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August 1st, 2003

She Smells Sushi By The Seashore

I've had sushi once before, in 1988. Home-made vegetarian sushi rolls that we made in our dorm as a multi-cultural activity. (I lived in the multi-cultural dorm, where we had two Japanese exchange students -- Sachiko and Eiichiro -- in addition to folks from Australia, Israel, and all over the place.) I wasn't overly excited by the sushi rolls, primarily because I was not impressed with the seaweed.

Flash forward to tonight. I had told Shannon I would be willing to give sushi a try, after a couple years of always wrinkling up my nose at the very idea. Why did I change my mind, you might ask? Well, I think three reasons combined: (1) In the past couple years, I have learned to actively like cooked fish, which I never had before, (2) I've been reading a lot of manga, which got me increasingly interested in Japanese culture, and (3) I've been reading a glossary-type book called The Anime Companion: What's Japanese in Japanese Animation?, which explains a lot of stuff and got me even more interested in Japanese culture.

And so tonight we went to Manga Manga on Shattuck Avenue, a sushi restaurant with a combination of classic and manga/anime-inspired decor. (There were posters for "Cowboy Bebop" and "Akira", for example.) No, we didn't choose it on that basis ... we just looked at the menu outside, knew the restaurant had been around quite a while (which is saying something in Berkeley), and thought it all looked good. I hadn't seen the manga-themed decorations until we were inside. Plus, we'd walked past there a million times, because it's not far from our home, but we'd never gone in. Until tonight!

To give my untutored sushi impressions, I think I'll start by listing the various senses.

SIGHTCollapse )
SMELLCollapse )
TOUCHCollapse )
TASTECollapse )
HEARINGCollapse )

My Sushi Conclusions: I'm not a big fan of the stuff. I doubt I will ever be a big fan of the stuff. I can see why some people like it so well, but it just isn't my thing, as far as I can tell. I think I deserve cupcakes or something else simple and good to reward me for being brave and adventurous.

My Sushi Future
  • Shannon and I discussed the possibility that next time I might want to try some of the nigirizushi (sushi that isn't in a roll, but rather is hand-molded rice with a topping added), because it might give me the textures and flavors without the whole seaweed factor. We steered clear of that this time, just because Shannon figured the big blobs of raw fish might make me even more skittish than I already was.

  • We also discussed the possibility of going out for sushi with friends next time, instead of just the two of us. That would be a completely different vibe. And if we went out with a bunch of people (or even a couple of other people) who liked sushi, it might be even easier to decide to try new things.

Thus spake Kimberly the Sushi-Eater.

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