For a town of 8,000, it seems amazing my lovely burg should have two sushi restaurants. Well, we don’t. A much-loved favorite shut down a few months ago so tonight for date night CK and I headed down to the Bainbridge Island Sushi House. When my husband heard we were planning a two-hour roundtrip just for this particular culinary weakness he said, “You guys are such raw fish snobs.” He thought I didn’t detect the pure sarcasm and loathing in his voice at the thought of us eating fish, raw or otherwise. Just for him, I had a roll with extra-tentacles and mackerel that had been laying out on the curb all day. Then I made out with him when I got home.
Sushi chefs always seem like prostitutes or strippers or something. They are on display for all the rubberneckers to watch and usually go about their business, tight-lipped and slightly irritated. I hate it when people watch me make food, unless it’s something easy like a peanut butter sandwich. Poor blokes. Anyway, then they’ve got to deal with the overly verbose (usually single) gents and ladies who drink sake, order one sushi delight one after another, and blah-blah-blah to the chef about their work as an audiologist (true incident from tonight) or their rare knee-tumor surgery (totally fake incident I just made up). Then after one hundred gerzillion hours of chef-harassment they leave grandly with a nod and a, “Domo arigato, [insert Japanese name here]!” for the benefit of the rest of us. I imagine that [insert Japanese name here] is totally irritated that half of his/her job includes being friendly to all these dorks. If I was in their position after a hard day at work I’d lean in to Mr. or Ms Lonelyheart and lovingly brandish my sharp knife and say softly, “Why don’t you shut the fuck up there, pardner” with of course a big toothy smile for the rest of my customers.
I really can’t decide if gringos speaking a word or two of native language to a restaurant worker is respectful or cheesy. Maybe one of you ethnic food industry workers reading this should write and let me know. Of course I may be the wrong person to ask; for some reason whenever I am about to leave any worldly food establishment I always want to blurt out, “Muy bien!” I judge myself harshly not because I only know some Spanish and therefore if I’m not speaking English, I must be speaking Spanish – but because I always want to compliment the food and service. What a colossal kiss-ass I am!