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Bad Experience at Shibucho in Los Angeles. Are we the only ones?


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Bad Experience at Shibucho in Los Angeles. Are we the only ones?

wasabica | Dec 26, 2008 06:10 PM

I have always spoken highly of this restaurant, been going for a few years, now. We have had a few problems off and on, but have always decided to overlook it. But I think they pushed us too far.

We were there Xmas eve, sat at the bar. We brought expensive bottle of wine and shared a generous amount of it with Shige as usual. The meal was great, although the Toro was just fair this time. We were not that hungry and stopped him a little early, and skipped his dessert completely. Being Xmas eve, he was making special dishes for others, I think they might have been his friends or special regulars.

We only got standard menu items, no special dishes. When we got the bill, it was $295 before tip. It was not itemized in any way, just said Sushi - $295. It was disconcerting, but we just paid and quietly left.

We went back to about a half dozen Shibucho receipts over the last year or so and found that we were charged 25-50% more than all our other visits, and again, we definitely had less food this time. And note it was proportionally less in terms of the most vs least expensive items, so it wasn't like we just went to town on toro, uni, and marugai.

Someone talked us into calling and asking about it. We called today and asked if perhaps a mistake was made, as Shige never wrote down what he gave us, and the other people at the bar had much more elaborate dinners than us that night. We were told it was probably the $25 corkage, and that his prices have been going up. Well, we never have been charged corkage before. I asked how much their corkage was once a long time ago and was told they did not charge. And you would think that it would have been listed separately on the bill. Also, the glass we gave Shige was easily worth that amount.

We asked how much his Omakase costs now and they said between $100 and $150 a person depending on what is served. This sounds extremely arbitrary to me, and it implies we got the top of the line quality/quantity, which we really did not have.

Has anyone else been to Shibucho recently and had a similar experience? Is anyone finding that other high-end sushi bars have been raising prices?

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