In LA, sushi is like a second language. People don't ask, "What's your sign?" anymore. It's,"Where do you eat sushi?" It's the perfect tell: neighborhood, social status, income. So what will it mean for LA's Japanese restaurants—or those who've incorporated some sort of Japanese cuisine into their menus—when the Japanese government comes a knockin' with regulations? According to a Times story over the weekend, officials in Tokyo are devising a plan to authenticate Japanese restaurants abroad according to their standards. But who benefits?:
It's not clear who the target audience is. Japanese tourists searching for a taste of home? Clueless Americans who don't realize that crunchy rolls are as Japanese as Big Macs?It's not like the crowds will thin at Koi because the Japanese government says its not authentic.
In an unrelated story, the Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila reminds us who introduced the crazy new style of sushi in the first place.
· California rolls drive them to distraction [LA Times]
· Nobu Matsuhisa, the man who spiced up sushi [LA Times]