We missed the grand opening party for Gonpachi this weekend, but we found this from someone who went. General consensus: If you didn't know it was the old Ed Debevic's space in Beverly Hills, you'd think you were in Japan. On Saturday, almost 1,000 guests saw a Shinto priest give a blessing, plus there were medieval warriors, geisha, sushi, robata, Japanese dignitaries, a mochi pounding, and...ninjas! "The end of the party was the speech by the owner of Gonpachi, followed by “Kagami-wari” (sake barrel breaking ceremony). Then, there were 3 Ninjas came down from the second floor balcony on ropes!"
Before the official opening, a reader sent a note (after we discovered the "friends and family" deal):
"The place is enormous and amazing: two stories, with semi-private booths overlooking the main dining room. I've been to Japan, and it really feels like you're in Japan. The food was good-not-great; we had a duck-and-chicken skewer that was amazing but the Soba noodles were bland, even with the wasabi sauce on them. The Sushi was alright, but when you're across the street from Matsuhisa -- well, "alright" doesn't cut it. I'd go back, though, just order differently.To be fair, he went just a few days before ninjas started dropping from the ceiling. What kitchen wouldn't be spooked by that?
· Gonpachi's Opening Party [Naoko]
· Breaking: Gonpachi Opens Softly [Eater LA]
· Plywood Report: Gonpachi, Antigua Bread, Zo Robata [Eater LA]