The eighth annual Sake & Food Tasting Event will take place on Friday, July 25, at Union Station.

The theme for the 2014 event is “Sake Express,” in recognition of its iconic Los Angeles venue. A fundraiser for the Little Tokyo Service Center, “Sake Express” combines the winning combination of an array of premium Japanese sake provided by Mutual Trading Co. Inc. and the tasty sampling of foods from some of the Southland’s premier restaurants.

sake & food tasting eventTwo exceptional individuals, Ansho Uchima and Eugene Eng, will be honored for their contributions and service to the API community, and will be recognized at the pre-event Sponsor Reception.

A supporter of Japanese American community, Uchima is a Nisei. A lifelong practitioner of judo at the Seinan Dojo, he attributes many of his personal values, such as self-discipline, humility, perseverance, and patience, as values reinforced in his study of the martial arts. After a successful career designing computerized training materials and later testing computer programs, he discovered a passion for writing, which fulfilled both his desire for creative expression as well as the desire to document the Japanese American experience. He has written three books: “Fighting Spirit: Judo in Southern California, 1930-1941,” “Seinan,” and “Nikkei Generals and Admirals.”

Eng is vice president for external affairs for Verizon California Inc., and is the executive responsible for overseeing Verizon’s philanthropic and external affairs initiatives and programs in California and 12 other states in the West Area. He began his telecommunications career with the former GTE Hawaiian Telephone Company in Honolulu and has held a variety of management positions in the operating regions for Verizon. The Verizon Foundation has provided over $170,000 in grants and donations to LTSC.

“Sake Express” is the opportunity to taste, experience and learn about the subtleties of one of Japan’s most valued cultural products. More than 50 varieties of sake will be featured at the event, with sake sommeliers providing information to enhance participant appreciation. A delicious and eclectic faire of food will be provided by restaurants and food purveyors, including Roy’s, LA Prime at the Westin Bonaventure, Maison Akira, Feast from the East, Nestle, Shaka’s, Fugetsudo, Far Bar, Starry Kitchen and Whole Foods-Arroyo Store.

Sponsors are: Mutual Trading Co. Inc., US Bank, Wells Fargo, Fukui Mortuary, Upper Crust Enterprises Inc., Ellias Construction Co. Inc., JPMorgan Chase, Ansho Uchima and family, Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Verizon California Inc., Southern California Gas Company, California Bank & Trust, FIA Insurance Services Inc., CTBC Bank, Aihara & Associates Insurance Services Inc., Vasquez & Company LLP, Citi Community Capital, Gruen Associates, Chor Chai, Marie and Gregory Tan Family Foundation, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Pacific Commerce Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Bank of America, Arroyo Insurance Services, Wells Fargo Advisors, Yvonne and Alan Nishio, Green Dinosaur Inc., Andersen Environmental, Carde-Ten Architects, Dreyfuss Construction, Enterprise, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Kubota Nikkei Mortuary, KSCI LA 18, and Japanese Airlines Co. Ltd.

General admission tickets are $85 ore-sale $85 and $100 at the door (subject to availability). Attendees must be 21 and over. For tickets and information, visit

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