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カリフォルニア ニューポートビーチ辺りの日本食事情

しまった!

こんなチラシが廻ってきたのです。

Hokkaido(北海道)、Sushi & Sea Food Buffet、All You Can Eat, Grand Opening!

寿司とシーフードの食べ放題レストランがオレンジカウンティー、ニューポートビーチにグランドオープニング!プライスは$19.99、安い!チラシには美味しそうなカニ、生牡蠣、ロブスターが・・・。

とにかく行ってみようという事になり、MOONEYES USAMakotoピンストライパー Wildman石井の3人で現地に着いてみると、表から見た印象で僕が感じたのは「これは日本人経営では無いな」。Makotoも同感、と入り口で中を覗き、調度品等をチェックするとその確率はますます自分達の中で高まり、Makotoと2人で帰りかけると何とWildmanが「入ってみましょうよ」って。彼には僕らが何を心配しているのか良く分かっていないらしい。

結局彼に背中を押され中に入ると、予想は90%的中「うーん」。テーブルの配列を見て「これはチャイニーズだ」95%へアップ。奥に立っているシェフの日章旗の鉢巻と、注文を取りに来た人で98%、もはや限りなく100%に。

料理を取りに行ってみると確かにシーフード、生のカニやエビ、寿司、刺身もあるけれど、その他にエビのチリソースとかカニのフライ、チャーハン、焼きそばなど。早い話が想像通りのチャイニーズ レストラン、僕らの予想は外れる期待を裏切ることなく100%的中。日本の名前で、日本人以外がやっていて、日本食も扱っているチャイニーズでした。Wildmanはカニが美味しく、たいそう喜んでいました。寿司は???刺身????デザートはピーチが酸っぱかったようですが、それ以外はSo So、中華は美味しかったです。また中華のバフェに行きますね。チャイニーズのバフェに寿司や刺身があると思えば十分ですが、「北海道」ではね。

最近この手の名前が多いのですが、なんとなく行ってしまって「しまった!」って経験が多いのです。この2日後にはコスタメサで昔からある日本食レストランへ行ったら、オーナーが代わり、コリアンメニュー中心に日本食を提供する店に変わっていました。ならば、と絶対に自信がある100%日本食レストランへ移ったら、お客様の半分は他の国の人達でした。この辺では日本人が減り、日本人相手のレストランは大変なのかなって感じました。

日本からUSAへ移民する人が減っているそうですから、こういう商売にも影響が出てくるのでしょうか?そう言えば近くのミツワマーケット(旧ヤオハン)も購買対象を日本人以外にも対象を増やしたら商売が盛りかえしたって聞いたな。

Japanese Restaurant Situation in Newport Beach, California
Whoops!

The flyer came in.

The restaurant called Hokkaido(North end of Japan), Sushi & Sea Food Buffet, All You Can Eat, Grand Opening!

Grand Open of Sushi and Seafood “All you can eat” restaurant in Orange County, Newport Beach. Price is $19.99, which is not bad for Lobster, crab and other raw seafood. The flyer had picture of some delicious looking crab, fresh oyster and lobster.

We should go anyway, so I went with Makoto of MOONEYES USA and Pinstriper Wildman Ishii. When we got there, I noticed from outside it wasn’t Japanese restaurant run by Japanese. Makoto felt same way. We opened the door and checked out furniture inside and became more sure that it wasn’t Japanese restaurant. When I and Makoto were turning to leave the restaurant, Wildman Ishii said “lets go in”.

He didn’t know what we were worried about and with his push from behind we stepped in side. My guess was about 90% right. Then looking at arrangement of table my guess was about 95% right “This is Chinese restaurant”. The chef at back with Japanese flag printed bandana around head and by looking at waiter who came to take order, my guess was 98% almost 100%.

Dishes were seafood, fresh crab, lobster, Sushi, Sashimi and Chinese dishes like shrimp with chili sauce, flied crab meet, flied rice, fried noodle and more Chinese taste foods. As we guessed and we were 100% right, it was Chinese restaurant with some Japanese dishes and using name of Japanese.
Wildman was enjoying crab meat. Sushi and Sashimi for me were??? Dishes were so so, Chinese dishes were delicious. Sushi and Sashimi again??? Then we would go to Chinese Buffet.

Now these Japanese name restaurant is increasing but going with out knowing much and many times end up saying “Whoops!”. Two days after that we went to old Japanese restaurant in Costa Mesa and found menu has changed to Korean BBQ menu with some Japanese dishes as owner changed. So we went to real Japanese restaurant and found half of customer were not Japanese. The Japanese resident has decreased in this area and seems difficult to run restaurant for
strictly Japanese customer.

Japanese moving to USA has decreased so may be business for Japanese are getting effect too. By the way, I heard that Mitsuwa Market (originally Yaohan) in Costa Mesa has increased its purchaser target from just Japanese to include other and business had returned its growth.

Why am I going to Japanese restraint while I’m staying USA? Answer is simple, USA people come to Japan and looking for American foods.

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