Here's a trivia question--over 10 years ago my partner and I tried a tiny place in Koreatown at 1st and Vermont called C'est Fan Fan (it had previously been Chabuya with chef Elmer Azuma). It was basically a counter place with 12 seats and the chef was Hajime "Jimi" Somebody who had also cooked at the China Grill in New York. The food was fabulous, the best we'd had outside France, quite frankly. We went as often as we could. He then moved to a larger venue on 3rd Street in West Hollywood, under the same name with the same great food, but the place went under fairly quickly and he seemed to disappear.
What happened to this great chef Hajime "Jimi" who would whip the living lobster out onto the counter, sever its spine with a single flourish and sautee the entire thing in a fantastic miso beurre blanc and serve it with baby bok choy?
For that matter, whatever became of Elmer Azuma and his ill fated Truffles? Both of these non-success stories really point up the difficulty of being a great chef in a town that treasures things in a restaurant other than the actual eating experience.
I'm new to Chowhound and have complete confidence that one of you out there can answer my question.
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