One of the quirkiest phenomena in Japan has come to L.A. with the opening of Royal/T in Culver City (8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City; 310/599-6300; royal-t.org). The 10,000-square-foot, Japanese-themed space houses a contemporary art gallery, a shop with artist-designed toys and clothing—and a café where the waitresses are dressed up as French maids. ROYAL/T, owned by Whitney Museum Council member Susan Hancock, was conceived as a 21st-century "guerrilla" version of a traditional museum. None of the art in the gallery is for sale, and the café features Japanese comfort-food dishes such as tomato-rice omelets and macha milk. The debut installation, "Just Love Me," includes works by Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami, from Hancock’s private collection.
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