxo
    Barbarella Bar

  2. Was reading.. and reading.. and reading.. and noted to self: Barbrix doesn’t serve fried chicken wings nor onion rings.. Alas! You made it to the right place. The sake event looks uber fun!

  3. […] I was determined to take him. We walked the beach and I ended up getting a text message from the Brit from Barbarella. He lives in Santa Monica and so I asked if he wanted to meet up that night. He […]

  4. […] put together date in the past. I don’t think I was my charming self. Oh well. I called my new British friend that I met at Barbarella to see if he wanted to hang out since I knew he lived in Santa Monica but […]

  5. […] next day was Wednesday and that sweet British boy that I met at Barbarella Bar and later with Frenchy asked me for drinks in Santa Monica. Josie and […]

  6. […] like Sake Fest and the Speakeasy that came before, this event was a complete […]


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