My first favorite beverage in this town, five years ago, was the young coconut drink at Ruen Pair. Soft, tender, ever-so-slightly firm, sweet twirls of coconut flesh - like kissing an underage girl.
I haven't done that since I was underage myself, of course.
This was displaced by, in various successions, the atole at the Oaxacan truck on Rose by Venice (thick and glorious), the taramindo at Mario's, and various horchatas that have come and gone in my lovescape, and the limeade at Ambala Dhaba, whose name just slipped my memory for a minute until I beat my head against the keyboard. Gdklsfjkds. Yeah. I hate my brain.
That limeade is pretty great. I was denied it for years by my impulse to mango lassi. They're mango lassi is also superb, almost as good as the mango lassi at Woodlands in Artesia.
This was all displaced a few months ago by Las Vegas's Lotus of Siam limeade, which was the single most searingly pure taste of lime I'd ever had. I can't describe this limeade, except to say that, even giving that I was having what was pretty clearly the best Thai meal of my life, despite the glorious of the grilled catfish and the puffed rice with little meat thingies and the glorious curries, the limeade is the thing I remember the most clearly, the most vividly, and with the most fervid late night and midmorning longings.
This is perhaps still my favorite beverage in the world (we are, of course, not counting belgian beers and wines and scotches in the category of "beverage" today, because we feel like it). But it is, sadly, not in this town.
Although maybe the next beverage actually equals it.
The new beverage that is at the center of my heart is at Natriliart, a Jamaican place on, er, Pico. I think. Goat curry was pretty nice, jerk chicken tasty and funky.
But their ginger beer.
Dear god, their ginger beer.
I've been a fan of Reed's Ginger Beer in its various stripes and oderifications for quite a while, but this is, uh, well, it is to Reed's ginger beer what chutoro nigiri is to a supermarket prewrapped tuna salad salad. Though, albeit, a particularly nice supermarket tuna salad sandwich.
I believe this beverage involves, among other things, good brown sugar, pineapple juice, and freshly squeezed ginger.
There is so much explosive fresh ginger in this thing that I sweated out my armpits and my eyeballs.
The spread of sugar, pineapple, other zesty things, and near-hideous amounts of gloriously beautiful burning ginger has the effect of, I don't know, a smurf-sized team of soccer hooligans quickly spreading across my entire tongue and delivering glorious beatings to every seperate part of it.
Drinking this beverage and feeling the ginger feels a bit like staring at a solar eclipse in action. It *burns*, but it's *so freaking important*.