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Hollywood’s Aging Yamashiro Sparks Renewed Debate on Cultural Appropriation

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Plus a taco break-in and an early look at Fox’s in Altadena

Yamashiro Hollywood
The grounds of Yamashiro
Wonho Frank Lee

Tough discussions

Over the weekend LA Times writer Frank Shyong penned a fascinating article on all things Yamashiro, the hilltop pan-Asian restaurant that has survived above Hollywood for more than 100 years. The primary question to be answered in the piece is this: Does Yamashiro’s architecture, its menu items, its font choices, and its atmosphere fall under the limits of cultural appropriation, or is the place simply a somewhat outdated mishmash of ideas that, if anything, end up feeling truly Angeleno?

Along the way Shyong talks to Little Tokyo historians about the exoticized chop suey font use inside, the Japanese sculptures around the property (some make sense, others are downright confusing), and the food. He also discusses Japanese architecture with a Boston expert and others, and ultimately leaves with the notion that a place like Yamashiro is certainly “a dizzying combination of cultural appropriation and authenticity,” but more than anything arguing about what to be offended over may be missing the point. Go give the whole nuanced story a read.

Fan favorites

The LASA team has taken home a nod for best restaurant by Food & Wine, who shout out the Valencia brothers’ penchant for mixing Western techniques, Filipino ingredients, and Los Angeles heart.

The Fox at work

Altadena comeback story Fox’s is getting ready for what looks like an early summer debut. Construction is still ongoing but kitchen equipment is now showing up, and fans are eagerly awaiting a final reveal.

What’s THIS? A stove? Slowly but surely, we’re gettin’ there. #foxsaltadena

A post shared by Fox's Altadena (@foxsaltadena) on

A sour time

Long Beach’s Rasselbock is hosting its first-ever Sour Fest on April 20 and 21. The event is meant to be a showcase of some of the great, often experimental sour beers now available across Southern California, and comes complete with live music and food pairings.

Poke no more

Hermosa Beach’s Hooked Poke Market is gone for good, says The Beach Reporter. The raw seafood restaurant lasted nearly two years, but word is it will now be replaced by an Italian option that may or may not have an affinity for calzones.

On the case

The FBI is still looking for clues related to last year’s terrifying bomb scare at the Pasadena Cheesecake Factory. The bureau has recently taken to signal-boosting their call for information on social media, releasing images of a suspect they believe to be involved, reports the Pasadena Star-News.

After tax breaks

Need a stiff drink after filing taxes? Birds & Bees in Downtown has it covered with a $10 deal from 5 p.m. to midnight on April 17 only, where drinkers can get a tallboy of Hamm’s and a shot of rye whiskey. Not bad for curing those headaches.

A troubling event

Los Feliz favorite Homestate was broken into last night. The unknown assailants smashed the front door in order to make their way inside. Ownership says the restaurant should still be open for business today, and the Highland Park location is up and running as well.

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