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100% POSITIVE REVIEW OF LA CARMINA'S BIZARRE TOKYO THEME RESTAURANTS BOOK IN VANCOUVER SUN NEWSPAPER.


Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants book review, weird Tokyo eateries, maid cafes, guide and review of strange bizarre dining experiences, craziest and most unique restaurants in Tokyo Japan. La Carmina author of J-pop culture fashion books.

The first professional review of my new book, Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants, was published today in the Vancouver Sun… and they like it, they really like it! Lucy Hyslop writes: “Think of it less as a guidebook and more as a ghost train ride where whimsical, madcap and absurd images of some 30 theme restaurants materialize at every turn” … “her tales flow effortlessly, with erudite explanations of what she sees in Tokyo’s many subcultures.”

Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants book review, weird Tokyo eateries, maid cafes, guide and review of strange bizarre dining experiences, craziest and most unique restaurants in Tokyo Japan. La Carmina author of J-pop culture fashion books. Basil Farrow, cutest baby Scottish Fold cat

The article includes a photo of Gothic Carmina and Yukiro Dravarious, glittered up as the Cheshire Cat for our Alice in Wonderland excursion. You can read the book review above, below and here; for more info and to purchase my book, click here. Thank you so much for your support – I make a shout-out to my readers in the Acknowledgements!

Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants book review, weird Tokyo eateries, maid cafes, guide and review of strange bizarre dining experiences, craziest and most unique restaurants in Tokyo Japan. La Carmina author of J-pop culture fashion books. cutest baby Scottish Fold cat, where to buy purebred kittens

Tour the bizarre eateries of Tokyo with La Carmina
The well-educated Vancouver blogger continues to be fascinated by Japanese kitsch
BY LUCY HYSLOP, SPECIAL TO THE SUN | AUGUST 1, 2009

To get a handle on Carmen Yuen, the Vancouver author who blogs as La Carmina, you need only read the acknowledgments in her latest book: “To the fam, for unconditionally supporting my bizarre lifestyles and adventures in book-writing.”

Vancouver Sun readers were first introduced to these when she conjured up a little kawaii (Japanese for “cute”) magic, transforming rice, vegetables and ponzu sauce into a mouse during an interview last year.

Now she further explores her fascination with all things Japanese and offbeat (her first book was called The Cosmos in a Carrot: A Zen Guide to Eating Well) in Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo. Think of it less as a guidebook and more as a ghost train ride where whimsical, madcap and absurd images of some 30 theme restaurants materialize at every turn: Vampire (food in the shape of bats, coffins, crosses), Curl Up (a cat café that broadcasts bird videos), Ninja (a cocktail in a goldfish bowl), Alice in Wonderland (more Tim Burton’s version, with weird morsels shaped like caterpillars) and Wizard of the Opera (ostentatious candelabras).

Continuing her trademark style of never overwriting (or “memory dumping,” in Internet parlance) on her two-million-hits-a-month blog (Lacarmina.com), her accompanying short stories are droll. Some are presented as interviews with the characters she encounters and the people with whom she dines (her Tokyo “spooks”); others are in the form of fictional letters between La Carmina, a Yale Law School graduate, and a disapproving aunt who would rather she followed a more traditional path (she is second-generation Chinese-Canadian) than this curious Japanese-y one.

Her tales flow effortlessly, with erudite explanations of what she sees in Tokyo’s many subcultures. For example, she considers why Christon Café — a Jesus-themed eatery — is not regarded as blasphemous. (Partly because the restaurant is so over-the-top; partly because of the short history of Christianity in Japan.)

Brace yourself for a kitsch fix in Crazy, Wacky — and, for that matter, for her third book, Cute Yummy Time (Perigee), which has already been mentioned in The New Yorker in advance of its October release.

Then, take La Carmina’s advice: Just roll with it.

Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo comes from Mark Batty Publisher (96 pages, $33.50) and is available from Chapters, Amazon and other retailers.

