The Japanese have an interesting term, toranoko, which literally means “tiger cub.” It is a pejorative term. When you call someone a toranoko, you mean that he is a paper tiger, someone who appears brave but is actually a coward. That is the description of clinging to habitual patterns. You may make feeble attempts to expose your cowardice. Using eloquent language, you may make a confession, saying, “I know I’m not all that fearless,” but even your confession is still an expression of toranoko, a fat tiger cub who is afraid of his own shadow, afraid to jump and play with the other cubs.
—  Overcoming Habitual Patterns, Chögyam Trungpa.
Toranoko, Little Tokyo, LA

Antoinette took us out for drinks after the photoshoot. She and Tami had a couple of this fruity vodka that Toranoko make themselves. For someone who’s allergic to alcohol, this was unfortunate.

Well, I had a ginger beer and it was delicious. Light and refreshing :)

Fried squid for the tummy.

It's Like Almost Being in Tokyo, a Little

In my humble opinion, Japanese people have not been good at building a community outside of their own country. Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles is an exception. When I visited there, I could feel like being in Tokyo, a little.

In the heart of Little Tokyo, there is the leading Asian American theatre company East West Players. Their current show is the British musical CHESS, which tells a star-crossed love story at the world chess championship games during the Cold War. A very interesting, creative choice. East meets West, indeed! In spite of some good reviews, including the Los Angeles Times, the Saturday night performance I attended was far from sold out. EWP definitely deserves better.

For a pre-theatre dinner, how could I not choose a Japanese restaurant? Mochiron I did and my pick was Toranoko, an izakaya Japanese tapas bar. They have a wonderful happy hour menu which is available even for Saturday. If Naoko-san would fortunately happen to serve your table, you can enjoy the authentic Japanese hospitality, too.


Progress of Julian