HORSE’S MOUTH: $35 for an Ounce of Beef!

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By GEORGE YOSHINAGA

With the presidential election only a little more than a month ahead, I mentioned that I have received a lot of email both pro and con on each candidate, but as I also mentioned, unless the sender wants to be identified and not remain anonymous, I have tossed those who didn’t want  their names in print into the “round file.”

There was one email that was sent to me but also to Editor Gwen, so I called her to ask if The Rafu was going to publish the contents of the email and she said, “No,” because the information couldn’t be verified.

It was supposed to be comments made by candidate Romney at one of his campaign stops in Jacksonville, Fla., and he was alleged to have included some remarks about the evacuation of Japanese Americans during World War II.

If he really made the comments he is alleged to have been made, you can bet even though I am a Republican, he lost one vote.

No, I won’t switch my vote for Obama.

Of course, as I stated, one vote for or against Romney won’t make any difference in the outcome of the election.

It’s just one voter who is upset by Romney’s comment on the evacuation, if the article is true.

Yeah, maybe it’s just another typical example of politics or maybe Romney doesn’t really know or understand the evacuation of all Japanese Americans shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Speaking of Pearl Harbor, my wife and I had lunch with an old friend, Estella Uchizono, who lives in the Little Tokyo Plaza in J-Town.

We went up to her apartment upon our arrival and sat and chatted for a while before we went to the restaurant for lunch.

One of the things I saw in her apartment was a copy of the Nov. 30, 1941 edition of The Honolulu Advertiser. You read it right. Nov. 30, 1941, a week before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The headline atop the first page read: “Japanese a Threat to Attack Hawaii Next Week.”

That’s right. The newspaper warned Hawaii that the Japanese were planning to attack Pearl Harbor just one week before the naval base was bombed.

So where does that put the so-called “sneak attack”?

Perhaps it is true that President Franklin Roosevelt was aware of Japan’s plan to attack Pearl Harbor but did nothing to avert is so that the U.S. would enter World War II.

And 120,000 JAs had to suffer the consequences.

Oh well, let’s continue with a piece on Japan. In this case, Kobe beef.

How many of you who visit Vegas have ever dined on Kobe beef?

A restaurant in Vegas called the Social House began serving Kobe beef imported directly from Japan.

Two years ago, they put a ban on Kobe beef from Japan because of hoof-and-mouth disease, but the premium beef was approved for import on Sept. 14.

Social House restaurant is located in Crystals at City Center.

Of course, one might have to be a “high roller” in the casino to even consider ordering Kobe beef.

The reason is simple. A one-ounce cut of Kobe beef costs $35 and the regular cut is not less than two ounces, which means it will cost $70 for the smallest piece of Kobe beef sold.

Most dinner orders are 4-ounce cuts, which would come to $140.

Where’s the closest McDonald’s? Heh, heh.

Most who have ordered Kobe beef say that the meat is so well-marbled and appears lighter in color than ordinary steak and the marbling adds both flavor and tenderness.

David Hashimoto, executive chef at the restaurant, said, “Kobe beef is the Rolls Royce of steaks, thus very expensive.”

As the Japanese might add, “Naru-hodo.”

At any rate, many restaurants in Vegas are waiting their shipment from Japan.

So some of you JAs who hit a jackpot in the casino might try to find a place that is serving Kobe beef. Good luck.

In the meanwhile, I’ll probably run into you at the Market Street Cafe at the California Hotel.

With all the furor over the handling of the management of the JACCC in Little Tokyo, maybe those responsible for the facility might jump in a car and head out to Gardena to see how the Japanese Cultural Institute (JCI) operates its center so efficiently.

The Gardena Valley JCI is a smooth-operating facility and since its establishment has had no problems such as the one that hit the JACCC in recent weeks.

I’m kind of surprised by the reaction to the JACCC situation, judging by the number of “letters to the editor” received at The Rafu.

Most seem to want to kick out those who are in charge of operations at the Little Tokyo facility, which means, of course, that the community is interested in the management of the facility.

Well, I hope everything works out okay.

We sure don’t need a public-funded facility in J-Town to be the center of such a controversy.

It might lead to those who support the facility through financial aid to cut their ties with JACCC, and we sure don’t need that.

As I sat at the keyboard pounding out today’s column, my son stuck his head in the doorway and said, “We still have a chance.”

