Sherman Way

Infotainment for the San Fernando Valley and beyond

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Whither "lesbian sushi"?

Driving home along Santa Monica Boulevard last night, I noticed that the neon green sign for Murakami, the famed sushi bar known around these parts as "lesbian sushi" for the loyalty of its Sapphic clientele, had a new name and a new white neon sign. In an intensive investigation (I looked up Murakami's Citysearch profile), I found this melancholy review:

As of late November, 2005, Murakami has been sold to a new chef/owner. A recent visit demonstrated that all is not well at our favorite Japanese sushi shop. The old Murakami ambience is completely gone. The entire wait staff is new, and very shaky. The service has now slowed down by a factor of two. It may be my imagination, but the fish itself--possibly the single aspect the chef/owner is most responsible for, on his daily buying trips--is of lower quality. The lovely flower arrangements the previous owner's wife did are gone--replaced by a cold, barren wall.

At a minimum, I would wait until things settle down before trying Murakami again, but I also think there's a reasonable chance that it will turn into just another random sushi place, hardly worth the trip.

Overall user rating: Below Average

It's a shame that "lesbian sushi" had to go out like that, but even more of a shame that I won't be able to say that I'm going to "lesbian sushi" anymore. Best of luck to the previous owner, and may "lesbian sushi" rise again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Go see Cal

Losanjealous has a great post today about the legendary Los Angeles plumber Jack Stephan, whose ubiquitous "Stephan! Jack Stephan!" is embedded in the minds of any Angeleno who watched television from 1975 to 1995. It got me thinking about those other craptastic local commercials that only viewers in the greater Los Angeles DMA would recognize. While New Yorkers had Crazy Eddie, we had Cal Worthington, whose commercials are enshrined in the appropriately titled My Dog Spot, and the Mervyn's ads which ended with the shopaholic saying with bated breath "Open! Open! Open!".

Any fond memories of commercials you reference that only garner blank stares from your friends that grew up back east?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

We Are Scientists is not your shrink

We Are Scientists is a trio out of Brooklyn via the Claremont Colleges that is poised to grab you by the scruff of your neck and not let go. Their excellent debut album, "With Love and Squalor", one of my picks for the best of 2005, hit stateside stores this past Tuesday. With a price of $9.99 at Tower Records, what's not to love? Hell, I almost coughed up £10.99 for the album whilst in the United Kingdom (the album was released there in October.) Add it up, kids.

As if you needed further convincing, check out the video above for "The Great Escape", directed by Akiva Schaffer of the SNL-saving troupe The Lonely Island.

The union of these two talented trios is better than a trip to the land of chocolate.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Do Do Do Do

In this week's L.A./Valley CityBeat, Natalie Nichols writes a great article on the complex history behind the classic "Bahna Bahna" earworm. Recently featured in an ad for Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, it is familiar to most from The Muppet Show, where a hipster Muppet sang the shit out of it. Little did we know that it originally was featured in an 1960s Italian porn film. Thanks Natalie!

And now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, the Muppet Show skit that started the craze:

Thursday, January 05, 2006

...but where's Kathy Kronenberger?

For you lucky folks whose high schools whored themselves out for free A/V equipment, you may have fond memories of Channel One, the controversial 12-minute news show that beamed a jarring mix of hard hitting news, Skittles commercials, and Army recruiting spots to captive students nationwide. While Channel One is still going strong, I watched back when a brown-haired Anderson Cooper filed reports in a puffy orange vest from Bosnia and Lisa Ling was interviewing members of Toni! Tony! Tone!. It's fun to see the likes of Cooper, Ling, as well as Maria Menounos, Kris Osborn and Serena Altschul, move on to bigger and better things. Anderson as the 21st century Walter Cronkite....who would've thunk?

For those of you in my demo who are curious to see whatever became of the other less successful anchors, look no further than Al Gore's nascent Gen-Y news station Current TV, which itself is a weird hybrid of Channel One and video podcasts, complete with a progress bar for viewers with even shorter attention spans than I have. Old-school Channel One anchors Justin Gunn, Rawley Valverde, and Gotham Chopra are hosts, and they even gave a job to Lisa Ling's sister!

Watching Current TV, I can almost taste the rainbow once more.

Not the best way to start the year

First the Rose Bowl, now this:

la.foodblogging reports that Krispy Kreme has terminated its agreement with its Southern California franchisee. It just seems like yesterday that Angelenos were driving out to the far reaches of the county to savor the crack-laced goodness of the hot Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, but if an agreement isn't reached in 30 days, local stores will be forced to remove all Krispy Kreme signage, and, I fear, the famed doughnut theaters (pictured above). While losangelous notes that it's practically an LA tradition just to recyle old signange or replace one letter in the store name when things like this occur (see: Mashti Malone's, Vons/Jons/Rons...yes Rons! I actually saw one once), let's hope it doesn't come to that.

In other news, the DWP pays to drink bottled water. Oof.

UPDATE (1/6/06): Southern Californians dodged a bullet. L.A. Observed reports that a deal has been struck between Krispy Kreme Korporate and the local licensee. The crazy doughnut runs would've been more than the city could bear.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hot new jam of 2006

Happy new year from your friends at Sherman Way.