Sunday, October 11, 2009

Short takes around town.: another restaurant to open downtown, Claire ties the knot and prayers for a local man at UCLA Medical Center

* ... DOWNTOWN REVIVAL: Saw on Facebook a posting by local artist Barbara Reid heralding the pending opening of a new sushi bar downtown on 19th Street , the same spot where Xander's and Benjamin's restaurants made a go of it. Barbara says the place is being opened by Yuri and Phil Chang, the folks who own Toro Sushi Bar and Grille over at the Marketplace. Toro is a class act and a second location downtown (apparently it will be called simply "O") would be a boost to the emerging downtown art and restaurant scene. Barbara, whose art graces the wall of Toro, said she was treated to some menu ideas for the new restaurant and had this to say:

 "They were all unique and yet displayed (with) what I have come to expect and appreciate as the artistry and flair of the sushi chefs at Toro. Beautiful presentation and wonderful mix of flavors. The offerings included sushi, tempura, stir-fry and salads. The opener was a serving bowl of skewered baby scallops, the tinest I have ever seen, in a spicy/sweet sauce with hints of citrus, tomato, cilantro. It was superb."

 * ... PRAYERS FOR A YOUNG MAN: Please keep Curtis Hartman in your thoughts and prayers. Curtis is the 35-year-old son of Linda Hartman, the executive director of the BARC (Bakersfield Association of Retarded Citizens) Foundation. Curtis just  underwent a double lung transplant at UCLA Medical Center and is recovering, but it will be long climb back. Curtis and Linda have a wide and supportive family. Linda's sister is Nancy Chaffin, Californian vice president of Human Resources and one of the founders of the local campaign to curb drunken driving that was recently recognized with a statewide award.

 * ... CLAIRE TIES THE KNOT: Congratulations to Claire Porter, the always gracious co-owner of Uricchio's Trattoria over off 17th Street, who got married a couple weeks ago to Mark Elieff, a physical therapist at San  Joaquin Hospital. Claire and Mark slipped off  quietly to wed in Las Vegas and then headed to New York for  their honeymoon, where they saw Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium. And speaking of Uricchio's, I was there the other night and had a chance to meet Mike Ariey, a local businessman who did a stint in the National Football League, playing for both the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. He's also a graduate of Garces Memorial High School and San Diego State and represents the long line of local men and women who have represented Bakersfield in professional sports.

 * ... AMGEN TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: It appears that the announcement of the host cities for the 2010 Amgen Tour of California will be made on Thursday, October 22. At least that's the word from Don Cohen, manager of the Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Amgen Tour is the biggest bicycle race in the country (read the previous post here) and would likely feature such heavy hitters as Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, as well as a host of European cycling stars. Bakersfield has made a strong pitch to host one leg of the event, either the ending of a race day or the beginning of one. This would be a huge plus for our town, not only in terms of tourism and revenue but also in terms of putting Bakersfield on the map. Stay tuned.


RestaurantZoom said...

We are excited about the new sushi place. It should be very good based upon the talent of the owners and their proven track record for success. Best of luck:-)

Y. Sakamaki said...

Considering the increasing crowd drawn by all the activities in the "art gallery" district of BFL downtown (19th ~ H St.) and the success of Toro in the Marketplace, the new restaurant "O" should do very well. BTW, The pronunciation of "O" means "king" in Japanese. The "O" shape ("maru" or "wa" in Jpn) signifies "peace" and "harmony." With that kind of name, this restaurant is guaranteed to be a big hit!!!