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Are you Sushi Experienced?

posted at 12:01 pm
on Sep. 30, 2000

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From the moment I entered the restaurant, my head started shaking left to right and back again, the mantra “No way, unreal, get out, bi-zarre, no way, unreal, get out, bi-zarre,...” chanted involuntarily under my breath.  I didn’t want to look like I was being negative.  I wasn’t being negative.  It’s just that I finally understood what the word “unimaginable” meant—a place so different, so out of the realm of normal possibility that the mind couldn’t even consider the possibility that such a restaurant might exist.

The restaurant is Tokyo Delve’s Sushi bar in Marina del Rey.  For those of you who haven’t been there, it’s the closest thing to Tijuana I’ve seen in Los Angeles.  Black rug, chairs and tables, keep the evidence of spills to a minimum, while loud music, old and new, blares out of huge speakers.  The occasion was a birthday for Jeff Wong, a friend of mine from back at USC.  Jeff was enjoying the local fire water with me, Susie and about 20 more of his friends.

Despite the list I saw on the menu, a glance around the restaurant reveals that there are only two drinks at Delve’s: Sapporo beer and sake.  Well, three drinks, because you’re encourage to make a “sake bomb” by dropping a glass of sake into a mug of beer and downing it. Optimists would say it’s a good way to make sake easier to drink, while pessimists will soon be swept away by crowds of drunk optimists dancing to Lou Bega’s Mambo Number 5.

By the end of the evening, we’d been chastised by the waiters for dancing “too much” on the table tops, I’d seen the birthday boy spanked in a way you usually have to pay money to see, I’d gotten horse from trying to shout over the noise from nearby tables of 20- and 30- something revelers, and I spent 15 minutes trying to find someone who looked sober enough to remember that I’d paid for my share of the dinner when the check came.

Don’t get me wrong—I didn’t have a bad time at the party at all. Far from it—nothing was spilled, no one insulted me, everyone was friendly, food was good, service was surprisingly prompt (better than in many restaurants where you can hear the waiter). It was fun meeting Jeff’s extended friend circle, especially the selection of blonde women from around the globe that he’s cultivated.

It’s just that, as I explained to Susie on the drive home, if I made a list of all the things I’d like to do if I had a free evening, and I did them all in order, one a night, I might arrive at Tokyo Delve’s in February 2085.  It belongs to a group of people as different from me as the Flat Earth Society.



Previous entry:
Goodbye Mr. Teeth

Next entry:
GadgetMan Attends a Wedding


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

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