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Meat Digest : The History of Kobe Beef Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2005 - 05:49:58

Modern Uses of Kobe Beef
By Craig W Walsh
Nov 4, 2004, 16:39

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I signed up for Google Alerts on news articles that mention Kobe beef.  I have been surprised at the number of restaurants that now feature Kobe beef on their menu.  I thought it would be interesting to keep all of these links in one place, so here goes.  Please e-mail me if any of these links are broken, or if there are others you'd like me to include.

Kobe Bryant
By the way, did you know how the famous baketball player Kobe Bryant got his name?  According to  --- "From Kobe beef, of course. His father ate a great steak when he was a professional baller in Japan and, with a pregnant wife at home, inspiration struck."

Megu, 62 Thomas Street, New York City (reviewed by Peter Elliott at "Super-heated rocks can be brought to your table for cooking, their shape and size thought out carefully.

The menu is eight-pages long, excluding an advisory to design your experience the way you might walk through a garden -- "instead of a set path,'" the menu intones, "we offer many temptations, from rustic hearth to lavish luxury."

Add the Charcoal Grill -- this is where the rocks come in -- which lets you cook various kinds of beef with an emphasis on American-raised Kobe beef as well as tuna, lamb or vegetable."

Hal Rubenstein in New York Magazine:  "Each memorable cube of Kobe beef, whether topped by wasabi-soy, Gempei miso, Rikyu sesame, or garlic chips, is a small wonder."

Thanksgiving Dinners reviewed in the San Jose (California) Mercury News:

Theo's. 3101 N. Main St., Soquel. (831) 462-3657 Five-course dinner, plus blini and caviar to start, petits fours and coffee to end. ... Entrees: zinfandel-roasted heritage turkey, American Kobe beef or poached Monterey Bay halibut. $75 per person. 

Of orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa (in the San Francisco Chronicle):

"But when it comes to post-concert parties, none can match the bash Ozawa threw in Tokyo in 1975, when he returned triumphantly to his native Japan leading an American orchestra. After a smashing performance of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, Ozawa treated the musicians to a lavish spread with sushi, Kobe beef and Russian vodka, and hired Japanese magicians to entertain them.

In a Forbes Magazine article on The Most Expensive U.S. Restaurants:

"Charging an outrageous price for a meal is one guaranteed way to garner media attention. When New York's DB Bistro Moderne debuted its foie gras burger in 2001 for $29, it made national headlines and spurned a local burger war. The Old Homestead Steakhouse struck back with a $41 Kobe beef burger, but DB Bistro Moderne eventually won with its $50 burger, made with sirloin steak, a filling of boned short ribs braised in red wine, foie gras, and preserved black truffles. The war spurred even swanky Le Cirque 2000 to unveil its version of a gourmet burger."

The Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale in The Arizona Republic

"The refurbishment includes a refurbished menu. Appetizers include king crab with red onion and grapefruit ($14), Serrano ham with honey, capers and walnuts ($11), Kobe beef short ribs ($12) and scallops with chorizo and tomatillo ($13)."

An article about the Fulton Fish Market in New York City:

"At Bouley, an appetizer of bluefin tuna sashimi with shaved fennel dressed in herb oils and a spicy marinade costs $17 for a 2.5-ounce portion. The restaurant’s entrees run from $34 to $42, not including a 10-ounce serving of Texas Kobe beef that sells for $150."

In the Wharton Journal about the Barclay Prime $100 Philly Cheesesteak:

"You may have caught recent buzz about a '$100 Philly Cheesesteak,' something that sounds like a creative idea from an episode of The Apprentice. Well, it's true. This clever marketing ploy is the creation of Philly's acclaimed restaurateur, Stephen Starr, to promote his newest restaurant, Barclay Prime, on Rittenhouse Square.

"The famous cheesesteak, made with shaved kobe beef, sautéed foie gras, and garnished with shaved truffles and melted Taleggio cheese. Though it costs $100 (the rest of the menu entrees average around $36-$48), the cheesesteak is big enough to serve two people and comes with a small bottle of champagne (which would be about $18 if ordered by the glass). By my back of the napkin calculation, the cheesesteak actually cost about $32 per person."

In the Daily Pennsylvanian: "Despite the hefty price tag, in the three weeks since its debut in early October, it appears that the steak is actually selling, with the restaurant serving up about a half-dozen every night.

