Perry Mason and Della Street walked into the Tokyo Pearl restaurant. They removed their shoes at the entrance. Then a waitress in a kimono and white socks led them to their table and gave them their menus.
"Would you like drinks?" she asked.
"Yes, please," said Perry. "A bottles of sake."
She bowed and left.
"What is sake?" asked Della.
"Rice wine. Very good."
She nodded. "You know, it's kinda nice sitting on the floor of a restaurant with my shoes off!"
"Yes, it is. I'll bet you don't often do that!"
"No! Although I do like to take my shoes off in restaurants."
"I know you do; I've seen you do it!"
They both chuckled.
The sake came. It was in a china bottle with two china glasses. Perry poured the liquor into the glasses and gave Della one of them.
"Now, it's a little hot; that's the traditional way to drink it. To a restful weekend."
"I'll drink to that!"
They drank—and Della winced!
Perry smiled. "Are you ok?"
"It's a little strong!"
"Yes, it is! Perhaps I should have warned you!"
"Yes, you should have, Perry!"
He refilled their glasses, and they sipped it.
"It's very good, actually."
They perused the menu.
"Can you give me a little explanation, Perry?"
"Sure. Tempura is deep fried. Teriyaki is cooked in a delicious, sweet sauce."
"Raw fish. That's what I'm thinking of having."
"Come on, be a little adventurous!"
"Yes, perhaps I should!"
The waitress came. Della ordered Shrimp Teriyaki. Perry ordered Steak Teriyaki and a sushi appetizer. Both also ordered tea.
They talked small talk for a bit, then the sushi came.
"Try it, Della."
"I don't know, Perry!"
He picked up a salmon, dunked it in soy sauce, and bit in. "Very good!"
"Ok, I'm game!"
He gave her a tuna. She dunked it in soy sauce, then stared at it. "Well, here goes!" She bit in. "Yes, this is very good!"
"I told you!"
They finished off the rest of the sushi quickly.
Their main dishes came, and they dug in.
"This is wonderful!"
"Yes, it is, Della."
"So, when did you first try Japanese food?"
"About five years ago. A buddy and his wife took me to a Japanese restaurant."
"No, one in New York City."
"You know, I've been thinking: Less than 20 years ago, Japan was our bitter enemy. Now, we're complete friends with them."
She nodded. "It's amazing, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is."
"Perhaps 20 years from now, we'll also be friends with Russia."
"Perhaps we will!"
"You know, Perry, I would love to travel to Japan."
"So would I, Della. Let's make that our dream vacation together."
At this point, a woman sitting at a nearby table got up and walked over to them. She was middle aged, but very attractive. She had on a red dress and was, of course, shoeless.
"Hello," she said to them.
"Hello," said Perry.
"Forgive me for interrupting your meal. My name is Janet Yamoto."
"Pleased to meet you. I'm Perry Mason, and this is Della Street."
"I am honored to make your acquaintance. Are you, by any chance, Perry Mason, the great lawyer?"
"One in the same."
"Then I am doubly honored! May I sit with you for a bit?"
"Thank you." She sat with them. "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. Would the two of you like to travel to Japan?"
"Yes, we would, some day."
"I might be able to assist you. I own a travel agency called Asian Travel." From her purse, she produced a couple of business cards, which she gave to Perry and Della. "When you are ready for your trip, please contact me. I will give you a special deal—far better than other travel agencies."
"Why, thank you, Miss Yamoto! That is most generous of you."
"And you are exactly right: It is a wonderful thing that my country and your country are now friends."
"Yes, it is! I take it that you're Japanese?"
"Yes, I am."
"You're very pretty!" said Della.
She smiled. "Thank you, dear! You're also pretty!"
Perry looked at the card. "I see you're in this building."
"On the 5th floor."
"Well, I must say we're not exactly sure when we'll take this trip."
"No problem. Please don't let me rush you. When the time comes, you see me."
"Oh, and Miss Yamota, if you ever have any need for legal assistance, please see me; here's my card." He pulled out has wallet and gave her his business card."
"Thank you, Mr. Mason. Now, I must take my leave."
She stood up and bowed to Perry and Della. They bowed back respectfully to her. She walked back to her table and sat down.
"Perry, let's do it!"
"Next year, perhaps?"
"It does sound exciting! All right, next summer?"
She scooted over to him and they hugged and kissed.
They continued eating.
"The sake is making me a little tipsy!"
He smiled. "Well, I'll just have to help carry you home!"
"Yes, you will, Perry. But you can stay over at my place, if you'd prefer."
"Will you hate yourself in the morning?"
"Only if you say 'no!'"
He smiled. "Well then, yes!"
"Perry, this is one of the best dinners I've ever had! Thank you so much!"
"Any time, Della." He picked up his glass. "To Japan, next year!"
They toasted and drank.