If a tree farts in the forest and no one is there to smell it does it still make a sound?
— Kim Kardashian
After reading this prophetic quote from the Queen of All-Media, by the way she never said that nor has she uttered anything remotely close to prophetic, I pondered Perceived Existence and it’s obvious effects on food and sushi in particular.
Can sushi be enjoyed if you’re the only to enjoy it?
To me sushi is a social meal, a combination with who you’re eating with, and the sushi chefs at the sushi bar, and the people around you. I have always enjoyed buying drinks for my sushi chef, or asking someone near by what they ordered if it catches my eye, and just experiencing the event of going out for sushi in general. It’s almost as if eating sushi is this living, breathing…thing, which is enhanced when the amount of words coming out of your mouth increases, along with the volume of your voice, all while sitting at a crowded soy sauce covered table. Whereas soup, on the other hand, is a solitary meal in which one can drown their sorrows. For instance I’ve cried into countless bowls of pho and ramen all by my lonesome, but I digress.
I realized in all my years of eating sushi, from crazy fried rolls, to ultra expensive nigiri, to all you can eat joints, I’ve never eaten it by myself. (Except for getting supermarket sushi after dinner service at one o’clock in the morning, but that doesn’t count) Armed with my credit card and a question, I ventured down Wilshire Boulevard to see if someone can enjoy sushi all by themselves. This is hard-hitting web journalism, people.
I chose a highly rated sushi place within walking distance of my apartment, headed out around eight o’clock on a Tuesday, and grabbed a secluded table in what was a surprisingly full restaurant. I knew this place was legit as soon as I saw a sign informing customers they DO NOT make spicy tuna, California rolls, or spicy mayo. My type of place.
I decided on the ‘Japanese’ omakase, anything and everything goes, and yes they have an ‘American’ omakase, which doesn’t include the good stuff like uni, salmon roe, etc. Bring it on and lets see if this tree fart has a smell.
First up, seared baby tuna, which was supple like a virgins thigh. A squeeze of lemon and it set the party off.
Next, Halibut, Japanese Snapper, Bluefin Tuna, and Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna.
Raw Kumamoto oyster, amazingly sweet and crisp. Green Mussel ‘Dynamite.’ Scallop with shitake mushroom. So much umami with enough butter to give the impression it was French.
Salmon. Yellowtail. Sweet Shrimp. Scallop.
Tempura Shrimp Head.
Aji. Spanish Mackarel. Squid. Giant Clam. (Not Pictured)
Kampachi. Halibut Fin.
Uni. Marinated Salmon Roe.
Eel. Monkfish Liver.
So after stuffing myself to the brim with some of the freshest and tastiest sushi I’ve had in a long time, I had an epiphany (or a mini stroke, I can’t be quite sure other than my face was drooping a bit) and realized I was literally walking up Wilshire Boulevard with a smile on my face. Pain and discomfort coursing through my body with each step and a shit-kicking grin on my face. I hadn’t thought about the reason why I went for sushi in the first place and that, in and of itself, gave me the answer.
Amazing sushi can be enjoyed even if you’re a loser and you eat it alone.