"We have been pleasantly surprised by how many cheesesteaks we're actually selling," Starr Restaurant Organization Chief Operating Officer Howard Wein said. "People are intrigued by the concept of a gourmet cheesesteak. A lot of people are actually ordering them because they want to know what makes a cheesesteak worth $100."

From the Miami Herald, in a review of the Americana in the South Beach Ritz Carlton:

"The Kobe beef meatloaf was extraordinarily tender and tasty but seemed a waste. After all, some pampered cow had spent its life like Paris Hilton (over-indulged, sodden and massaged) only to end up essentially a hamburger covered in an oddly sweet cumin-flavored ketchup. It was served alongside a tiny but tasty grilled tenderloin and a pile of rich potato puree all smothered in a luscious Cabernet demi-glace. At $38, I'd just as soon have a filet and more of the decadent potatoes."

And according to  "If you're looking to splurge, there are places for that, too, including The Ritz-Carlton South Beach's Americana, where the likes of Spike Lee and Mariah Carey have been spotted dining on Kobe beef meatloaf and lobster Rockefeller."

(Lucies Farm sells a ready-made Kobe beef meatloaf:  just click here to visit our shopping website.)

A review of Cha Cha's restaurant in Long Beach, California: 

"Kobe beef. 'It comes from Asia,' said Ferrer. It's grilled on the flat grill to whatever level the customer orders and served with mashed potatoes, made from boiled potatoes, heavy cream, garlic, Parmesan cheese and salt, plus grilled mixed vegetables, which currently are green and red bell peppers, asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini and broccoli, all grilled in a sauce made with 19 or 20 different ingredients, including chili powder, crushed pepper, California chilies, chipotle chilies, soy sauce, water and butter."

A review of the Bazzaar Urban Bar in Atlanta, Georgia:

"Menu items of note include the Kobe beef tartare with Asian pear."

From the Arizona Republic, a review of the $60 burger at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas:

"If I had to be locked up for a night in one Las Vegas hotel with a $100 bill and an appetite, I'd want to be on the mall level at Mandalay Bay.

"I was looking to have just a quick dinner there, nothing fancy, so I could get back to losing at the tables. Instead, dinner stretched out over three hours, in three different places. I had the time of my life.

"First stop: a $60 hamburger at the Burger Bar. Chef Hubert Keller made his reputation at San Francisco's fine-dining Fleur de Lys, a branch of which is scheduled to open at Mandalay Bay by the end of the year.  But this handsome, 140-seat Burger Bar, which gleams with polished wood and faux granite tabletops, shows a more casual side.

"Casual, however, does not mean downscale. This isn't McDonald's, unless McDonald's has begun offering an 8-ounce Kobe beef burger, topped with a fat slab of foie gras and a shower of shaved truffles, served with a little boat of Madeira sauce on the side. Sure, the $60 tag is hefty, but this burger tastes like a million bucks.

"The menu calls it the Rossini, named after the 19th-century composer and gourmet. Rossini once said he cried only twice in his life: the day his mother died, and when he dropped a truffle-stuffed chicken into the lake during a boating picnic.

"You may start weeping, too, at the thought of ever having to eat $1.59-a-pound ground chuck again. Yes, the Rossini is lusciously decadent, and expensive. And yes, there is a time, and a place, to exercise budgetary, and gastronomic, self-restraint. This isn't one of them."

According to Arnold Schwarzenegger is off to Japan: 

"A Schwarzenegger adviser who has traveled with him extensively in Japan to promote his films says he genuinely enjoys Japanese culture and soaks it in when he visits.

"He does walk around, does go shopping, really immerses himself. He loves Japanese food -- sushi, Kobe beef," said the adviser, who spoke on the condition she not be named."

From the Whistler (Canada) Question website:

"Guests come from near and far to Whistler’s celebration of food, wine.  Wine improves with age and last week’s Whistler wine and food celebration, Cornucopia, was no exception. . . . The decadence of the Kobe Beef and bone marrow soufflé crowned with prized white alba truffles, priced at a couple thousand dollars a kilogram, were a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many diners."

A review of Tonno Rosso in San Francisco in the SFStation website:

"We really liked the pan-seared Kobe beef top sirloin with garlic and rosemary ($18)."

