I just had sushi for lunch and while I was sitting there alone at the bar I found myself thinking of the things that piss me off in sushi restaurants:
This is not a Wasabi-eating Contest. It’s a condiment, dolt, not a challenge to your manhood. No one is keeping track of how much you can smear on your yellowtail before choking it down in red-faced agony. Making a big deal of how much Wasabi you can eat is like going to a steak house and bragging about how much salt you dump on your porterhouse. It doesn’t make you look like a bad ass. It makes you look like an imbecile.
That Little Bowl of Soy Sauce is Not a Swimming Pool. Some people like a little soy on their sushi – they flip it over and dip the fish side in. Some people like a lot – they dip the rice side in. But you! You park your sushi in the soy sauce, letting it soak it up like a little sponge! It’s like the freaking Palmolive commercial here – relax, you’re soaking in it! I’m trying to pay attention to what you’re talking about, but I find it hard to concentrate while your sushi is crying for rescue as it slowly disintegrates over there in the bowl. And then you complain about how the rice always falls apart when you try to pick it up with chopsticks! Hmmmm … could that minute-long dip have anything to do with it?
Please Don’t Tell Me What I’m Eating Is Disgusting Yes, I like mackeral. Yes, it’s very fishy. I also like squid and clam which can be very chewy. I’m not trying to be a sushi snob and make you feel inferior here – I love California rolls and salmon too. Would it be too much for you not to make eww, gross sounds when I’m putting a piece of saba in my mouth?
You Can Talk About Things Not Connected to Japan! Yes, I like Hayao Myazaki and Shonen Jump. Yes, Akira Kurosawa is a great director. Oh, so you’re thinking about teaching English in Japan? That’s great! The DVD for Lost in Translation is out? How nice. AAAAAARGH! Stop talking about Japanese crap! There’s something about going out for sushi that makes some people switch over into full-bore otaku delirium. It’s just a restaurant, goddamn it, not a full-immersion cultural retreat! Do you spend all your time in Mexican restaurants talking about novellas and luchadores? Is there some rule in Italian restaurants that conversation must be limited to Gladiator and Under the Tuscan Sun? No? Then why the hell do you think that it applies to Japanese restaurants? Can we please talk about Ireland or something for a change? Or would you have to be eating a freaking potato to do that?
Ahhh … that feels better … .