Yesterday Yoon and I successfully drove from Pasadena to Little Tokyo, after the previous day's foiled attempt. We played a lot of music. Expect an Angel vid to Aesop Rock's addictive song "None Shall Pass."

After making the alarming discovery that the parking lot I usually use has been covered with a mound of dirt the height and width of a large office building, we found another one and decamped to Daikokuya Ramen, home of LA's best ramen. Some joker on their staff wrote hilarious descriptions of everything on the menus they have up in the windows, explaining that the lines are due to their care for "the delectation of your taste buds," that the ramen tastes so good because it's made from vats of kurobuta pork bones simmered for hours at an undisclosed location, and that they open at noon and close when the soup runs out.

I was hit up by two punk teens for a dollar. "What for?" I asked suspiciously.

"For a mango!" replied eyeliner girl. "They cut them in slices and sprinkle them with chili."

"Oh, well, if it's for a mango," I said, digging around in my wallet.

"You failed your saving throw," remarked Yoon.

Waiting in line outside Daikokuya, I saw an adorable teenybopper Harajuku girl pass by in red-and-white striped tights and several layers of ruffled lace blouses and shorts. It was the first time I've ever seen genuine Japanese teen fashion in LA, and I am really curious whether she was an Angeleno or a homesick Japanese tourist.

The ramen comes in enormous bowls of richly flavored pork broth adorned with pork slices, scallions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and a whole hard-boiled egg. All conversation ceased as we inhaled it. I had a Ramune, a bubble-gum-flavored Japanese soda sealed with a marble which you use the lid to pop down into a compartment in the bottle, where it then rolls around in an entertaining fashion.

We went to LA's oldest mochi shop for dessert. I had sakura mochi and chestnut yokan. I think the owner was a little confused about which season it was.

Then we went to Kinokuniya, where we both pounced with glee upon the two copies of the Gundam Wing art book. Alas, it is not the one where the artists, who must be Duo/Heero shippers, drew endless pictures of them dripping wet, arms around each other, shirtless, and/or all of the above and also in a boy band AU.

I then became hypnotized by a $ 50 book on seasonal mochi, with Japanese and English and exquisite photographs and text like this:

Yuusuzumi (Evening Cool), August. When the evening comes, a hot day becomes bearable with the arrival of a cool breeze. The appearance of people enjoying the evening cool on the veranda or outside is embodied by white and pale blue soboro, intricate bits of bean paste.

But how could I justify spending $ 50 on a mochi book? Then the soul of the universe commanded me to buy it, and we all know what happens when you ignore that. Or maybe when you obey it. Hard to say. I now own the book, and must write a story featuring mochi and sell it to earn back its cost.

In conclusion, there are scans up of the bento otaku manga, for the three people here who read my LJ but not [ profile] telophase's.
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