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The week ahead

October 06, 2008|Kenneth R. Weiss

A look at upcoming events:


French Dip day: Philippe the Original will celebrate its 100th anniversary by offering French dip sandwiches for the original price of 10 cents, and coffee for 5 cents.

Hollywood honor: Nicole Kidman, Isla Fisher and Salma Hayek will be among the honorees at Elle magazine's 15th annual Women in Hollywood Tribute.

Murder trial: Opening statements are scheduled in the trial of Skylar Deleon, who is accused of killing Tom and Jackie Hawks by tossing them off their boat at sea, in order to steal the yacht they'd advertised for sale.


Economy: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meet. Agenda includes a report on the effect of the state of the financial markets on L.A. County.


Rose Parade: The identity of the 2009 Tournament of Roses grand marshal will be revealed. The grand marshal will preside over the 120th Rose Parade, which will have the theme of "Hats Off to Entertainment," and the 95th Rose Bowl game.

Corruption trial: A Los Angeles County judge is expected to rule Friday on whether a former L.A. city commissioner should be given a new trial or sentenced on his conviction earlier this year on public corruption charges. Prosecutors have asked Judge Michael Johnson to sentence Leland Wong, 51, to six years and eight months in prison. His defense attorneys, who are also seeking a new trial, have asked that Wong be sentenced to community service and probation. Wong, once known as a power broker at City Hall, was convicted of bribery, perjury and other charges.


The story of 'sustainable sushi'?

You knew it had to happen. The fish-huggers who have for years put out wallet cards to help diners choose sustainable seafood have finally focused on -- what else? -- sushi.

Some of the information on the cards won't be all that palatable to sushi lovers, at least those who are especially susceptible to guilt. Although these three guides display a few differences, they collectively turn up their noses at quite a few popular sushi treats.

Many of the tunas, for instance, fall in the to-be-avoided column of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch card, sushi version. There's toro, of course, the Japanese name for the fatty tuna belly of the heavily overfished bluefin tuna. But also maguro, which is often bigeye, and yellowfin tuna.

If you choose to follow these cards, forget about farmed shrimp, which is what's usually offered under the name ebi; freshwater eel called unagi; and farmed salmon, known as sake. Sake is OK if it's wild Alaskan salmon. And some types of ebi are more sustainable than others. Good luck trying to find a sushi chef who can tell you about the origins of the salmon or shrimp in the case.

The three new cards will be officially unveiled Oct. 22 at San Francisco's Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar, which the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Ken Peterson described "as the only fully sustainable sushi restaurant in the United States."

And therein lies the point. These groups want sushi chefs and sushi bar owners to think about more than the freshness, appearance and quality of their fish. Their idea is to prompt customers to start asking questions, hoping the chefs will notice and begin to alter their menus in a way that will help exploited fish stocks recover. For the health-conscious, there are also red flags marking fish known to carry particularly heavy loads of mercury, PCBs or other contaminants.

So just what's left to eat, other than rice?

There's Pacific halibut (hirame) and albacore tuna (shiro maguro), skipjack tuna or bonito (katsuo), Spanish mackerel (aji or sawara), bay scallops (hotate), striped bass (suzuki), salmon eggs (ikura), arctic char (iwana), spot prawn (amaebi), giant clam (mirugai), sea urchin roe (uni) and, of course, California rolls made with imitation crab called kanikama or surimi.

The cards will also be available Oct. 22 on the websites of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Blue Ocean Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund.

-- Kenneth R. Weiss

For more, go to The Times' environmental blog, latimesblogs.

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