10. January 2013 03:25
Good sushi is easy to identify. A good sushi restaurant is not. For better or for worse, both the yummy fish flesh and the places serving it has become commoditized. Although it may seem counterintuitive, I use the ubiquitous Spicy Tuna Roll as my barometer. And STD delivers.
It started out as the repository of wasted flesh. “Why bother?” the Japanese elitists thought. The dumb Americans are adding spicy mayo. They won’t be able to taste anything. Except when cuts get too close to the tail, the white sinews become ubiquitous. Some restaurants had even taken to grinding up the “sushi” so as to help the customer chew what would otherwise serve as dental floss. Tendon floss. Hehehe…gross. But a restaurant that uses quality tuna even though it’s drenched in spicy mayonnaise is a quality cop indeed. STD Sushi is the most remarkable achievement since Sushi Wabi and even Japonais. Below are some must-haves.
- H.I.Victory Sashimi – The sushi world is so stuck on rolls that ordering sashimi is so quaint it’s almost retro. However, the sushi chefs at STD have captured a strain of knowledge from a time before the latency and reverse transcribed it into some infectiously beautiful creations that are now a part of the restaurant’s DNA. Don’t try to resist these macro masterpieces. Your defenses will be useless.
- Giant Gonorrhea Roll – Its pieces are as soft as gonococci and emit a gentle color-sustaining hue, even in low light. I was infected right away by the spice and burn sensation even though only 20% of men risk infection upon first bite but luckily, more than 60% of women can expect the same.
- Spicy Syphilis Sixplosion – soft and gummatous, but bold and flavorful, the Spicy SS harks back to a simpler time, when the flavor was transmitted strictly through the mucous membranes. And what a flavor it is. The early stages may be painless but after a period of latency, the diner’s nose can explode with the heat of 1000 wasabis but the heat doesn’t go away. I am told that the chefs, having studied in Tuskegee, know how to make it stop but refuse – and we must endure.
- Herpetic Simplex Skewer – Once infected with their taste, you cannot but help experience persistent and recurring cravings. A craving that can be sated but not cured. Don’t resist the deliciousness. Call all your friends and gorge! Then upload it to YouTube. Guaranteed to go viral.
- Crabs Tempura – Crusted crustacean sitting on a bed of lice and curly crab grass, accompanied by a thick white sauce for your dipping pleasure. Not as overwhelming as the others, the Crabs don’t bog you down with craving – they just ping you on occasion. A little itch to let you know they’re there.
And so a new year ushers in a new sushi restaurant. The brief bump on the road to openings will not constrain the determined mouth from partaking of the offering. Sushi is, after all, one of nature’s perfect foods. Whether served naked or with culinary jewelry, there is nothing like the pleasure of that first morsel of gently cool sashimi melting on one’s tongue. What began in the 1960s as an experiment to fill the cargo holds of Japanese airliners is a national phenomenon that seems boundless in its scope. A roll is like a tunnel. And at its end there is no light, no hope for cure. Just darkness. For which we are the vector.