CRAZY, WACKY THEME RESTAURANTS: Tokyo!
written and photographed by La Carmina
Mark Batty/Random House - Sept 2009
>> Found in all major bookstores, or click to ORDER on AMAZON.COM!
>> For US BOOK TOUR SIGNING DATES, book reviews and updates, click here.
"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 [...] Brace yourself for a kitsch fix." -The Vancouver Sun
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
Hello, may I take your order... and handcuff you to your cell? Theme restaurants are big in Japan, and no experience is complete without monster attacks, sneaky ninja waiters, or French maids that fall to their knees and offer to clean your ears.
La Carmina takes you on a tour of Tokyo's most outrageous dining establishments, with jaw-dropping photos of the costumes and interiors. Her adventures include a haunted jail, Dracula's lair, Wonderland, Little Hong Kong, and cafes where women are served by waiters dressed as schoolboys. Her advice: stay away from the "God-made-humberger" at the Jesus-themed cafe...
The full-color hardcover is in now out. Click to order!
La Carmina, mistress of the hugely popular Gothic Lolita website, has traveled all over Tokyo to document insanely themed eateries. Traditional dishes like sushi, rice balls and curry get tricked out thanks to theme restaurants inspired by everything from religions to animals. Waitresses dressed as maids slap you when you lose a food version of Russian roulette that concludes with a mouthful of wasabi; a drunken Buddhist monk imparts wisdom; boy-toys dote on female customers; ninjas deliver menus and throw food. With stories as quirky and singular as the restaurants she visits, illustrated with photographs of the food, menus, interiors and waiters, Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo reveals an astonishing and utterly fascinating niche of dining in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.
I’m so proud of this book, and ecstatic that my friends were able to take part in it. For the Vampire Cafe chapter, Count de Sang bared his fangs in front of a shattered mirror.
This is a La Carmina book, through and throughout. For our field trip to the Alice in Wonderland cafe,Yukiro Dravarious transformed into the Cheshire Cat. Each chapter has a lively writeup about our adventures.
The Wizard of the Opera theme restaurant was fun to shoot (you can see more of it in this video).
Dying to see more cute maids, schoolboys, ninjas, monsters, and bartenders in frog suits? Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants can now be ordered from Amazon. Thanks for your support, darkings – I promise to keep sharing my love of J-pop madness with you!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. The Lock-Up
II. Another Time and Place
6. Niagara Curry (Trains)
7. Sumire no Tenmado (Gothic Lolita)
8. Seiryumon (Little Hong Kong)
9. Puroland (Hello Kitty)
10. Alice in Wonderland
11. Phantom of the Opera
12. Valley of the Fairies
13. Princess Heart
IV. The Gods Must Be Angry
15. Miko (Shinto Temple Girls)
V. Maids and Cosplay
16. A Place Called Akihabara
III. Melty Cure
17. Hibari-tei (Drag Maids)
18. Love-All (Suits and Spectacles)
20. Edelstein (Schoolboy)
VI. Tipsy Theme Bars
21. Vowz (Buddhist Priest)
22. Kagaya (Puppets and Costumes)
>> The book is found in all major bookstores, or click to ORDER on AMAZON.COM!
LA CARMINA appeared on Food Network TV show "World's Weirdest Restaurants." She and Naomi Rubin were the Tokyo fixers (translators, location scouts, local production coordinators) for all 14 Japan episodes. Their company, La Carmina & the Pirates, has arranged and presented shows for Discovery TV, Travel Channel, Fuel, National Geographic, NHK. Visit their TV production site for more info and to hire them.
See the Food Network video clips above and here. More photos from the shoot here.
Click to ORDER her Theme Restaurants book
Contact her TV company to learn more & work with us!