Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shabu Day One - Arrested Development - Part Two of Two

If you have just joined us, please read the previous post to catch up. Previous as in the next one, errr..the one below this one. OK, yeah.

So where was I? Oh yeah, my exploding thumb, which after a little over two weeks has just about healed. So after we washed up my thumb, we finished off the rest of the glass, which pretty much looked like this (feel free to click on any of the pictures to be redirected to the Kodak Gallery album which pretty much sums up these two posts with pictures and captions):

Ash and Ryan Getting Ready to Chuck Some Heat
After spending some time marvelling over our glass masterpiece, Dan arrived on the scene, soon followed by Charles and Davis - just in time to start helping us rip out the carpeting. We spend some time cutting the carpet with razor blades and then attempted to pull it out by hand. The carpet barely budges, so we all dig in and really give it a pull and realize that whoever laid down the carpet before, decided to get a little happy with the glue. After five (5) minutes of tugging at the nasty woven mess, we manage to pull back about four (4) feet to reveal *drum roll* LINOLEUM. Ugh...tile after tile after tile of linoleum. They never bothered to tear it all out, instead, the carpet was glued right on top of it. In a nutshell, we were getting nowhere trying to get all of the carpet off. *DING* Ash comes up with the bright idea of yanking it all out with the carpet tied to the hitch of his Jeep. We swing open the double doors and (**warning, there is some minor cursing in this video**):

video

Before we really get going on the carpet, Ash, Ryan, Dan, and I decide to climb up to the roof to check out the air-conditioning unit and to check for any leaks. We swing around the back of the building and find out that none of the keys we were given opens the lock to gain access to the ladder which leads to our roof. Ash and Ryan, being the climbers they are, survey the situation and within thirty (30) seconds Ash is already on the roof with Ryan right behind him. Dan and I shrugged our shoulders and followed suit.

We pop on the roof and survey out our spot. Everything looks good so we start goofing around on the roof. Ryan and I end up messing around with some of the hardware up there:

Antics that Lead to...Well You'll Find Out

On our way back down, Ryan notices this little black box sitting on top of a little black pole. Ryan guesses it's a motion detector. So I get in front of it, bend down, wave my hand in front of it a few times and guess that it could be a camera. The four (4) of us give it no thought and begin to make our way down the ladder after a few more minutes. This:


was the last thing Ash saw, my arse in his face, before turning around to a female police officer with her gun drawn, screaming, "FREEZE! GET ON THE GROUND!"

Nice way to start off our restaurant.

At this point Ash and I are already at ground level, Ryan's on the ladder, and Dan is watching in disbelief on the roof. I hear "I SAID GET ON THE GROUND!" and I look over to Ash and he is already on his stomach with his arms stretched out to his sides (it seemed so natural). So I listen to her and sit down Indian style.

"LAY DOWN!!"

I start laying down on my back.

"ON YOUR STOMACH!!"

Ryan is already on the ground looking like Ash, so I finally get it right. Dan hops off the ladder and lies down to the right of me. In. The. Sun (mind you it was over ninety (90) degrees that day). The officer proceeds to call for back-up with her Glock pointed at us. As she, and I guess we, waited, Dan is fidgeting around so his chin and cheek don't fry on the black top and he let's out a little "I wish I was in the shade..."

"I SAID SHUT THE @#$& UP AND DON'T MOVE!"

Someone hasn't been spooned in a long time. We laid there sun tanning for a couple more minutes before another cop showed up. Another few minutes, four (4) more showed up and a fire truck with two (firemen). They grab all of our wallets and phones and stack them in a little pile as they run all of our identification cards, by now, two of the police officers are laughing because they can tell we're no harm to anyone. Still, they feel the need to cuff us and pull us to the wall. Ash and I kindly ask them to take a couple of pictures for us. Here is one officer's artistry:

Jail Bait

Dan's Tan - Check Out The Officer to the Right

Oh man, I realize that I am ranting on longer and longer with each post, so I will just give you a quick run-down of the final couple of hours there.

After they uncuff us and apologize, we tell them that we understand how bad it looked being up there with our shirts off, ripped jeans, a baseball bat, etc and that we know they were just doing their jobs. We find out that the pharmacy next door has been broken into a few times, hence all the security. So they hop in their squad cars, their motorcylces, and their firetruck and take off after we let them know that they'll all be invited for a dinner when our doors open up. We walk back into the mess that we've made and see that Ivan, James, Hae Jung, and Q have been hanging around front talking with some of the cops.

The rest of the day consisted of:

James, Ivan, and Ash Helping with the Carpet (check out all the crap flying around in the air and into our lungs)

Hae Jung trying to crowbar out the linoleum tiles

Q sitting on his arse twiddling with the drill (Hae Jung really likes that position)

Me hopping around knocking down the ceiling

Ash and Hae Jung Doing Their Thing
video

The Aftermath (and Dan Talking Design)

Now that we've torn down the walls...all there is now is to do is what we've been taught throughout our whole lives to do...BUILD.


Boogers and Snot,
Lennypoo

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shabu Day One - Arrested Development - Part One of Two

For those of you confused by the title and the few who came across my facebook status and wondered what the heck happened, please continue to read. It's the only way I can have you first suffer through the little words and letters that are dribbling out of my mouth and off my bottom lip.

I believe that throughout most of our lives, we have been taught to build, not to break. I think that, after finally getting the keys to our location dropped into our grubby little hands, the thought of obliterating the failed business that once resided within our four (4) walls lured us in like Godzilla to Tokyo city. That and smashing stuff is...like...fun.

