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Sideshow sushi

02/23/2015
Yoshi is located in a Brewer, Maine strip mall between a pizza place and a bike shop.

Yoshi is located in a Brewer, Maine strip mall between a pizza place and a bike shop.

 

Jen loves sushi and hates Valentine’s Day so I figured the best way to win her heart that night would be a tray loaded with hamachi and cucumber rolls.

I booked a reservation at the best sushi place in the Bangor area. A place called Yoshi.

Now I can’t vouch for the meal, raw fish on roach-shaped rice ain’t my thing, but boy did we get to see a sushi circus.

First, for readers not familiar with dining out on traditional Japanese cuisine: Going to a sushi restaurant is spendy and special. Sushi is really more of an art form than a form of cooking. Good chefs prepare their small, bite-size orders with flair. They pay close attention to fish cuts and rice shapes. For some, it’s all about plate presentation – I would argue, this is because it all tastes the same.

But I am just a sushi tag-a-long.

Because sushi is traditional and artistic, most restaurants feature well-appointed dining rooms with traditional Japanese seating areas. Yoshi, for example, offered two or four chairs around basic tables on one side of its dining room. The other side had an elevated stage made out of polished wood like a basketball court. Tables are sunk into holes and guests take off their shoes, climb a set of stairs and use pillows to sit on the stage around the tables. Pretty cool but not good for an old guy with a bad back. Jen and I sat at a basic table.

This put us right in the middle of a sushi sideshow.

It seems Yoshi attracts a diverse crowd.  Of courses, there were tables full of well-scrubbed, nicely dress young couples; it was a Valentine’s Day dinner after all. But there were also some wild cards:

• An older man wearing suspenders and blue jeans anchored a table of four septuagenarians. He looked like Uncle Joe from Petticoat Junction. This is odd. Sushi is typically for the young and beautiful. If anyone in the restaurant is older than me they are always better dressed than me. Not at Yoshi.

• A young couple walked in without reservations towards the end of the evening. The guy wore jeans belted just half-way up his legs. He was wearing dark green underpants. I guess it’s a hip fashion trend. But remember it’s Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t you at least wear red underpants? Not at Yoshi.

• A man in a slick black suit with a well-maintained three-day beard and a woman sporting a short blonde haircut wrestled on the pillows in the traditional seating area. Sexy. Officials banned public displays of affection in the cafeteria at my high school. Not at Yoshi.

But who am I to judge?

I’m the guy with hat hair wearing a black sweater covered by giant blue snowflakes. The California rolls slip through my chopsticks and too much wasabi burns my sinuses like a flamethrower.

Jen just shakes her head at the whole strange scene.

It’s hard to fit in at a sushi place.

Not at Yoshi.

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One Comment
  1. Mary Nicklawske permalink

    Great one mark

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