Me and Jieun had a dining experience last night so unreal, that you won’t believe me when I tell you about it. I dunno, maybe it’s boring, but whatever, it was unreal.
Basically we had the best sushi we’ve ever had. That’s no understatement. It was almost beyond belief. But the experience was utterly bizarre.
So this place is just a guy and his wife, and they generally don’t serve new customers. Sounds weird, but that’s how it is – if you want to eat there, you have to come with someone who’s been there before. The sign on the door always says closed, and there are no hours of operation listed. Along with a sign that says they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. If you’re a regular, it’s always open; if you’re not, it’s always closed.
Anyway, I read about this place on the Net and wanted to try it but wasn’t sure if we could get in. But we went anyway. The sign said closed, but there were people inside. So I made Jieun ask if they were closed. I do this a lot, because Jieun is attractive, and people are more receptive to her. I’ve just found this to be empirically true.
So there are tables there, but they’re all empty – everyone’s sitting at the bar. And when Jieun comes in to ask when they’re open, everyone stops eating and stares at her. And the guy gives some strange answer like, it depends on who it is. And he asks if we’ve been there before, and if someone told us to come there, and that it’s very expensive. He basically wants to kick us out. But with Jieun’s charm and whatever, and our assurances that we can pay for it, we manage to get seated.
So, I dunno if you’ve seen the soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld, but it was exactly like that. We spent the entire meal in fear, just wanting to stay on his good side. Extremely stressful. There’s no menu there, and no prices listed. You just tell him some preferences and he chooses what to serve you. Again, you’re afraid to ask for anything, lest you get on his bad side.
But the food – incredible. Everyone else there (except one couple) was Japanese or Japanese-American. And they all seemed to be friends or something, like members of a cult. I dunno, it all added up to me being totally excited about just being there, managing to get in. Anyway, the people there wouldn’t stop talking about how good the sushi is. This one Japanese guy was saying how it’s one of the best places on the West Coast. He said there are some comparable places, one in LA and one in San Diego. And that it’s better than almost anywhere in Tokyo, and he proceeded to name the handful of places in Tokyo that are better.
It sounds crazy, but it was that good. Totally hard core place – no salad or soup or anything like that, just incredible sushi. And in the end, he just charges you what he feels like. And it’s insanely expensive. But I dunno, it was the best sushi I’ve had.
So Jieun thought as soon as we got there that based on his accent he was Korean, not Japanese. Despite the fact that he was only speaking English and Japanese, even to his wife. But I didn’t want her to ask. Because you know, if you ask a Japanese person if they’re Korean, that can be insulting. And I’m telling you, the whole time we were just in fear, not wanting to get on his bad side. It was exactly the soup Nazi. So I didn’t want Jieun to ask.
But at the end of the meal she managed to make some small talk and asked him where his hometown was from, and she was right – he was Korean. He and his wife. I dunno, that was kind of interesting. We didn’t bust out Korean there, didn’t want to embarrass him in front of his Japanese guests or anything, but yeah. I later found some Web page in Japanese about the place and Jieun said it referred to him as being Korean so I guess it’s not a secret. Just interesting.
Anyway, I’m torn. If we want to go again I feel like we have to go soon so he remember us. Everyone there was a regular – he only has regulars – and some come once a week. The thing is, it’s insanely expensive. Insanely so. But if we don’t go again somewhat soon, we might not ever be able to get in again. And again, it’s the best sushi I’ve ever had in my life. So yeah, dilemma.
Anyway, I can’t tell you what the name of the place was or where it is. If you tried to go and it got back that we told you about it, he might not let us in again. And I can’t risk that. Sorry. But anyway, yeah, the most bizarre dining experience I’ve ever had.