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Fusion in More Ways than One

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, June 11, 2007, at 07:08PM
IMGP4265 Ed Fuentes

The Wilshire Grand Hotel is currently holding a lunch buffet called the Wilshire Grand Buffet: Summer Fusion, promoted as "a melding of 2 empires," and today the Hotel invited us to come check it out. Eric and I enjoyed some food and class, while Dave had to do "work" instead.

The event brings together food from the hotel's Kyoto Japanese Cuisine and Cardini Ristorante. This buffet's got a Downtown east-west twist as well, with art on the "westside" hotel's walls provided via the Downtown Artist Project.

[Editor's note: The restaurant is not as yellow as Ed's impressionistic shot might make it appear.]

First and foremost: when talking about a buffet, you have to start with the food. We pored over what items to choose from an extensive selection that included hand-tossed Caesar Salad, chicken salad touched with apples, herb crusted NY strip steak carved in front of you or a variety of tempura. You can also choose from pastas made to order, or a sushi station with a full menu.

The walls of the Kyoto restaurant are where the fusion of workers and art takes place. Sometimes it takes a resident who experiences the City after 7pm to understand how to make a difference. Wilshire Grand marketing maven Marc Loge, himself a resident of the Historic Core, has brought the two communities together by offering the Downtown Artist Project and curator/artist Debi Cable the walls of Kyoto as an art space. The result is a win for both sides.

This lunchtime "art walk" is currently showing works from C Lynn Tegenfelot, Scott Miller, Jason Marwick and Cable herself. Also, Mark Walsh custom fabricated metal works commissioned specifically for Kyoto. The exhibited works are for sale, and as a whole stand-out without overpowering the Japanese aesthetic of the restaurant.

The experiment has the hotel receiving compliments from guests who feel they are greeted by work that represents Los Angeles, and introduces a Downtown identity not often seen near Wilshire. For the artists, it gives added exposure to those visiting or working downtown who may not venture beyond the eastside/westside border junction of Pershing Square.

It's such a simple idea that took some work to put together, and reminds us how insulated the two sides of Downtown are from each other.

Wilshire Grand Hotel

Summer Fusion Lunch Buffet
For the month of June only
Monday-Friday 11:30 am - 2 pm

Downtown Arts Project Art Exhibition Kyoto Restaurant Curated by Debi Cable


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