(Lucy Hyslop is a Vancouver freelance writer and an organizer of last weekend’s Port Eliot Literary Festival in Cornwall, England.)

SHARE & COMMENT

55 Comments

  1. Olga
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Haha! Congrats!!

  2. Anime Attic
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on the great review!

  3. Roberta
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey I just read that article what a great review for u. Congrats!

  4. lacarmina
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks!! It's always scary to hear what others think… especially printed in the paper…

  5. Mary Ellen
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! Congrats!

  6. Maleva
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    congratulations for the recognition you deserve

  7. Cheyenna
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Thats awesome. Im so happy for you :3

  8. lacarmina
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    <3 :3

  9. lacarmina
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Aww thanks for your support!!!

  10. Olga
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Haha! Congrats!!

  11. Anime Attic
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on the great review!

    • lacarmina
      Posted August 1, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks!! It’s always scary to hear what others think… especially printed in the paper…

  12. Roberta
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey I just read that article what a great review for u. Congrats!

  13. Thomas
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Excellent News! This reminds me I need to pick up your book lol. Perhaps I can have someone get it as a housewarming gift for when I move to The Bronx (coming later this month)!

  14. Mary Ellen
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! Congrats!

  15. Maleva
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    congratulations for the recognition you deserve

  16. Cheyenna
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Thats awesome. Im so happy for you :3

  17. Thomas
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Excellent News! This reminds me I need to pick up your book lol. Perhaps I can have someone get it as a housewarming gift for when I move to The Bronx (coming later this month)!

  18. seed
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    ohh yey,*applause*
    thats a cute pic of u carmina

  19. Fluffy Conti
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    That's awesome! Congratulations :3

  20. Anonymous
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    ohh yey,*applause*
    thats a cute pic of u carmina

  21. LiTtLe_MiSs_PsYcHo
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    CONGRATS for the review! You are an incredible person!

  22. Flufficonti
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    That's awesome! Congratulations :3

  23. Fluffy Conti
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    That’s awesome! Congratulations :3

  24. LiTtLe_MiSs_PsYcHo
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    CONGRATS for the review! You are an incredible person!

  25. Flufficonti
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    That’s awesome! Congratulations :3

  26. Lola
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Gothic Lolita is so outdated

  27. Lola
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Gothic Lolita is so outdated

  28. Karem
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Great review in the Sun! I'm ordering the book… xx

  29. Josee
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    yay!!!!

  30. WendyB
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Congrats!!

  31. Karem
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Great review in the Sun! I’m ordering the book… xx

  32. Josee
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    yay!!!!

  33. lacarmina
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, babe!

  34. Anonymous
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Congrats!!

  35. yukiro
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    you deserve it darling <3

  36. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    you deserve it darling <3

  37. Melissa
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Congrats!

  38. Thomas
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Excellent News! This reminds me I need to pick up your book lol. Perhaps I can have someone get it as a housewarming gift for when I move to The Bronx (coming later this month)!

  39. Lady Ari
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    so happy for you ^-^

  40. lacarmina
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Ooooh thank you!! You can send the person to this link – http://www.lacarmina.com/tokyorestaurants.php – ;)

    xo

  41. Melissa
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Congrats!

  42. Thomas
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Excellent News! This reminds me I need to pick up your book lol. Perhaps I can have someone get it as a housewarming gift for when I move to The Bronx (coming later this month)!

  43. Lady Ari
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    so happy for you ^-^

  44. pyyymp
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    why must you shame our city and scene even more : /

  45. pyyymp
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    why must you shame our city and scene even more : /

  46. Melissa
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Congrats!

  47. Thomas
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Excellent News! This reminds me I need to pick up your book lol. Perhaps I can have someone get it as a housewarming gift for when I move to The Bronx (coming later this month)!

  48. Lady Ari
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    so happy for you ^-^

  49. lacarmina
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Ooooh thank you!! You can send the person to this link – http://www.lacarmina.com/tokyorestaurants.php – ;)

    xo

  50. pyyymp
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    why must you shame our city and scene even more : /

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