The Most Surprising Things About Japan

We expected Japan’s complex and diverse food culture, modern conveniences, Hello Kitty, polite social norms, and ubiquitous robots. But the following things came as a bit of a surprise: There are no trash bins, but streets are spotless. You are expected to carry garbage with you in your pockets or bags until the appropriate time. You never need…

So What is Japanese Ramen Really Like?

It takes years of training, a lifetime of commitment, a bellyfull of emptiness. That’s what it takes to eat a healthy bowl of real Japanese ramen. Top 5 Ramen of Japan: Kikanbo Spicy Ramen (カラシビ味噌らー麺 鬼金棒)! Loved everything about this ramen! It’s the bees’ knees. The boss hoss. And word up–they have a Tsukemen-only joint next door!…

A pop-up blog about laksa!

If you want a distraction from whatever it is you’re doing, check out my new pop-up blog about laksa. It’s got pictures of laksa, reviews of laksa, and that’s it. Simple. Delicious.  

Earth Day 2015

Enjoy the Earth today and every day!Live simply and peacefully. There’s a lot of us here, of many different types. Learn to appreciate the crowds as much as the solitude. When you know what it is you want, don’t be afraid to leave the comfort of your perch to go get it. And remember to relax…

Putin Huilo!

You can basically end the competition right now, because the 2015 award for best beer name has already been decided: Putin is a Dickhead. Go head, brewers. You have nine months to come up with something better. It’s not going to happen. The team here at Love & Barley have always known that beer is…

Fly on, little wing.

The benefit of staying outside of Seattle for three days is that we get to see what’s outside of Seattle, for a change. Downtown has so much to offer, the temptation is never to leave. There is a world of food, drink, and stuff to do outside of downtown, and arguably some of the region’s…

2014: This is what gathering moss looks like.

It seems like just yesterday we wrote about the insanity that was 2013. To create balance in the universe, 2014 has been THE YEAR OF STAYING PUT. At least by our standards. We visited the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Hawaii, and Portland. And staying put has its own rewards: like spending time with family and reconnecting with old…

Squirreling away for the winter

As we were hiking in Alaska, we saw a mushroom high up in the tree. It turns out a squirrel put it there as part of its overall winter-proofing strategy. Good job. What are you good at squirreling away? How do you maintain a balance between saving and stashing for a long winter and unhealthy…

Spoiled Brat Tourists

We’ve all been disappointed. A hyped movie wasn’t what we expected; a vouched-for restaurant’s food seemed bland. It happens with places too. A few places I’ve been didn’t live up to my expectations, though certainly not as many places as surpassed them. One thing I would never ever do is stoop to the level of these self-entitled…

Southern Mexico Upcoming Trip: Got Tips?

ISO: Your tips! Dates: January-February 2014 (7 weeks total) Methods: Car Key Points: Mexico City Puebla (with possible deke to Xalapa) Oaxaca and surrounds Oaxaca coast (Puerto Escondido and Huatulco) Free/Flex Time: About One Week. Would like to visit Chiapas and Palenque.

Easy Sichuan Popcorn

Sichuan mala peanuts are one of the greatest junk foods in the world. We first encountered these in Beijing, at Great Leap Brewing. Luckily, we were able to find the product here in Vancouver. It looks like this: Toward the bottom of each bag will be quite a bit of Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilis,…