We Thought You Were Just Supposed to Eat It

Going out to dinner this evening? Here's a little how-to for sushi. Or not, as Robb Walsh learned in this week's review.

After the jump, Robb's revelations...

When I reviewed Uptown Sushi ["Sushi as an Accessory," December 15, 2005], I recounted some sushi-eating wisdom from Noriko Takiguchi's blog "How to Eat Sushi." I was aghast to discover that in many ways, I wasn't doing it right. I have a lot of foodie friends who are very serious about the formalities of Japanese sushi bars.

My own attitude about sushi has changed dramatically, thanks to a video called "Japanese Sushi Documentary" that a friend sent me.

The video is in Japanese with subtitles, and it starts with a lot of introductory information like "How to Enter the Sushi Bar." The elaborate graphics detail at exactly what angle your hand should lift the curtain over the doorway. I was reaching for pen and paper so I could take notes when the part about ordering endangered species started. That sounded odd. Then there was the part about sushi chefs having secrets you shouldn't ask about. There was a close-up of a chef villainously fingering a knife. That's when I realized I had been had.

The video is, in fact, a hilarious send-up of sushi rituals made by some young Japanese wiseasses. And as I watched the ever-more ridiculous instructions, I couldn't help but laugh at myself. When the video was over, I resolved to go eat some sushi -- and not to take the whole thing so damn seriously.

-- Keith Plocek

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