Investors' Business Daily has simple tips to heat up dinner parties from top chefs:

Michael Mina's Kobe Beef Roulade
"For his restaurant [in San Francisco] Michael Mina designed dinner plates with indentations for six small plates, so each serving offers six complementary servings. "The way I describe the concept is 'simple complexity,'" he said. "It looks really complex when it's put together (but) most of the preparations really only have two or three ingredients."

"For instance, Mina's recipe for slow-roasted Kobe beef roulade includes creamed morel mushrooms on one small plate, and mushroom potato gratin on another. The gratin recipe calls for some of the cream you already made in the creamed-mushroom recipe. In fact, all six of the recipes for the small-plates dishes served with the Kobe beef are comprised of six or fewer ingredients."

From Online Maitre D'  -- the Chicago restaurant guide:

mk, 868 N. Franklin - Open for almost six years, mk has matured nicely. Excellent food coupled with excellent service equals total satisfaction. Try the mussels, Kobe skirt steak, rabbit, chicken, pommes frites, s'more and the daily specials.

From the Clarke Times-Courier in Virginia:

"The Borels purchase their turkeys from Sunnyside Farm in Rappahannock County, Celeste said. The organic farm raises and sells Kobe Angus beef as well as the free-range birds."

From the Miami Herald:

"A year after opening Harrison's as a French restaurant in the old Red Square space, real estate mogul Michel Kadosh has reopened it after a summer hiatus as Harrison's Steakhouse. Chef is Will Biscoe, previously of Bobby Van's Steakhouse in D.C.

"The new menu includes steakhouse standards such as shrimp cocktail ($14), Maryland crab cake with remoulade ($12), Caesar salad ($9), 24-ounce dry-aged porterhouse steak ($42) and double-cut lamb chops ($37) as well as more nouvelle items such as 10-ounce Kobe beef filet mignon ($90) and Chilean sea bass with Asian barbecue sauce ($26)."

A review of the Red Room Cafe in the Pittsburg Tribune-Review:

"The menu is just as alluring as the atmosphere.  Even if beef doesn't top your favorite foods list, try the Seared Kobe Beef Tips ($13) appetizer. These tender tips come from the Japanese breed that's known for its marbling. When dipped in the rich blue cheese port fondue, they melt in your mouth. As one who isn't a huge beef fan, I find myself craving -- and ordering --these little gems each time I return."

The USA Today review of Blowfish, a restaurant in Hollywood:

"Depending on your perspective, Blowfish is either at the very end or the very beginning of Sunset Strip. No matter which direction you're coming from, the hot new restaurant/bar is at the cutting edge of Hollywood's insatiable appetite for all things Asian.

"Complete with its own slightly dangerous subtitle — Sushi to Die For — and a chef who delights in pushing the culinary envelope, Blowfish is luring a see-and-be-seen crowd with its dark, sexy atmosphere and sleek Japanese décor complete with bonsai trees and tables of inlaid bamboo.

"Others eating up the Blowfish experience include Nicolas Cage, JC Chasez,Chris Noth, Kevin Spacey, Denzel Washington, Vin Diesel, Pamela Anderson, Mischa Barton, Neve Campbell and Fred Durst.

"'Blowfish is awesome,' Nicole Richie says. 'The atmosphere is kickin', the music and animé videos rock, and the sushi is to die for.  . . . Favorites created by executive chef Ritsuo Tsuchida include Kobe carpaccio, premium Kobe beef with watercress, apple and spicy ponzu sauce ($21). London-based musician Julian Lennon is a partner in the venture, which also boasts two Bay Area locations."

In a review of Shabu-sen from the San Francisco Examiner.  Shabu-sen apparenlty does not use Kobe beef, and the food critic had these harsh words:

"I have one reservation about the whole experience: the quality of the beef. For the simple shabu-shabu in particular, prime, fat-marbled beef like kobe or wagyu makes the dish. At these prices, no one can complain, but I'd like the option of higher quality beef for which I would expect to pay more."

Just Fabulous, a restaurant near San Diego, serves "Kobe beef burgers with truffle cheese and crispy pommes frites."

For more information about Japan --- particularly Japanese culture and customs --- please visit Japan for the Uninvited.

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