January 26, 1997
Restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila may have succumbed to a common media disease--the one that makes you believe that if you're writing about it, it must be important ("Fish With a Catch," Dec. 8). Don't misunderstand. I enjoy restaurants. And I appreciate restaurant reviews, especially Virbila's. But to proclaim, as she did in her review of Ginza Sushiko in Beverly Hills, that any meal is "absolutely" worth $250 per person--that's ludicrous. To say that an overpriced meal in this month's faddish spot is worth what for many people is a week's pay shows a distinct lack of perspective.
February 14, 1988 |
For centuries the magical luster of pearls has been a source of mystery and the subject of legend. The ancients believed they were teardrops of mermaids, or dew drops swallowed by oysters that swam to the surface of the sea. At the turn of the century, Koichi Mikimoto, a Japanese entrepreneur, discovered how to cultivate beautifully shaped pearls. Today pearl cultivation is a major industry in Japan.
February 27, 1989 |
Thousands of people on Sunday jammed a Tokyo restaurant that sold $15 steak dinners for 55 yen, or 42 cents, to celebrate its 55th anniversary. Lines began forming outside the Suehiro restaurant in the renowned Ginza shopping district three hours before the steakhouse opened Sunday. The bargain dinner included seven ounces of imported beef plus salad and rice. The restaurant expects more than 30,000 customers to take advantage of the three-day offer.
March 7, 2013 |
A Japanese jeweler is selling a solid gold replica of soccer star Lionel Messi's left foot -- the one that has made the Argentine star the best player on the planet. But it will cost you: The asking price for the 55-pound statue is $5.25 million. The detailed golden foot -- the statue is complete with blood vessels and swirls of skin on the bottom of the toes -- was created by Tokyo-based jeweler Ginza Tanaka to celebrate Messi's unprecedented Ballon d'Or award in January. Messi is the only player in history to win the FIFA player of the year trophy four times -- and his wins came in consecutive years.
February 2, 2013 |
When you order shoyu ramen, you see the noodle chef spoon soy sauce into the bowl before he ladles in the bone broth; when you specify that you want your noodles al dente, you see him check their status a couple of times before swishing them out of the boiling water. If you ask for green-chile butter, the restaurant's equivalent of what some other noodle shops call a "flavor bomb," you are served it on the side, to mix in as you like. Sitting at the counter is kind of a demystifying process, in the way that being able to see a sushi chef flash his knife through a half-dozen kinds of silvery fish helps you to understand what the difference might be between mackerel and gizzard shad.
February 4, 1990 |
The 10 highest rent districts in the world and their average rents per square foot, according to a survey conducted by Hubert & Peters Inc., a real estate firm: The Ginza, Tokyo, $675. Nathan Road, hong Kong, $575. East 57th Street, New York, $550. Fifth Avenue, New York, $510. Madison Avenue, New York, $400. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif., $275. Lexington Avenue, New York, $225. Bond Street, London, $200. Rue du Fauboug Honore, Paris, $175. Orchard Road, Singapore, $175.
August 11, 2012 |
We all think we know what to expect from a great sushi meal in Los Angeles, a progression of fish and rice that runs from the vinegared dish at the beginning to the warm crab hand roll at the end. If we are in a restaurant influenced by Nobu Matsuhisa, there may be some ceviche or spicy tuna along the way; if we are at a modern sushi bar, there may be cooked oysters or a salad. So the last thing I was expecting on my first visit to Shunji Japanese Cuisine, the Westside restaurant that is the newest darling of local raw-fish cognoscenti, was a bowl of vegetables, served at the sushi bar, at the point in the meal where you might be expecting an elaborate sea urchin presentation or a saucer of tuna nuta . Shunji is not an ordinary sushi bar. PHOTOS: The cuisine at Shunji It's not just Shunji's modest location.
December 2, 2001
I was shocked when I saw S. Irene Virbila's four-star review of Ginza Sushi-Ko ("Essence of Excellence," Restaurants, Nov. 11). Early on, she wrote, "Every time I've eaten at Ginza Sushi-Ko, [sushi master Masa Takayama] has come up with something new and startling." Imagine going to a place where there is no menu, you eat what is put before you and pay $300 or more for the privilege. And Virbila apparently has done this frequently. What does the initial "S" stand for? "Snob"? Norman McCracken Northridge I respect Virbila's technical skills as a restaurant critic, but I think there is a thin line between a fine dining experience and being taken as someone's patsy.