As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect upon the dishes that defined my year in delicious. The City of Angels fed me well, as always, contributing to half of the list—Eastside, represent! Travels to Shanghai, Tokyo, Chengdu, and Portland rounded out the top ten. While last minute trips to Las Vegas and Charleston provided some solid contenders, all were ultimately shut out this year—it’s tough competing for my noodle-loving heart.
Thank you for reading Gastronomy, and without further ado, here are the 10 best savory dishes that I ate this year…
Ikura from Sushi Kanesaka in Tokyo, Japan
Impeccably fresh salmon eggs do not pop when bitten into. Instead, each orb smoothly unleashes its oily sheen with the gentlest of pressure, flooding the palate with oceanic bliss. Topped with grated yuzu zest and served over warm rice, the ikura was unforgettable.
Bun Mam from Hà Tiên Quán in San Gabriel, California
An anchovy-laced brew brimming with pork belly, chunks of catfish, shrimp, Japanese eggplant, and chives won my heart completely with its heady, unabashed funk. Hidden beneath the dark broth were smooth and slippery rice noodles.