Saturday, March 29, 2008

What finally inspired me to start this blog

When a smart, educated colleague asked me, "So do you know any good all-you-can-eat sushi places?" I was speechless.
After a pregnant pause, I explained: "I don't know what to say, because there's no such thing!"

Yeah, I'm a sushi snob. To me, the beauty of sushi is the high quality of the fish, the way an itamae carefully and lovingly crafted the morsels just for me to eat, the fact that I'm enjoying a thousand-year-old tradition in the 21st century.
Sushi is NOT thick rolls stuffed with everything but fresh raw fish and selected veggies.

I won't apologize for my sushi snobbiness. After all, I grew up eating real Japanese food - authentic homestyle dishes (korokke, yamakake, gomae spinach, takuan, kimpira gobo, shabu shabu, nabe udon, ochazuke...) and sashimi typically fresh off a fishing boat.
I was spoiled by eating food made with fresh, diverse ingredients, both at home and on numerous trips to Japan to visit family and friends.

BUT ... I'm also a native Southern Californian, born and raised in and around Los Angeles. So I'm a multi-culti, embrace-all-cultures, pro-rainbow-coalition person who loves the melding of cultures here in my homeland. I DO appreciate and support how different ethnic groups share and trade their customs and food (Chinese chili sauce, California rolls and carnitas all on the same picnic table), creating our own Southern Californian style and tradition.
Of course, this So-Californization can sometimes dilute and render completely unrecognizable the traditions and foods of the native lands. So I still seek the authentic: Italian food made by Italians, real Oaxacan cheese trucked from Mexico, pho that's fragrant with star anise and so flavorful you KNOW the broth was simmered for 8 hours like it's supposed to.
And with sushi places now popping up on every street, practically at the same rate as coffeehouses, I have become increasingly discouraged by the lack of authentic, high-quality (and not over-priced) sushi available.

I have been encouraged by seeing all these food bloggers and Yelpers who seem to share my passion and quest for the real thing. So with this blog, I want to share the places I love, with the hope that you'll share your favorites and tips with me.

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