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Sneakeater

Sushi Noz

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Coincidentally my coworker appears to be there tonight, guess I will get a report this week.

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are high-end sushi meals in japan exercises in silent meditation and reverie? at all the/few higher-end sushi meals i've had in l.a the chefs engage you in conversation on all kinds of subjects.

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are high-end sushi meals in japan exercises in silent meditation and reverie? at all the/few higher-end sushi meals i've had in l.a the chefs engage you in conversation on all kinds of subjects.

 

Can't answer re: Japan, but when I went to Noda, a guy seated next to me who'd been drinking all day playing golf (who also kept drinking through dinner) struck up loud conversations with everyone at the counter (the horseshoe shape makes that easier than the usual sushi bar setup). He did order glasses of Hibiki 21yr for everyone, so I can't complain too much.

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we've had conversations with people seated next to us at regular/ horizontal sushi bars before. i guess the horseshoe shape makes it feel more like a communal table. i have to say the implied notion that you would eat a meal in close proximity to other people for an hour or two in silent meditation seems odd to me.

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The chefs run the full range from total silence to comedians, and the crowd is predictably a quieter and better behaved version of the crowd here. There's not as much of a bro presence but you certainly get your share of obnoxious rich people and opinionated bloggers. 

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Reminds me of the time I dined at Ko (first time?). I arrived, solo, about the same time as another solo diner (female).  They seated us next to each other, which seemed reasonable, but then started bringing out dishes to share.  We had to point out we'd never set eyes on each other before.  From there on, we were kind of compelled to converse.  Which was fine, but it was like an unexpected blind date.

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The problem with sushi places isn't that you end up talking to the people sitting near you.  I generally LIKE that.

 

The problem is that the people sitting near you are almost always douchebags.

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yeah, i'm responding to sutton's specific complaint which seemed to be that someone talked to him about a piece of nigiri when he wanted to be lost in silent zen contemplation of it.

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Thing is, we weren’t at the ESPN Zone. We were at a restaurant where two hours of (mostly) spectacular sushi runs $340 after tip. At this tight chef’s counter, lilliputian portions of fish can require closed eyes and mental zen to appreciate their subtleties. As I placed a single bite of o-toro nigiri, a plump slice of fat-oozing tuna belly, into my mouth, my seatmate leaned over and said, “Isn’t that great?” And my concentration was broken.

 

 

oh, fuck off.

 

 

 

 

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this type of bro-ish behavior at a sushi bar, nor will it be the last.

 

really incredibly bro-ish to lean over and say "isn't that great?"!

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yeah, i'm responding to sutton's specific complaint which seemed to be that someone talked to him about a piece of nigiri when he wanted to be lost in silent zen contemplation of it.

If I’m paying $700 for some fish, and dining solo, I really wouldn’t want some stranger nattering at me. I think you can want to concentrate on what you’re eating.

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I think this to some extent reminds me of Nathan pointing out that NYC is basically the only place in the US where you can reliably assume a restaurant won't have TV. NYC is also arguably one of the few places you can go out for an expensive meal and not expect the majority of the room is going to be what sneak calls a "bro"

 

Also an interesting discussion how sushi became acceptable guys night out food to that crowd.

 

But ultimately it's a lot of posturing about class and "good taste". Almost more than about money (at least in this context)

 

A favorite term a colleague of mine uses to mock other colleagues who think staying at a four seasons resort or an Aman is the height of sophistication is " McMansion Luxe"

 

For good or for ill high end sushi is " McMansion Luxe"

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