Sunday, November 28, 2010

easy to remember...

I printed this picture for my brother last Christmas, his wife brought it up when we got tea after dinner today.

Perhaps the best meal I've had in my life so far, an Omakase at Sushi of Gari in New York.

Back in Texas we drive everywhere; there is barely any street life. One moment you're here, the next you're at your destination. I remember walking to the restaurant from my brother's apartment, the feel of the streets, loving the the fact that walking was a necessity.

Omakase means "It's up to you" you let the chef decide what to make based on whats fresh, what he feels like, you're trusting him to show you a good time. At the sushi bar we had those prepackaged chopsticks that all Japanese places have, and for the life of me I can never break the chopsticks evenly. Usually after I fail, I just suck it up and carry on with my meal. However... this time a waitress noticed my displeased look and gave me a second chance. I knew there was going to be beer, I know now it's not a big deal... but back then getting to drink alcohol was worth noticing, it was different, fresh. It's as if every Sapporo I drink now is a futile attempt at reliving that moment. There are better beers, but I still drink Sapporo anyway just to see if I can get that spark back.

The rice was extraordinary. First time sushi rice has ever really surprised my tongue, it... tingled, in a good way of course. The fish was fresher than any I've had before, but the chef took it to the next level by pairing each fish with a flavor, essence of lemon, a hint of spice from the skin of hot peppers, creme fresh, always something extra special. There was fois gras sushi for heavens sake. I was lost trying to quantify it all. It was as if all the tension built up from years of watching food network and travel channel was being released from my brain into the stratosphere. I was happily snapping away at the first few dishes, but suddenly I felt guilty... I felt as if I should have been just enjoying the chef's preparations without pausing to take a snap. So I skipped some courses, and just so happens the one course that I did decide to pick up my camera for, someone walks through the door. All the chefs look up... *click*

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