Our blog just got a little more formal as we headed out to the Los Angeles Opera open house at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion last Saturday. To help expose more people to opera, displays of costumes, wigs, props, storyboards, and diorama were accessible to the general public on the third floor. Throughout the day, people who registered online for free tickets could attend the “Young Artists Showcase.” Those who were unable to get in could still watch a televised performance outside. Because anyone with a ticket could enter, this unfortunately meant that we were frequently interrupted by crying infants. However, I was delighted to see singers from the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program perform several pieces from “Roméo et Juliette,” “Madama Butterfly,” and more. It was a good way to persuade the audience to purchase tickets to the full showing of “Roméo et Juliette” that is currently playing.
I ended up parking my car two blocks away at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for a $5 weekend flat rate. It was less expensive than parking at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and it gave me the perfect opportunity to explore the Roman Catholic Church. The interior is massive with portraits of important religious figures hanging from the sides and a gigantic organ fixated to the front. As Olga mentioned in her review, the acoustic must be splendid. I also witnessed a lovely couple getting married in the chapel within the cathedral. If you plan to visit, there are tours given on the weekdays as well.
In the afternoon, we wanted to have ramen at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo, but due to a long one-hour wait, we opted for the newly-opened Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakate Ramen on 132 S Central Avenue instead. So how does Shin-Sen-Gumi compare to Daikokuya? For appetizers, the gyoza potstickers in Shin-Sen-Gumi are smaller and not as crispy. Shin-Sen-Gumi also serve takoyaki, a savory ball of batter and bits of octopus. Both establishments use a delicious pork soup base for their ramen. I do however prefer the thicker ramen noodles in Daikokuya, but I love the concept of customizing how I want my ramen cooked as well as the amount of oil and broth used in Shin-Sen-Gumi. Initially, it appeared as though the ramen in Shin-Sen-Gumi was less expensive. That's because their ramen comes with only pork and nothing else. Unlike Daikokuya, you must order all other toppings separately on the side. Shin-Sen-Gumi does provide more variety of toppings, including crispy pig's ears and poached egg. Furthermore, since the restaurant is still new to the area, there was no line when we showed up.
Until next time,