Ultra-Secret Japanese Restaurant?

Hmmm… moving onto less-controversial subjects, at least for now… does anyone know if this Japanese restaurant still exists (thanks to Jesse for the tip):

I called the number listed for Teriyaki House on Pico, and got a Japanese voicemail asking me to leave my name and number. I left a message in Japanese asking for restaurant hours. 30 minutes later I get a call back from a very nervous sounding Japanese man. He was very polite (albeit nervous!) and asked where I got the number from, and I told him I get it from the yellow pages. He then asked, “which restaurant?” and I said “Teriyaki House” to which he replied “oh, this is not that.” So I said “you’re on Pico, right?” and he said “yes.” Anyway, he went on to explain that I cannot go unless a current customer referred me, and that I cannot make a reservation or even pop in for lunch. It’s omakase only, $100 per person. He apologized but seemed almost shaken that I’d found the number, when it is clearly in the yahoo yellowpages!?

This indeed is a secret place which seems to be frequented by Japanese entertainment types, and specializes in beef dishes (think Kobe). He’s heard that it is excellent and totally worth the price.

More after the jump.
Continue reading Ultra-Secret Japanese Restaurant?

Orange vests want to know

I know, it’s the ubiquitous traffic post. I thought that I would get it out of the way early, and… there’s a twist. CalTrans, our roadside lane closing, trash picking up, sig alert friends want to know YOUR opinion on all things roadside maintenance. So they’ve created this handy dandy survey. Personally, I’m stuffing the ballot box for roadside latte bars on the 10. So if you have a favorite freeway, want to see some improvement, and online surveys give you a warm cozy feeling – – go nuts. How often have you been asked, “Please rank the aspects of pavement that are most important to you?” I mean come on, how often?

Will told me to ride my bike, Wil said I should work from home, and Xeni has that private helicopter and all. What do you think? I think that CalTrans actually does a pretty good job, or maybe my expectations are just REALLY low. There’s really no easy solution to too many cars in too little space.

Back in the City!

After a longer than expected hiatus from my blogging duties, due to school and travel (Turkey Day), I’ve decided to come back with a top ten things I love about LA list. Feel free to add any you see fit…

1. The Weather (yeah, I heard you all complaining, but today I wore a teeshirt for the better part of the day, and if one of you can tell me where else in the continental US you can do that right now (including Northern California, where I just was… brrr!) I’ll be amazed.
2. The People. The loud, obnoxious drivers, the ridiculous hipsters, the musicians, the dorks, the hipsters in denial (myself included), and everyone else in LA. We are what makes LA so great. I love you!
3. The music scene. Where else can you see Le Tigre one night and The Blues Explosion the next? Or Dengue Fever, or Los Abandoned, or any of the many other local and underground kick ass bands we get to see here. It’s fing great!
4. The Food. I could get more specific, but there are so many great restaurants out there. Real Food Daily (thanks for the recomendation Sean and Caryn), R-23, Paru’s, even Astro Burger has it’s place among the greats.
5. Jumbo’s Clown Room. Okay, okay, I know it’s a strip club, and as a woman, usually I’m not really down with that. But on just about any given night that you walk into that place the women outnumber the men 3:1. So it’s really a fun, safe place to get crazy. And the girls will kick your ass if you don’t give up the cash, so in a way it’s woman enpowerment, right???
6. Runyon Canyon. I have three dogs and live in an apartment, so every Sunday I thank LA for the dog park at Runyon. I can walk there from my house, and by the time we get the dogs off the leash they’re already tired. If it weren’t for this park (where you can take you dogs off the leash) dog owners in LA would be much worse off.
7. The New Beverly Cinema. Bored? Broke? Six bucks (five if you’re a student) will get you two movies any night of the week. You rock, New Beverly.
8. The Egyptian Theater. I saw Udo Kier speak there. Enough said.
9. The art scene. It’s great! Thanks to art.blogging.la for letting us all know what to look for!
10. The traffic. Uh, wait, no. Nevermind.
p.s. sorry I didn’t link everything. It was just too tedious…

What’d I Miss?

Thanks to my I-5 versus 101 schedule, I drove back into town on what is probably the least inspiring corridor of Los Angeles entry from the north (5 º hours from San Jose though…not bad). Burbank and the backside of Griffith Park lack the personality of the Getty from the 405 or Universal and Capitol Records on the 101. But it’s such a beautiful LA day, despite the blandness of the route, the homecoming carried a little of that spark I felt on my first Hollywood vacation from the cold climes of Alaska. With the sun shining, the ubiquitous palm trees, and the slightly-less-than-average (or have I just gotten used to it) smog clouding the horizon, LA still has the power to make me feel like Iím on vacation. It’s nice to be back.

My contribution to blogging.la is off to an inauspicious start after spending the first three days of my eligibility in what might be called, considering recent posts, the lion’s den. I got my acceptance letter in Santa Cruz (heresy!), a bastion of anti-LA ethic. But the gripe up north isnít about the amenities; itís about the self-absorbed culture! And I donít think its three days of brainwashing that persuade me to agree.

How provocative. And in my first post.

That said, thanks to Sean and the rest of b.la for the chance to participate. It’s only a matter of time before something inspires a rant that would previously have been bottled-up in preparation for some rage transference to my friends and family. Can’t wait to ventilate.

The Heat is On

A follow up on my earlier “it’s so cold here” post:

I love L.A! The Gas Company sent a cute, young guy who majored in film at CalArts to light the pilot light in my heater. It seems that lighting pilot lights is currently paying more than his animation work. Luckily, I have a really junky old heater so it took a long time for him to get it working.

If only I had bothered to put on some clean clothes, or put in my contacts, or brush my hair this morning. Argh. The next time a utility needs repairing, I’ll be sure to look my best before I answer the door.

Xeni on NPR: gadgets for angelenos

On the NPR program “Day to Day” this week, I hit the streets with Alex Chadwick to try out a few new gadgets, including two which seem particularly fitting for LA residents:

* A PDA-like traffic reporting device called TrafficGauge ($80, thanks to Mike Outmesguine for turning me on to this one!). Only available for two cities right now, and LA’s one of them.
* A kick-ass handheld theater called the DVXPod (shown here) that plays music, movies and television shows ($599)

Link to archived audio for this program, Link to NPR Day to Day home.