I am far from the suavest of sushi aficionados (try as I might, the most adventurous I get in terms of raw fish is with tuna sashimi, and I love rolls). Even at a more pedantic level of enjoyment, however, sushi is an expensive culinary habit.
Case in point: Last Saturday night CB and I went to a new sushi restaurant that had gotten rave reviews from my friends. The place did not disappoint and was entirely reasonable for a nice Saturday evening meal. Still, for two people, with no drinks, the total tax & tip came out to $50 for three specialty rolls (with all of my favorite ingredients – spicy tuna, unagi, crab, roe, avocado, cucumber, tuna, and salmon), and a bowl of green tea ice cream. The food was beautifully presented and delicious, the service was friendly, and the atmosphere cozy.
It was a wonderful dinner, and I view our $50 bill as money well spent. After all, sushi are truly works of art – it costs money to prepare the labor-intensive dishes and to purchase high-quality fish and other seafood. At some other restaurants, the cost of sushi can go as high as your wallet will expand (or is it contract?). I doubt that I will develop the sense of adventure or sophistication necessary to truly enjoy sea urchin, squid, or octopus sashimi. I do know, however, that I’ve graduated from $5 spicy tuna rolls at the mall sushi shops, and I don’t think I can go back. We’ve all heard of lifestyle inflation. This might be the very first step on my road to sushi inflation.