I’ve never been on a food tour before and decided to check this one out on a whim from the recommendation of my sister. Suffice to say, I had a great time! The tour was well organized, giving tour goers not only a small taste of what this locale has to offer but also an educational treat involving a small glimpse into Little Tokyo’s vibrant history.
Our tour guide was Brian, very informative, very approachable, very personable, has a great sense of humor and his non-formulaic approach in presenting the tour was what made the experience in itself enjoyable. Like everyone else has said including Brian and Jeff (owner of Six Taste and entrepreneur) themselves, there is a lot of food to be sampled so if you are planning to participate in this fun 3 hour tour: PACE YOURSELF! I’m an LA native (residing only 3 miles away from Little Tokyo!) and I’ve been to Little Tokyo many times in the past, but I have never been to any of the stops we’ve sampled at during the Gastronaut tour. I am a tourist in my own city, so to speak.
The tour not only allowed participants to sample food offered in Little Tokyo, it also proactively promotes awareness to the local Japanese culture and draws business to the restaurants in Little Tokyo district whose existence depends solely on lunch and dinner diners and tourism. The tour has made me a regular at some of the restaurant stops, in particular Wakasaya – a restaurant in the Japanese Village Plaza that specializes in rice bowls (think sushi + sashimi in a bowl), and Spitz; while not Japanese, they serve some of the freshest and greatest tasting sangrias I have tasted in a while and equally delicious falafel wraps. Their sweet potato fries is just as melt-in-your mouth good.
Other stops included Chado Tea Room for some refreshing iced peach flavored tea amongst many other selections to choose from, Mitsuru Cafe for some red bean pastry treat, mochi ice cream at Mikawaya Ice Cream and famous handmade mochi at Fugetsu-Do confectionary.
Bottom line: Great and very informative tour. Participants will have a lot of fun sampling the foods, mingling with other gastronauts and maybe pick up a date (or two). For more information and reservations, check out Six Taste’s website at http://www.sixtaste.com