Where to Find Namazake in Los Angeles

Jake Myrick and Noriko Kamei enjoying their freshly brewed sake | Still from "The Migrant Kitchen" Sequoia Sake

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.

Related Content
Making vegetarian bánh chưng with peanuts | Sri Panchalam

Keeping A Tasty Lunar New Year Tradition Alive with The Bánh Chưng Collective

With the annual convening of the Bánh Chưng Collective, Chef Diep Tran keeps a beloved Lunar New Year culinary tradition alive to multigenerational participants.
Larb Hotspots

Anatomy of Larb

Larb is a versatile Thai minced meat salad with many spellings, many ingredients and many fans.  
Pla Gra-taem (Garlic Fish) from Chao Krung | Courtesy of Chao Krung

The Decades-Long Evolution of Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles

While Los Angeles’ Thai Town may be diminutive in size, only occupying a half-mile stretch in East Hollywood, its existence has been symbolic and influential in Thai culture on a much grander scale, locally and transnationally.