July 6th, 2008 A.D., the day started off normal enough - with Ash showing up to my place with handyman extraordinaire, Ryan, and a Jeep full of necessities to start the demolition:

Sledge hammer - check
Face masks - check
Drill - check
Work gloves - check
Razor blades - check
Baseballs (I'll explain later) - check
Beer - HUBBUH DUH WHA?

What kind of construction (destruction?) site is complete without beer? So we head straight over to Mitsuwa market, pickup twenty four (24) cans of whatever Japanese beer is on sale (Sapporo for $12.99, in case you were wondering), two (2) bottles of Hakutsuru, a seven (7) pound bag of ice, and a Kold to Go bag to keep everything nice and chilly.

Beer - check!

Steppin' In
The Calm Before the Storm

Our Bar
Ash - 'Nuff Said
Woah WOAH, ok now. I started getting a little too happy with the pictures. On to movies, ha ha. After a cheers and a few chugs of our beer, our first official video was:

The Ceremonial Dropping of the Sledge Hammer
video

Soon after that, the three (3) of us dug in and really started tearing into the space. Ryan and Ash were pounding away at the back walls as I was knocking down our drop-ceiling. A quarter of the ceiling, two walls knocked down, and probably a few too many beers later I glance at the glass window on one of the walls and kind of muttered "Too bad we don't have any baseballs". Ryan then gets up and thirty (30) seconds later, drops a baseball bag next to me complete with balls, a glove, and an Easton bat. We end up going to town on the window, first batting balls through the glass and then doing our best to win the Cy Young award by throwing fast balls while watching the glass explode around the room. All fun and games, right?

Wrong. Cut to me on one side of the glass, Ryan and Ash on the other, all of us after a few more beers. We start throwing balls through both sides of the glass when I chuck a ball towards the glass. As I'm following through with my arm going full-speed I see a ball quickly approaching and WHAMMO! It tags my the thumb, think car going seventy (70) mph into a wall versus two (2) cars both going seventy (70) slamming into each other. I quickly grab my thumb in pain, look down wondering why I'm not bleeding, and notice there's already a little puddle of blood forming in my palm due to the explosion of my thumb. Ash and Ryan help me rinse the little guy off and notice that the left side of the nail was ripped completely out. Luckily this was the only injury, except maybe to our egos. OK, my ego.

Yowzas, this is getting long already, so I will split this puppy into two (2) posts and finish up another day. I know we didn't get to the whole arrested development thing. It is completely my fault and I am taking full responsibility for it. Thanks for stopping bye for a peep, and I promise we will get to the juicy stuff next post. So, click on over to us soon!


Smoochies,
Len

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Friends, Meet Shabu. Shabu, Meet Friends. Now Play Nice!

I'm a little new to this whole blogspot thing, so you guys will have to bear with me as I crawl around the nooks and crannies to figure out all the whistles and bells to smoothen out the initial roughness. Enough of that, though...

Welcome to the first entry for California Shabu Shabu South Coast!

First off, for those who don't know already (I'm assuming most of you do since you are here and running your eyes left to right and top to bottom), my friends Tina and Ash and I are opening up a California Shabu Shabu in Costa Mesa. After hearing about us crooning and squawking about this for a bit over 9 months now, you'd figure we'd have a drool producing baby or something to show for it. Instead, we finally have a signed lease, a location, and, as cornilicious as it sounds, a dream to fulfill.


To give everyone a wee bit of insight into why it has taken us so long, we had initially signed a letter of intent with a location at Bristol and Sunflower in the plaza inhabited by Red Robin and Cost Plus. We endured through an obstacle course worthy of a Beat Takeshi game show including, but not limited to: two (2) plumbers to survey the location to see if we would be able to put in a grease interceptor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_interceptor), (2) contractors with their HVAC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVAC) guys come along to see if we could even vent our restaurant correctly, a move two (2) doors down and incurring a much larger space and lease, a crook of a commercial real estate agent (feel free to send Tom Gioa hate mail at TGioia@leeirvine.com) who jerked us around for four (4) months and kept reneging on promises, giving up on the crook and that location, and finally scouting out another location to find out that a different Shabu had already signed a letter of intent there...in our HOOD! HOW DARE THEY?!

After a slew of phone calls, email messages, and Wayne lighting them up, since he is doing some other work with the same retail real estate group, we have secured our location at 801 Baker Street #A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626! This spot is pretty much in the lungs of what is called SoBECA, South on Bristol Entertainment, Culture, and Arts. Most of you will recognize this location because it is right next to Shark Club ha ha, I know I just heard a collective "Ohhhh yeahhhhh, therrrrreeee!" The location looks rather shameful at the moment, but we have been promised that a remodelling of the facade should begin around the beginning of August lasting six (6) to eight (8) weeks, meaning twelve (12) weeks. In light of our shame, here is an architects rendering of our space after the face lift (go ahead and clickety click on the picture to be redirected to a Kodak Gallery album with even more pictures for your viewing pleasure):



I see that I have already rambled on much more than I intended for our first post, so I will end things pretty much here. I hope that you guys, now, have a better understanding of where we are at the moment. Check back with us soon to read what Tina, Ash, and/or I have to blab about and find out how we kicked off our first official Shabu day by busting down some walls and tearing down a ceiling!

Smoochies,
Len

Here's a shout out to some fellow bloggers, make sure to poke around on some of the ads when you have some time to help them pay a few bills:

For my brother, Ivan's, ridiculously talented art:
http://ivanchanstudio.blogspot.com/

For some daily inspiration:
http://www.makethemostofyourtime.blogspot.com/
For some foody goodness:
http://foodmakesmehappy.blogspot.com/
For some ramen madness:
http://www.ramenramenramen.net/