Here are more tales from around the world about Kobe beef and the restaurants that serve it:
From the Miami Herald (April 10, 2005) comes a story about steak tartare: "Of course, for true connoisseurs the dish is all about the beef. On the gourmet food floor at the Galeries Lafayette, the steak tartare is made from eye of round cut from a massaged, beer-fed Limousin steer, France's answer to the Kobe beef of Japan.
"The beef is buttery, and the chief butcher, Guy Bodin, sets his Berkel meat grinder to extra fine to produce a smooth paste. The chef at the Steak Point lunch counter across the aisle mixes the meat with the usual ingredients and serves it in half-pound mounds with salad or fries. 'It's marvelous,'' Bodin said."
The New York Times wasn't fond of the Kobe beef dish at RK, the newest restaurant in Rye, New York: "Braised shank of Kobe beef might have been ordinary pot roast; the subtle gaminess of the expensive meat was undetectable."
Bridges Restaurant in Danville, California (as reviewed in the Contra Costa, CA Times): "Carpaccio of Kobe Style Beef ($15) is membrane-thin -- it clots against your knife like popped bubble gum. But the taste is so faint, it seems boring."
"THE SOPRANOS star JAMIE-LYNN DiSCALA was left feeling deeply guilty following a night out - a waitress was dismissed for giving her free food.
"The brunette beauty was dining at a Los Angeles eatery with her husband AJ DiSCALA when she was befriended by the waitress, who shared her sad story of being a single mother going through a divorce.
"And because DiScala provided such a sympathetic ear, the grateful waitress gave her a free plate of kobe beef - before her furious boss found out, confronted her in front of the entire restaurant and fired her on the spot.
"As DiScala attempted to defend the woman in question, she later discovered the dramatic scene was actually an elaborate prank cooked up by her husband and ASHTON KUTCHER for hit show PUNK'D.
"A shocked DiScala screamed, 'That's so f**ked up! That was clever.'
In the Letters to Food section of the San Francisco Chronicle: "I enjoyed your article on the bavette ("Butchers' best-kept secret,'' March 16). About two years ago, in searching for a more consistent and better-flavored steak, we put Kobe beef bavette steak on the menu at Bix.
"The steak needs to be cooked at least to medium-rare. I prefer it medium., It gives the meat time on the grill to "set up" and form a better crust. Because of the style of the meat, it still retains its red color and juiciness, even when nicely charred on the outside."