Today’s Food Newsbits: Wendy’s Withdraws From Japan, Andrés’ Bazaar Not Your Usual Eatery

After being in the country for seven years, plans have been implemented to close all Wendy’s locations in Japan. In a market heavily dominated by McDonald’s, Wendy’s opened its first Japanese location in 2002 and had expanded to only 71 eateries, compared with McD’s 3,700 spots. Zensho Co. Ltd., which operates Wendy’s within Japan’s borders, expressed that it was part of their business plan all along, and will close the locations by the end of December.

“We will focus our resources on beef bowl restaurants and others. The closure is part of our business plans,” said a Zensho spokesman, who declined to be named, citing department policy.

Will José Andrés’ The Bazaar in the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills change the face of restaurants as we know them? The Wall Street Journal says it’s quite possible. Open for nearly a year, the restaurant features tapas served molecular gastronomy-style, with liquid nitrogen a popular “cooking” method for many dishes. Much like Andres’ mentor, Ferran Adrià, the dishes are avant-garde in a restaurant that appears simple but elegant – and often packed.

But with a lack of the elegant white tablecloths, a setting focused on the bar area, a location within a hotel, and a palm reader on weekends, is The Bazaar leading the pack or just too out there to survive? The WSJ takes a look at a number of aspects.

Wild Cuisine?

THE FUTURE? Avant-garde cuisine has transformed fine dining in Europe. American avant-garde chefs, from Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea to Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 in New York, are heroes to many young chefs.

OR A FAD? Chefs and food writers have embraced molecular gastronomy as the future, but restaurant history is littered with failed avant-garde restaurants, from Atlanta’s Blais, which lasted six months, to La Broche in Miami, a short-lived outpost of the well-regarded Madrid restaurant.

~Jennifer Heigl

0 replies on “Today’s Food Newsbits: Wendy’s Withdraws From Japan, Andrés’ Bazaar Not Your Usual Eatery”