Hideki had pointed out Ichiran from where we met on the Ebisubashi bridge, telling us that it was a pretty good ramen place, possibly the best, in his opinion. So on our last night in Osaka, after drinks in the Umeda Sky Tower at Sky Lounge Stardust, we headed back to the Dotonbori to check it out. It’s along the Dotonbori canal, near the Nihonbashi bridge, which flanks Ebisubashi. Like Ippudo, Ichiran serves a Tonkotsu Hakata-style ramen made with pork broth.
I'll admit it. I’m a total beer nincompoop. Yes, there are beers I do like, though, and are high on my list of favourite beverages. Might I be called an aficionado? That seems to imply a level of knowledge and savvy that I definitely don’t possess. Beer enthusiast? I don’t drink enough beer for that. To own that I practically know nothing about beer (except that it some of it tastes good) seems a bit retarded if one is going to a place like Monk’s Kettle, where there could be as many as 28 options of draught beer alone and pages and pages and pages of different kinds and styles of the liquid, from Lambics to small beer to porters and dubbel, tripel, and quadrupel Belgians! My visit to Monk's Kettle felt rather tantamount to casting pearls before swine, or cream-of-mushroom bean casserole before Thomas Keller, or er… something along those lines… you get the drift… Anyhow, despite all this, I will still have the temerity to say that Monk’s Kettle is currently high on my list of Happy Places (and by this I mean awesome establishments in my hometown that serve amazing food and drink).
We interrupt this stream of Japan-related posts to bring you this note from a much-beloved cocktail bar in the Upper Haight. We returned from our 3 weeks in Japan to somewhat stressful workplaces; then just as we were about to leave work for the weekend on Friday afternoon, we received emails from DD's grandmother reporting that DD's dad and stepmom had been in a car accident in Florida. (They were both injured but are recuperating.)
After DD was able to get as much information as he could from family members, he decided he needed a drink. I met him at the Alembic and we ended up having dinner there.