Without a doubt one of the best things about Los Angeles is how diverse it is. You can find any food your heart is craving, often within just a few blocks of each other! So it only makes sense that LA is where you can find the best fusion tasting menu happening right now at Ainoko, a Mexican Japanese omakase bar inside LA's trendy Petite Taqueria.
If you are anywhere in the LA area I would highly suggesting checking out what has to be one of the greatest meals I've eaten in my entire life. Created and presented by chef John Carlos Kuramoto, who is of Mexican and Japanese decent, the menu seamlessly brings together two distinct regional flavor profiles in a way I never thought would have been possible. I mean, who would have thought an ahi tuna tostada, followed by a charred white corn soup (the chef's version of miso soup) would be one of the greatest food creations ever?
Ainoko translates to half-breed, which is how Chef Kuramoto approached his menu. As mentioned, the flavor combinations are so utterly brilliant, you'll want to recreate this stunningly good Kauai shrimp in an agua chile green curry pretty much as soon as you get home.
The real high point of the meal for me was the wagyu beef taco. Guys. GUYS! First of all, if you've never had wagyu beef before, prepare your taste buds. First, Chef Kuramoto has you dip the wagyu in a sukiyaki for just 10 seconds. This gives the beef that umami flavor everyone is obsessed with. And then you make the best taco of your life with a fresh corn tortilla, a cabbage slaw and more delicious toppings. Is your mouth watering yet?
And of course, no meal would be complete without a dessert to top off the night! While the final caramel budino is amazing, I found myself completely obsessed with the green tea ice cream, topped with mochi donut churro balls. Oh yes, mochi donut churro balls. I could seriously eat those in a bowl of milk like cereal. They were so good! And who knew cinnamon and green tea went together so well?
It is a true testament to Chef Kuramoto's skill that everything on the tasting menu goes off without a hitch. By the end of the meal I was full, happy and imagining eating every single thing again. Often with a tasting menu there will be at least one or two things that you could have gone without, but that was not the case here at all! Literally everything was perfect.
So what are you waiting for? Book your reservation at Ainoko right now! You can find it at Petite Taqueria, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7 pm and 9:30 pm. Oh, and be prepared to drink lots of tea and sake. Honestly, the best tea and sake you've ever had in your entire life. Or if you're so inclined, grab a margarita!