Exploration of restaurants everywhere I go is one of the great aspects of my job. Normally the exploration reveals some fun dishes, interested servers and even a great wine or two. Sometimes however the moment is less than stellar so I shrug it off and keep going. Rarely do I ever post a “negative” comment but this time I am making an exception.
Beverly Hills seemed like it should have been ripe with great choices for lunch and perhaps it was but we felt like sushi. A well-respected iPhone app gives recommendations from chefs for restaurants in the GPS area, and Sushi, Sushi showed up on the list. It was a close walk, so off we went.
Like many sushi places it was small and dominated by the sushi counter which I found quaint. What I did not find quaint was the pervasive fish market smell in the air. I am amazed that normally sushi bars do not smell like fish. We were placed in front of one of the sushi chefs at the counter and my companion at lunch and I searched through the choices for what we wanted. A little big eye tuna sashimi, Hamachi, king crab roll, some miso soups and the lunch began. A wooden platform of a plate was placed on the bar above our base level table and the chef began to place items on it.
I reached for my tuna with my chopsticks and the chef looked up and said, “No chopsticks, use fingers, have towel!” I thought to myself, “Wow, he totally corrected my behavior, but shrugged and thought well I guess I am aware of the ‘eat with your fingers’ rule.” I put down my chopsticks and picked up the tuna and dipped it in my soy sauce. Now the chef looked up and said, “No soy sauce! Put already.”
At this point it was past novel and a bit of the “Twilight Zone” feeling. I would like to say that we were more successful at avoiding his stern commentary the rest of the meal but we were not. From this point on he decided we were just two stupid or uncultured to understand how to eat at his counter and he gave us instruction as each item was served. His final rebuke came as my kampachi had sat on the board too long for his taste, “Eat faster, going bad!”
If the sushi had been amazing it would have all gone under the bridge but alas it was only average. On top of it all I felt less than well the rest of the day. Chefs may recommend this sushi bar but I do not.