Secret Sushi

I love sushi. No, I REALLY love sushi. I am always in search for the most fresh and tasty sushi around. And tonight, I may have found it. Search over.

Unfortunately, I can not disclose the name nor location of where I dined at tonight. Doing so might bring unwanted amounts of traffic to the restaurant which will probably destroy the exclusivity. The place is so small it only seats 8 people at the sushi bar. Only 2 people work in this place: the sushi chef, and his wife, who takes care of everything else. 1 person making sushi for eight people is enough.

I was invited by a friend and told me to start heading there at 4:30pm. The place opens at 5pm. And when I got there, my friend and I were #5 and #6. Another 2 people would make 8 and the place would be filled. The first set of 8 people will get to eat first while the next set of 8 will have to wait until the next seat frees up. However, the first set of 8 people are usually the regulars and they can be eating for up to 2 hours. Like I said, 1 chef to 8 people, will take a while.

I ended up in the second set of people because we switched with my friend’s brother who came late and who was a party of 3. This place only allows party of 3 during the first set, but starting in 2011, they will only accept parties of 2. So we came back in a couple of hours to grab our seats.

It was definitely worth the wait. Walking into the sushi bar room was almost like walking into a different country. Actually, it felt like I was walking into a Japanese home where I should be respectful to the hosts. Bowing was customary, felt very authentic.

But I came for the fish. And wow, I was treated to some of the freshest, most flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth fish I’ve ever came across in the US. That is because his fish comes in from all over the world daily and worthy of the higher price.

As I sat there, I began to appreciate the experience of just being there. The chef was very articulate and precise with his sushi making technique. The way he presses the nigiri rice together was like watching a ballerina elegant in her steps. And his presentation of the nigiri pieces was very clean, shiny, and artsy. He does not skimp on the portions as the cut of fish practically wraps around the sushi rice. And when he’s not making nigiri, he has his own version of rolls that were made with less rice and more filling.

To make a long story short, my friend and I stayed for about 2 hours. The chef constantly giving us his works of art and we consumed it right away. To be respectful, we tried to comply with proper sushi etiquette that seems to be nonexistent in the more common sushi houses.

  • Eat sushi nigiri with your fingers
  • Dip fish into your soy sauce, not the rice
  • Do not ask if the fish is fresh as it is very insulting to the sushi chef, might get kicked out
  • Don’t dip nigiri into the soy sauce if the sushi chef has already added his own sauce on the top
  • Do not rub your wooden chopsticks together after breaking it apart.

You really have to appreciate sushi to come here. You need to have a palette that can distinguish between good sushi, and extremely good sushi. And because of this, I will not tell all my sushi loving friends about this place. Only a select few whom I feel I can trust to keep this secret society a secret and who can appreciate the finer taste in high quality sushi. Shhhhh!

By the way, no pictures on this post because photos were not allowed. That’s a shame. They were really pretty.


One thought on “Secret Sushi

  1. It's fine if you've gone to a restaurant that is so good as to be kept secret and which wouldn't permit you to take photos. No problem. But we don't even know what city you're in! I'm a friend of Awanthi's and I gather from scrolling through a few entry posts that you're on the West Coast on the US, but you're going to give us a food review, without photos, without name, and without even a DAMN CITY listed???!?!I read major US food sites as well as a many food blooger sites and even few international food ones, and I know it's hard. I really wish you two nothing but the best. I know there is a fine line and I would highly recommend you reading various threads on the eGullet site. But, objectively speaking, do really think that a post on a restaurant that neither identifies it, has photos (understandable), but doesn't even locate it within thousands of miles of what is presumably the blogger's location (something that could only be figured out by checking other posts! Because, if I were to just stumble upon this by happenstance, from what I read, the restaurant could be in any place from Rasht or Tajekzstan, to Beverly Hills or Mumbai, San Francisco, Dublin or Dubai. I would have no idea. Which means that all your pretty prose is for nothing and that no-one will ever find it on the internet.My advice to you: read the sections of EGullet about food writing and promoting it as such; and post on the site with a link to your blog in your signature. It is the #1 food site, world wide among serious professionals but also food-bloggers, many of whom have gotten national attention, international book deals, magazine positions, and more. *SOLEY* by virtue of being a well-respected, knowledgeable foodie on that site. All the best, Salomé

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