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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
June 27, 2010 |
Reporting from Tokyo The Japanese are legendary shoppers, paying top prices from Honolulu to Helsinki for gifts and adornments. In Tokyo, a walk through the department stores and Pritzker Prize-winner-designed boutiques in the Ginza and Omote-Sando districts is enough to make one wonder, "What Japanese recession?" Look closer, however, and you'll discover another breed of shop where consumers, from Japan and increasingly from overseas, hunt for everyday treasures. Maybe because of the recession, or maybe because even Japanese consumers know a good deal when they see one, 100-yen shops — Japan's equivalent of the dollar store — are booming.
May 23, 2002 |
Ginza Sushi-Go? Masa Takayama, owner and sushi maof Ginza Sushi-Ko, is considering leaving Beverly Hills. His small, reservation-only restaurant is the most expensive in L.A. (and possibly the country), with prices starting at $300 a head. Takayama has been at his Rodeo Drive location for eight years. His reason for leaving? "I'd like to try a new place," he tells us. "I like to try new things."
February 12, 2003 |
Excitement ran high in the Tokyo art world as a painting, first thought worth less than $100 but now believed to be a work by Vincent Van Gogh, went on sale there. The unsigned artwork, a portrait of a heavy-set, grim-faced peasant woman in a white cap, was greeted with a buzz of excited conversation as it was placed on the auctioneer's stand over the weekend, just a day after the dramatic revelation that it appeared to be a previously unknown early work by the Impressionist master.