Monday Trivia, No. 139 [Nob Akimoto wins!]

Avatar

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

Related Post Roulette

29 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Given today, I’d say the percentage of the population that is still-living veterans of WWII.Report

  2. Avatar Don Zeko says:

    Given the other names, my gut reaction is to wonder why Russia isn’t on the list somewhere.Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Nuclear reactors per capita?Report

  4. NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

    Michelin Starred restaurants.Report

    • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

      And more specifically I THINK this is a list of 1-star restaurants.

      If this were listed by 3 star, the European list would actually be: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK.

      1 Star restaurants it goes: France, Italy, Germany, UK, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, etc. etc.

      Outside the European continent it’s Japan, US, Hong Kong/Macau which I assume Burt is calling the PRC.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        This is one of those areas where I have an unjustified amount of national pride in how well Japan does.

        For example, 3 Japanese cities, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, on their own, are either comparable or superior in the number of starred restaurants than the US, Germany, Spain, or Italy.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Actually the list is ranked by total Michelin stars per country, but Nob is close enough to dead center to award him the win.

        Tomorrow’s clue was going to be that “All of China’s come from Hong Kong and Macau, and all of the USA’s come from New York, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area.” I say “Bay Area” because all of them but two are in San Francisco proper and the other two are in the Napa Valley region and are signature restaurants of Thomas Keller, who is a member of one of Michelin’s cadre of “unassailable” celebrity chefs.

        Wednesday’s clue would have been the numerical listings, showing just how far ahead of the rest of the pack France and Japan are. After that I’d have let on it was all about fine dining and it should have been a giveaway.

        WTF is wrong with, say, Chez Panisse? It’s absolutely delightful, a landmark in the modern food movement, associated with an important celebrity chef, and it’s even approximately French, which you’d think would please the tres francophile Michelin “inspectors” bien. But it’s in Berkeley, so it might as well be Arby’s for all Michelin’s star rating inspectors care about it. Michelin used to have guidebooks for Los Angeles and Las Vegas but stopped those in 2008 because these are apparently culinary wastelands.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        Honestly I don’t know on some of their rankings. I do know that a fair number of restauranteurs in Japan didn’t WANT to have stars attached to their restaurants because having that sort of publicity would pretty much overwhelm their ability to provide good service as they get swamped by people.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        And sorry for ruining your quiz, it was a good one.

        Honestly though, I think the age of Yelp is going to eventually bring down the professional food critic, or at least force them to raise their game a bit.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Dude, you didn’t ruin it, you won it! I had just planned out my clues all in advance like a good trivia master ought to.

        Good job!Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        I think this should’ve come with an offer to treat the winner to dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant in the California area…though admittedly, SoCal is basically a barren culinary wasteland, I’m told.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        If there’s ever a Tokyo Leaguefest, I’ll take you to some of the places that refused to take a Michelin star. There’s 2 restaurants that told Michelin to go Fish themselves when they were offered 3 stars, and a number of others who refused 1-2 star ratings. All of them are exceptional, even without those froggy stars.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Are there certain types of foreign foods that are particularly popular in Japan (I mean, not McDonalds, but the type Michelin might try futilely to offer a star to)?Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        The two 3 star rejections were from Japanese restaurants from what I recall. Kyoaji in Tokyo was the one that stood out to me.

        As for the rest, they rated mostly japanese and french restaurants, which might be part of it. Remember, though that Tokyo has something like 150,000 restaurants, versus 25,000 in NYC, or 15,000 in Paris.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        @burt-likko

        Chez Panisse (which I ate at once) is probably too philosophical for Michlin. They were really on the avant-garde of localism and seasonalism. In short, they are too hippie.

        I find it interesting that the U.S. only as starred restaurants in NYC, Chicago, and SF. LA seems like more of a major city than Chicago. Portland and Seattle are leading food cities.

        Good restaurants exist everywhere.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        @nobakimoto

        I’m a huge fan of a lot of Japanese clothing lines especially those that focus on denim and inspiration from classic American workwear like 45 rpm, Kapital, Engineered Garments, Nephretes, Foot the Coacher, Orslow, and others.

        Yeah I’m one of those guys….Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Nob,

        But are there popular decent quality restaurants offering cuisines from around the globe? Brazilian steakhouses? German food? Italian? Indian? Thai? etc.?Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        In Tokyo, it’s pretty much harder to find types of cuisine that AREN’T available than finding a good restaurant that has a type of cuisine you want to name.

        Brazilian steakhouses? Are you kidding? Of course.

        German? You can find varieties of German cuisine from across the rather diverse offerings of Germany, along with Swiss German and Austrian restaurants.

        Italian? Yes. Or rather “where in Italy are you looking to eat from?”

        Indian….yes.

        Thai? Yes.

        Look, there’s “foodie” cities, and then there’s Tokyo. What Paris is to Podunk Iowa, Tokyo is to the rest of the world. There, I said it.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Couldn’t they just raise their prices to keep customers to a manageable level? It seems like turning down Michelin Stars would be like walking away from a pretty big pile of money.

        Unless it was an extra-clever PR move, where they figure that the notoriety of having turned them down is worth even more.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Speaking of Thai food and San Francisco, anyone in that area should go have dinner at Siam Bay in Oakland sometime. Far and away the best Thai curry I’ve ever had.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        I find it interesting that the U.S. only as starred restaurants in NYC, Chicago, and SF. LA seems like more of a major city than Chicago. Portland and Seattle are leading food cities.

        I was curious about this, too (and also the absence of Singapore and Canada). Turns out that it’s because those are the only American cities for which Michelin publishes guides. They used to publish guides for major cities with Spanish articles in their names (LA and Vegas), but they were discontinued in 2008.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        Nob,

        Thanks. That’s awesome.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        Couldn’t they just raise their prices to keep customers to a manageable level? It seems like turning down Michelin Stars would be like walking away from a pretty big pile of money.

        In the case at least of Kyoaji, I believe Mr. Nishi’s philosophy is that he’s not in this for the money and he wants to keep catering to customers who appreciate his work, not ones who have the most money to throw around. It works for him.

        In some other cases, the Japanese chefs were showing a bit of cultural chauvinism, claiming that Frenchmen couldn’t understand true Japanese cuisine and they aren’t fit to judge.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I just learned that the Michelin restaurant rating group and the Michele tire company are one in the same.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *