Where to Find Namazake in Los Angeles

John and Pete's
34.082609500000, -118.376805500000
John & Pete's Fine Wine and Spirits has been owned and operated by John Pene and Pete Burra Sr. since Thanksgiving Day 1938.
  • the migrant kitchen
Domaine LA
34.083673700000, -118.341035400000
Domaine LA is a shop focusing on small production, honest wines from the United States and Europe.
  • the migrant kitchen
34.042183600000, -118.460901700000
Yamakase offers traditional sushi omakase and unique Japanese fusion cuisine, artfully prepared by Executive Chef and co-owner Yama San. The restaurant has an extremely limited seating capacity and are only able to offer a restricted number of open public invitations each month.
  • the migrant kitchen
Umi by Hamasaku, West L.A.
33.902817300000, -118.395406500000
At Hamasaku, Executive Sushi Chef Yoya Takahashi creates beautiful and whimsical sushi dishes, elevating and simply complementing the freshest and highest quality ingredients he can source.
  • the migrant kitchen
34.072762100000, -118.251596800000
Tsubaki is a Los Angeles izakaya, from Chef Charles Namba & Courtney Kaplan, with Japanese roots and a California state of mind.
Sushi Note, Sherman Oaks
34.147368000000, -118.426263000000
A 30-seat restaurant, Sushi Note is a cozy restsaurant with omakase-style meals from chef Kiminobu Saito. It also offers an extensive wine list.
  • the migrant kitchen
Sushi Ichi, Pasadena
34.134353500000, -118.147788500000
Traditional sushi rolls and sashimi with omakase options.
  • the migrant kitchen
Sushi Go 55, Little Tokyo
34.044503600000, -118.238500100000
Sushi Go 55 has proudly been serving Los Angeles, CA, fresh and delicious sushi since 1929
  • the migrant kitchen
Sushi Akatora, Manhattan Beach
33.900908000000, -118.417625800000
Sushi Akatora in Manhattan Beach serves up authentic Japanese sushi and modern izakaya cuisine prepared by master chefs.
  • the migrant kitchen
Shibumi, Downtown L.A.
34.043832100000, -118.256631500000
Shibumi is a Japanese kappo-style restaurant and bar in downtown LA.
  • the migrant kitchen
Robata Jinya, West Hollywood
34.071883000000, -118.365531800000
The original concept of Jinya was created in Japan and the izakaya-style restaurant features many traditional dishes and serves the Los Angeles area.
  • the migrant kitchen
Q, Downtown L.A.
34.046863500000, -118.255698700000
Q features Chef Hiroyuki Naruke's expression of Edomae cuisine, a historical preparation dating to the Edo-period of Japan that was the first to combine raw sashimi-style fish with vinegar-seasoned rice. Q offers a refined and intimate opportunity for guests to savor and celebrate uncompromised Tokyo-style sushi here in Los Angeles.
  • the migrant kitchen
MTN, Venice
33.991281500000, -118.467896600000
MTN is an izakaya driven by California seasonality. The restaurant sources from local farmers, sustainable purveyors and family-run operations. The menu offers house made ramen and small plates.
  • the migrant kitchen
Majordomo, Chinatown
34.066155000000, -118.230641800000
Majordōmo is a California restaurant from Momofuku.
  • the migrant kitchen
LDH, Santa Monica
34.035502200000, -118.477682000000
A restaurant specializing in open-fire style of Japanese cooking called robata-yaki where food is cooked over hot coals.
  • the migrant kitchen
Jinya Ramen, Downtown L.A.
34.048624500000, -118.257458900000
Meticulously aged for three days to maximize their flavor, Jinya Ramen Bar's noodles are made fresh daily and crafted to sink perfectly in your bowl with thick noodles for some broths and thin noodles for others.
  • the migrant kitchen
Inko Nito, West Hollywood
34.072621800000, -118.371444500000
A fresh & unconventional twist on Japanese robatayaki. Enjoy dishes from the robata grill, cocktails on tap & sharing plates.
  • the migrant kitchen

Unlike wine, sake is best consumed fresh. The freshest sake you could arguably get your hands on is namazake or unpasteurized sake. “Namazake is difficult to execute,” says Kerry Tamura, sake specialist at World Sake Imports. “It’s difficult because refrigeration is key. Any distributor [of sake] has to have a proper climate-controlled facility.”

World Sake Imports is the first importer of namazake and they’re able to transport namazake from Japan in a refrigerated container from the Japanese brewery’s doorstep to the client’s. It would be easier to try locally-made namazake such as Sequoia Sake in San Francisco, but Stateside brewers are still figuring out the logistics of refrigerated distribution. It would be better to try namazake right on the premises. “The whole point of namazake is to taste it when it’s freshly-pressed from the brewery,” says Tamura.

If you’re in San Francisco, you can try Sequoia Sake’s namazake during their regular tasting hours Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. If you’re not in the area, Tamura recommends stopping by one of these points on the map in Southern California to give Japanese namazake a try.

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