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Common Grains: Japanese food and culture 101 coming to L.A.

December 13, 2011 |  9:00 am

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When it comes to finding Japanese food in Los Angeles, one doesn't have to look very far. Whether served up traditionally or fusion-style, the city's multitude of udon, soba, sushi and ramen joints seem limitless. We love our Japanese food here in L.A., that's for certain, but how much do we actually know about it?

To give Angelenos a better of understanding of Japanese cuisine and culture, artisan soba maker and Japanese food expert Sonoko Sakai has collaborated with Shinmei to present Common Grains, a series of culinary events that will take place in Los Angeles.

Throughout the months of January and February, milling demonstrations, panel discussions, film screenings and rice and soba workshops will take place all over town to engage and immerse Angelenos in Japanese food culture.

The event will kick off on January 8 with an onigiri creation contest at the Japanese American National Museum’s annual Oshogatsu festival and will follow with various events like the soba and rice workshops at Tortoise General Store on January 21 and 22 and Japanese films focused on none other than rice at Atwater Crossing on February 3 and 4. Also, on January 10-19, Breadbar Century City will host a pop-up and sake bar and soba restaurant featuring freshly stoned and milled handcrafted soba.


Stocking stuffers: Colorful mugs from Karikter

Sugar cookies from the "Holiday Cookies" e-book

Recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

--Caitlin Keller

Photo: Ramen at Ramen Yamada in Torrance. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times