East Meets West at the Stoneleigh Hotel

SOME LOCAL BUSINESSES SAW the rising sun even before the current four-month Sun & Star 1996 festival brought ail things Japanese suddenly in vogue. After all, Japan is Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest trading partner with $2.2 billion in two-way trade annually. And seven nonstop flights between Tokyo and D/FW Airport each week bring scads of Asian business travelers and vacationers to the Dallas area.

That’s why The Stoneleigh Hotel, a Sun & Star sponsor, is making a strong pitch for the Japanese trade with a Japanese package for guests-the hotel will furnish up to 30 rooms with yukata (lightweight cotton robes), Japanese-style slippers, Japanese tea and Japanese-language guest services directories. Japanese breakfasts of miso soup, broiled snapper or salmon, rice and pickled vegetables are prepared by Masa Nagashima, the Osaka-trained chef of Sushi at The Stoneleigh, which opened earlier this year.

“We want to make the Stoneleigh their hotel of choice,” says Al Granoff, owner of the city’s oldest continually operating hotel. So far, none of the staff members are fluent in Japanese beyond the basic greetings, so the hotel relies on Chef Nagashima to interpret. For now, he’s willing to do all the talking.

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