The Unvegan

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The Thrill of Far Bar

These drinks could kill me softly.

A month or so ago, Thrillist Rewards made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. For $29, it included one half-pound burger, unlimited wasabi fries, unlimited wings and two flights of delicious beers at a place called Far Bar in Little Tokyo. A few of us capitalized on this deal and finally made our way there to indulge. But finding it wasn’t exactly easy, as it required a walk through a strange alley. In fact, I walked into the restaurant next door by accident, but a guy there walked me over to the actual bar. Upon arrival, my friends who had gotten there first thrust a basket of fries and wings in my face and I knew I was home.

Look for an alley like this, it’s easy!

One thing that Thrillist did not mention in their reward was that the bar would feature a free drunk guy. And this guy was plastered beyond belief. It entertained for a while, but ultimately the bar kicked him out. This left us as the next closest thing to loud people in the bar, and most of our loudness was asking for more beer, wings or fries.

I’ll start with the fries, which were a nice component of the meal, but ultimately just filler to keep my stomach from eating more wings. They were topped with garlic and a sort of creamy wasabi sauce to give them a bit of an Asian kick. Fortunately, the wasabi was only lightly drizzled on the fries and each basket came with an extra dish of the sauce so they wouldn’t get soggy.

Sichuan, Japan, it’s all the same.

The wings, though, were pretty awesome. These were neither your average buffalo wings nor your average Asian-style wings. Despite being in Little Tokyo, they actually had a flavor and texture reminiscent Sichuan fried chicken. They were cooked with hot red peppers and weren’t topped with any sort of sauce. While I love me some buffalo sauce, these wings did a great job of capturing the essence of wings, and included an Asian touch that can seldom be found in your typical wing joints.

Don’t worry, it’s not rude to stick your bacon out at me.

But let’s not forget about the burger. While everything else was unlimited, but devoid of options, there were a good handful of burgers to choose from. Ultimately, I went with the B.L.A.T Burger. This half pounder was topped with bacon, avocado and ponzu onion marmalade. I was weary of the onions in this marmalade, but figure I would give it a shot and scrape out the bastards if they were ruining my burger. I ordered medium rare, then ate some more wings and drank some more beer as I waited. Upon arrival, my burger was a pretty little thing. There was a thimble-sized bowl of pickled vegetables sharing the plate with my burger, but thankfully none of the juices escaped the thimble. I opened the burger in search of onions and, finding none, went to town.

What I found was perfectly crisp bacon mixed in with perfectly ripened avocado. The ponzu onion marmalade had little-to-no onion remnants or taste and was a very welcome addition to the burger, offering a little tartness and sweetness to an otherwise way savory burger. Oh and the meat was pretty damn good. It was cooked perfectly with a sort of medium grind to let me know it wasn’t just some pre-made patty. And the bun was everything I could have hoped for. It acted as little more than a conduit for the burger, but was both sturdy and pillowy all at once.

Oh, I should also mention the mind-melting cheesecake-filled eggroll dessert. Not to be missed.

Meanwhile, the beers I tried were delicious. I would write about them all here, but that would be both boring and painful. The most important thing to remember about them is that they have a ton of locals on tap, including just about every beer Stone makes. Plus, although they weren’t available for my flights, they have a ton of Japanese beers that I would love to pour down my gullet on my next visit. Oh yeah, I do think there will be a next visit, because they have a happy hour during which they sell their burgers for only 5 bucks a pop. That alone is worth heading to Far Bar for. This little gem in a back alley in Little Tokyo definitely has a new fan.