"We didn’t know what to expect but he turns out to be a real good guy. Exactly how he is on TV."
That's how Gene Yoneda, the owner of the oldest restaurant in San Jose's Japantown, described Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain visited Minato two years ago and ordered Japanese curry, sashimi and tempura, Yoneda recalled. "He could eat anywhere in the world and chooses 20 or 30 restaurants a year so it’s quite an honor," he said.
Bourdain was found dead in France, where he was filming a new episode for his hit CNN show "Parts Unknown", in an apparent suicide. Wherever he went, he touched people with his kindness and empathy, including here in the Bay Area.
"His social conscience, the way he writes stories and gets into the culture, besides the food, politics even," said Yoneda on why millions of people watched Bourdain travel the world.
People even came to the restaurant Friday after they heard about Bourdain's death, according to Yoneda.
"He was 61, which is pretty young but you never know what’s going on inside someone’s head."