My eating adventures have been few to none in the past few weeks, but last night I found a way to make your typical Americanized maki rolls all the more interesting--eat them traditional style by sitting on the floor in your own private dining room!
My roommate and a few other midwestern friends headed out to Fujiya--a sushi chain in the Twin Cities--to catch the happy hour drinks and rolls. Glasses of wine for $5, orders of maki rolls for $5-7. It is probably the most cost effective way to get a bit of a sushi fix, especially for the less adventurous sushi eater (alas, I couldn't make my companions share in some negiri nor the fried tofu appetizer that I wanted to try!). So our palates were satified by the traditional California rolls, spicy tuna and salmon, spider rolls, and catepillar rolls. Yum.
The fun part of this outting, however, is that apparently the only table for four at this particular time was the reserved room in the back--as long as we didn't mind sitting on the floor! I apologize for all my Asian or foodie friends who would know the name of this set up, since I am just too lazy to look it up for myself. Anyway, apparently no romantic rendevous were being held last night, so the four of us got the VIP treatment of a room of our own--overlooking the rest of the dining room through little sliding doors, under the muted wall sconce lighting.
Perhaps it was the feeling that we should have been paying extra for a room of this nature, perhaps it was because we were all cross legged and without shoes, or perhaps because we could appreciate the irony of a "fancier" room in a chain sushi joint, but we all held our chopsticks a little better and made more adventurous moves to the wasabi--while talking about drunken adventures and other non-serious topics.
Clearly, part of the fun of sushi dinners is the presentation (whether served on boats or made table/bar side), but I now know that seating and a room of one's own can make even the tamest of rolls taste that much better.