Letters for April 7-13, 2005
Serve My Jenne with Butter and Jelly
Now if he could whack the daily newspaper: Bob Norman's articles are the reason I can't wait for New Times to come out every week. Thank you for yet another great article, "The Corrupter" (March 31).
I especially like the barbs thrown toward the Sun-Sentinel. Somebody should take those work boots that Norman suggested for the Sun-Sentinel and boot the Sentinel's staff in the nuts! As for Jenne, I think he's toast, politically. It's just a matter of time. Keep up the great work.
Lester P. Behan
Via the Internet
They worked hard on this joint: I am the owner of Tatu restaurant, which Gail Shepherd reviewed on March 31 ("Going for Broke"). I am also the CEO of a national development firm that has opened almost 60 restaurants throughout the country for clients including Ian Schrager, Cirque du Soleil, five W hotels, and the Onassis family. We have over the years developed a sweet spot with Asian venues all over the country, and after assessing the dining-scape for Seminole Paradise casino, we saw that there were no other Asian restaurants, so we decided to put our best foot forward. Asian is what we do best.
In reading New Times' review of our efforts, we were at first thankful for the exposure. We expected several typical service jabs, being only four weeks old. We at Tatu opened with no strut or attitude. We have humbly presented our fare. But our restraint -- in both cuisine and design -- was mocked by the critic. The weather must really have dampened her spirits.
Tatu has a three-part menu that separates into Chinese Classics, Pan-Asian, and Japanese. The reviewer's reaction to our Chinois (Pan-Asian) approach confirmed our worst fear. This writer possesses strong general culinary knowledge -- she knew the origin of crab Rangoon -- but when she discussed the Pan-Asian concept, we quickly knew that she was unprepared to write this piece. The exact dishes that were criticized as being "ill-conceived" or "bait and switch" have won three- and four-star reviews from such media as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Not similar dishes... but the exact recipes and plating performed by the same chef. The true credit for these dishes belongs to Wolfgang Puck and his sensational collaboration with Kazuto and Mako from Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. That restaurant has been listed in the top ten West Coast eateries for almost 20 years and still has these classic dishes featured, which are a fusion of Asian ingredients with French sauces and technique. Our sushi is headed up by none other than Kaoru Ishii, whom we relocated from Nobu in Beverly Hills -- a restaurant that is regarded as serving the best sushi in America.
The prices at Tatu are no higher than those at any of the full-service restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area. However, the plates are designed to be shared. Entrées are in the $20 to $30 range and serve 1.5 guests.
We feel that the reviewer did not do her readers justice by discouraging them from experiencing a refreshing alternative to the banality of so many Asian restaurants. Her venomous remarks were born of a lack of understanding and felt more like an assault.
We have finally found a home in Fort Lauderdale, and we are thrilled to be your neighbor. Come on over and borrow a cup of sake anytime.
An anti-Canadian bias: Thank you to Bob Norman for his March 24 article on Southwest Ranches, "Cash Cow." It confirms many of our thoughts about Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin, Richard Rubin, and Gary Poliakoff's continued protection of this administration. My wife and I have been Southwest Ranches residents for ten years.
The only experience I have had with any of the town administrators are with former Vice Mayor Johnny Dollar (obviously before his death) and Town Administrator John Canada. Neither man was responsive to our needs. After reading your article, which confirmed our suspicions of the "Canadians'" modus operandi, we are appalled. The nepotism, ridiculous pay contracts, multijobs for multiple towns, and questionable future tax liabilities for residents must be stopped. Thank you for the report. Keep up the good work.
Frank S. Watts III
Profiting on the citizenry: I'd like to thank Bob Norman for the wonderful article "Cash Cow." This means so much to the people here who want to see our town be a great one and not be run by people who want to profit from our flawed system.
Music to his ears: Wow. Wow. Wow. Thanks for a great article. I've been the subject of at least 50 features throughout my rodeo career, and this was my favorite -- by far ("Can't Live Without My Rodeo," Jonathan Zwickel, March 24).
Well, I think I'll grab my "dusty laptop" and ride off into the sunset. Once again, thanks.
Via the Internet
The prestigious Investigative Reporters and Editors competition has named New Times Staff Writer Bob Norman's "Sick District" series the sole national finalist in its Local Circulation Weeklies category. (The winner in the class was a story from Oregon's Willamette Week that also took this year's Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.) Norman's stories revealed mismanagement, conflicts of interest, health law violations, and millions of wasted taxpayer money at the North Broward Hospital District. As a result of Norman's work on the nation's sixth-largest public health district, taxpayers saved millions of dollars. Gov. Jeb Bush ordered the district to institute a new policy on lobbying and didn't reappoint long-time board member Dorsey Miller.
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