In Culver City is a chic cafe that hits close to home for otakus looking for royal service from cute waitresses decked out in frilly maid costumes. The costumes are not sexually provocative (which I think, is a good thing) but still recall Japanese anime culture. The pink crown and cute color scheme from the store pamphlets initially remind me of Juciy Couture, but the greenery covered backdoor and fantastic art work displayed definitely gives off a more nichey, artsy vibe.
Before you enter the actual cafe, you’re greeted with a giant iPod-looking “porta party” where you can step inside and rock out to music under a disco ball if you so wish. There are also huge installations displayed behind plastic walls, and little cat heads made by Yoshitomo Nara. There is also a seperate party or conference room for personal events. The room has beautiful Victorian style furniture that is characteristic of Anna Sui products, with a big statue of a white radish-looking character holding a laughing daisy overseeing the room.
The menu is cute and simple. I tried the Kobe beef burger and the Spicy Tuna open-faced sandwich. The Spicy Tuna was an interesting combination of avocado, spicy tuna and that orange-colored sauce restaurants always use on top of sour dough bread. The crunchiness of the bread paired with the softness of the tuna was a good combination. The Kobe beef burger was too beefy for my tatse, and reminded me too clearly that I was biting into a piece of cow. Sandwiches run from around $8 – $12, which isn’t too bad, even for a poor unemployed college student like me!
The store carries goods made by artists such as t-shirts, books, jewelry, toys and DVDs. Royal/T’s shop offers limited prints by Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Chiho Aoshima, and Mr. Aya Takano.
8910 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 559-6300