A Dallas hotel was featured prominently in a popular HBO series and is now having some fun with it.
The show is Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring comedian Larry David, and the hotel was the Omni Dallas Hotel downtown. The episode, titled "Irrasshaimase," debuted on November 21, and involved David going on a date at a restaurant called Katsuya.
When he enters the restaurant, he leaves his umbrella at the host station. As part of the restaurant's tradition, the chefs shout "Irrasshaimase!" — which means "welcome to my restaurant" — when customers enter. Enchanted by the greeting, David repeats it to his date when she sits down. This irritates the chef and host, who comes over and tells him it's against the rules for customers to shout "irrasshaimase."
David is characteristically displeased, but aside from that encounter, the date goes so well that he forgets the umbrella and has to return the next day to get it.
"I left my umbrella here last night," he says.
"Can you describe the umbrella?" the host asks innocently, because the umbrella is right behind him.
"It's a green umbrella — it says Omni Dallas Hotel. There it is, right there," David says, pointing to it.
"Oh. you mean this umbrella? Why does it say Omni Dallas Hotel?" the host asks.
"I was staying in the hotel. It was raining. They let me take the umbrella when I went to the airport. That's what they do for their guests," David says.
"Shall I return it to you? ... or the Omni Dallas Hotel?" the host asks.
"You can return it to me, and I'll return it to the hotel. Anyway, it's not your business. Give it to me," David says.
"We will return it for you," the host says.
"You'll return it for me? I'll return it myself. It's not your umbrella," David says.
"But it's not yours, either," the host says.
"I borrowed it, I'll return it," David says.
"Mr. David, I will be honored to return it for you," the host says.
"I want that umbrella, it's my umbrella!" David says.
Larry leaves the restaurant empty-handed. Later, he's at his golf club, and asks the manager, who is also Japanese, to get the umbrella for him.
Why don't you just replace it? the manager asks.
"You can't replace this umbrella. It holds up in gale force winds, it never goes inside out, it's the best umbrella I ever had," David says.
But the manager refuses to get it for him.
Omni Dallas Hotel spokesperson Amber Bufkin says that their team saw the episode and were delighted.
"We've been getting a lot of attention and a lot of people now want the umbrella as a Christmas gift," Bufkin says.
The umbrellas were actually a custom item made specially for the hotel's grand opening on November 11, 2011.
"At the time the Omni Dallas debuted, the hotel wanted people to know where it came from so 'DALLAS' was printed in larger type," Bufkin says. "Somehow along the umbrella's journey, it made its way to the set of Curb Your Enthusiasm; how, we know not."
"The studio connected with us, asking for more but we have not carried them since opening year," she says.
To roll with the surprise, Omni Hotels is throwing a special promotion for fans to receive a limited number of the umbrellas featured in the episode at four of their hotels:
- Omni Dallas
- Omni Berkshire Place in New York
- Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza
- Omni San Francisco Hotel
Each hotel has received a limited number "Omni Hotels & Resorts" branded golf umbrellas to give to guests who mention the episode.
The umbrellas will be available at the front desk but only while supplies last.
Guests that mention the episode will also get a voucher for a "Larry Latte" at Morsel's Coffee Shop. The latte comes with a cute black paper umbrella keepsake.
As for Larry David, it's not a happy ending: He never gets his umbrella back.