Blame the recession

In our household it is both a running joke and a long-standing tradition that “Friday night is sushi night”. For many years. we have picked up a takeout from the best sushi place in town (according to a Japanese friend of ours), and enjoyed some really great food.

It is definitely an acquired taste; in spite of the “ewwww-raw-fish!” apellation that is oft applied to sushi by Americans (whose chief food exports are, ironically enough, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs), I have enjoyed the stuff ever since I worked in a Japanese bank back in 1987-9. I find that sushi is surprisingly filling and digests quicker than anything else. There’s also the fact that the Japanese live longer than Americans, whose life expectancy is actually shrinking, thanks, I suspect, to the aforementioned mystery meats… but we won’t go there, will we?

Milady and I showed up at the sushi place at about 6:30pm. Milady noted that the parking lot was empty, but I said that it was early in the evening. This was curious, as I had never seen the parking lot this empty. We picked up our order and headed home.

The food was ok, with one notable exception: the “spider roll”, a concoction of rice, vegetables and soft-shell crab. The crab was overcooked to the point where it was burnt and tasted bitter. More to the point, someone had stuffed some “krab stix” into the roll. I am not averse to “krab stix”, but this is by far the cheapest alleged seafood that you can buy; which is why it is served up in all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. I do not expect to see it in $10+ speciality sushi rolls. We have had dozens of spider rolls over the past five years or so, and this was the first time that “krab stix” had showed up.

I called up the restaurant to ask about it; this might have been a big mistake, as I suspect that there was some misunderstanding; I was told that they had always been made this way – an outright lie according to three witnesses. I hung up annoyed.

It looks like Friday night is no longer sushi night; this was the only sushi place within ten minutes’ drive of our house, and I will not going back. The empty parking lot was perhaps an omen. My assumption is that they have fallen into the trap that kills so many restaurants – rather than raise their prices, they lowered the quality of the food by cheaping out on the ingredients.

I forecast – and it pains me to say this – is that they will be out of business within the next six months. And the unkindest cut of all is that they will blame the recession.

Now Reading: Flat Tax Revolution, by Steve Forbes

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