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March 14, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details
Urasawa, the rave-inspiring Beverly Hills sushi restaurant where the average check is $1,111, is being fined many times that amount over labor violations. California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su wrote in a citation that the eatery will face a $65,785 fine. Three workers are owed $38,585 in unpaid wages after being told to work in excess of 10 hours a day without overtime pay, according to the citation. The rest of the fine represents penalties. The state says Urasawa also failed to provide wage statements itemizing employee hours or pay rates as required by law. At a protest outside Urasawa's 2 Rodeo Drive address Thursday, former employee Heriberto Zamora said in Spanish that he was abruptly fired nine hours into a shift after he asked to go home to recover from a high fever and flu. He said he has yet to receive his final paycheck, which he said was withheld.
February 5, 2013 | By Chris Foster
UCLA couldn't get its last high-profile basketball player to eat less. The Bruins are trying to get their latest freshman star to eat more. Forward Shabazz Muhammad sat out practice Tuesday and said he was still feeling the effects of the flu that slowed him last week. Muhammad practiced Friday and Saturday but said, “It has really been hard. I just have to make sure I'm eating right and staying healthy.” Muhammad had a chest X-ray on Monday and was to undergo blood tests Tuesday, “just to make sure there is nothing beyond the normal.” The big concern, Howland said, was nutrition.
February 5, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Has it come to this? Nobu Matsuhisa has a new hotel with 24-hour sushi service. Sushi fanciers can hole up in Vegas at the new Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and “get into bed with Nobu for breakfast, lunch and dinner” per the breathless prose of a news release. Nobu is such a global brand now. Sometimes it's hard to remember that Nobu Matsuhisa the sushi chef who turned the genre on end started out in L.A. via Peru at Matsuhisa on La Cienega Boulevard. Now like Cher and Madonna and Beyoncé, he goes by one just one name: Nobu.
February 1, 2013 | By Betty Hallock
The shuttered Hump restaurant in Santa Monica and two of its sushi chefs have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges including selling sei whale meat, an announcement from the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles says. Typhoon Restaurant Inc., the parent company of the Hump, and Kiyoshiro Yamamoto and Susumu Ueda were named in the nine-count indictment. Other charges include conspiracy to import and sell meat from the endangered sei whale and lying to federal investigators.  The Hump closed in 2010 after an associate producer of the documentary "The Cove," which investigated the killing of dolphins in Japan, orchestrated a video sting.
January 7, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Sensible business strategy wasn't really top of mind for Tokyo sushi chain Kiyomura K.K. when it shelled out $1.76 million this weekend for a single 489-pound bluefin tuna. The company dropped a record 155.4 million yen for the honor of buying the first fish up for auction at the famed Japanese seafood mart Tsukiji Market. The Saturday bid was nearly three times the 56.49 million yen high set by Kiyomura last year, according to market data . The chain snatched the record set in 2011 by a Hong Kong bidder.
November 30, 2012 | By Shan Li
An upscale Walgreens is coming to Hollywood. As the first West Coast flagship store for the drugstore chain, the newest location on will feature a juice bar, soda fountain, sushi chef, a barista brewing caffeinated drinks and a selection of more than 700 wines. It's all part of an effort by the Deerfield, Ill., company to localize offerings at a time of increased competition from dollar stores and big-box retailers alike. "Trying to have the right offer for the right location is definitely what we are moving towards," said Bryan Pugh, a vice president of merchandising.
November 7, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Chanel No. 5 perfume, one of the most popular scents ever made, is raising a stink as European regulators threaten to ban one of the product's key ingredients. A type of tree moss used to create woody undertones in the fragrance may cause allergic reactions, according to the European Commission's Scientific Committee of Consumer Safety. As a result, the ingredient may be banned starting as soon as January 2014, according to the Telegraph . The moss is also used in top-performing brands such as Miss Dior and Angel by Thierry Mugler.
October 5, 2012
With the most coveted location at the beach, steps from the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Pier, restaurants and world-famous shopping, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel serves up the very best Southern California has to offer. The resort's signature Ocean & Vine restaurant with Sushi at Sunset sushi and sake bar, features Chef Keith Roberts' creative California farm-to-table cuisine. Locally caught seafood and fresh produce inspire the creative dishes presented in indoor or outdoor dining areas with breathtaking views . In the eco-friendly Ocean Spa, guests unwind in one of four calming rooms for body and facial treatments.
September 24, 2012 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
Sam Nazarian is taking his popular Katsuya Japanese restaurant brand global. The Los Angeles night-life impresario just signed a deal with behemoth retail franchise operator M.H. Alshaya to develop 17 Katsuyas in the Middle East by 2017, with the first two scheduled to open in Kuwait and Dubai in 2013. The announcement underscores how quickly Nazarian, founder and chief executive of SBE hospitality group, is pushing his company's key brands both nationally and internationally.
September 14, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Another sign of rising food prices, this one unrelated to corn costs: The price of sushi in New York City rose so much this year that its raw fish and rice is now more expensive than in Los Angeles. The price of the Japanese cuisine gained an average of 10% in the Big Apple, according to the Sushinomics Cost-of-Living Index compiled by Bloomberg. The data are based on prices for spicy tuna and California rolls in restaurants in 25 major metropolitan areas. New York City landed the highest score of 132.98, which means that its prices are 32.98% higher than the nationwide average.
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