He was referring to the Los Angeles Dodgers winning a game in San Diego and keeping their slim chance of gaining a spot in the post-season play-offs.

Needless to say, I told him, “Yeah, they have as much chance as me winning the California lottery.”

Well, the lottery for Wednesday will return $28 million to the winner, so my chances of winning are about 28 million to one.

Just to make Editor Gwen and typist Maggie feel good, if I do win, pack your bags and be prepared to take a two-week vacation in Tokyo.

That’s Tokyo, Japan, not Little Tokyo.

(Maggie’s comment:  WOW! You’re on my prayer list now, Mr. Y.)

Speaking of big bucks, Dole Food Co., based in Westlake Village, said it is selling its worldwide packaged food business to a Tokyo-based trading company, Itochu Corp., for $1.685 billion in cash.

Itochu is a Dole customer. The sale will require the approval of stockholders.

Dole will use the sale for debt reduction but will retain its North American operation.

Over $1.6 billion and I’m excited about maybe winning the California lottery, which is now at a “lousy” $28 million?

Dream on….

I’ve been playing the lottery since its beginning, and the biggest prize I ever won was $30. Readers can figure out how much I lost in 20 years.

So if any of you see me with a plastic cup standing by the off-ramp of the 405 Freeway, I won’t refuse a 25-cent donation.

I know that unless you read the fine type at the conclusion of the LPGA tournament, you have never heard of Mina Harigae.

If I’m not mistaken, she is a young golfer from Monterey, where her parents own and operate a sushi restaurant.

She’s never come close to winning a LPGA championship tournament but always qualifies for the finals, which means she always wins money.

In fact, she always finishes ahead of more well-known pros and she earns more money that most who work 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.

An example?

In last week’s tournament she finished in about 15th place and she went home with $15,000-plus.

Just thought I’d toss this in because she doesn’t get too much recognition in the media and The Rafu is in the media field.

Speaking of the media, since I’m interested in the sport of boxing, I always look at the small print about the sport.

This past Monday, I was looking at the boxing schedule and came across a fight being held at the Carson sports facility that featured a Japanese fighter in one of the main events.

I guess that goes to show you how much things have changed since I was involved in the sport.

In the old days, when a Japanese boxer appeared locally, the promoter made efforts to attract the local JA community.

Heck, there was once a match involving a Japanese fighter that was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

I don’t recall any other boxing match being held at the famed football stadium.

I guess these days the promoter banks on pay-TV putting matches on air so they don’t go out of their way to “sell” ethnic communities when fighters from places like Japan, Korea and other Asian countries appear in the U.S.

When fighters appear on pay-TV, they make a heck of a lot more money than getting a percentage of the fans who pay to see the fights live at areas located in such places as Las Vegas.

People like myself end up writing a newspaper column rather than being involved in boxing promotions.

Well, I touched on the “Japanese” in an earlier portion of today’s column when chatting about Kobe beef, so let me chat about another “beef,” which is what the Chinese tourists bring to Las Vegas to play their favorite games.

Many of the casinos now have gambling sites aimed at attracting high rollers from China, and why not?

Chinese “whales” (name given to high rollers) are known to bet anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 on a single hand.

In fact, some sites are opened to a single player who is a “whale.”

Since the number of visitors from China and Hong Kong touched 200,000 last year, catering to just one player is quite remarkable.

And I moan and groan about losing $20 in a quarter slot machine?

Shame on me.

I’m not sure if I ran the following before, but if I did, Maggie will call me and then toss it into her wastebasket. It goes:

My wife had been after me for several weeks to paint the seat on our toilet. Finally, I got around to doing it while she was out shopping. After I finished, I left to take care of another matter before she returned.

She came in and undressed to take a shower. Before getting in the shower, she sat on the toilet. As she tried to stand up, she realized that the not-quite-dry paint had glued her to the toilet seat.

About that time I got home and realized her predicament.

We both pushed and pulled without any success whatsoever. Finally, in desperation I undid the toilet seat bolts.

She wrapped herself in a sheet and I drove her to the hospital emergency room.

The ER doctor got her into a position where he could study how to free her.

She tried to lighten the embarrassment of it all by saying, “Well, doctor, I’ll bet you’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The doctor replied, “Actually, I’ve seen lots of them. I just never saw one mounted and framed.”

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via e-mail at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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