Posted by: Orlick | May 7, 2008

I almost ate something bad

Today I got a little reality check…

For a month I’ve been looking forward to revisiting my favorite local sushi bar, Kohaku. I had some places I wanted to explore before I revisited, like visit the chef’s brother’s restaurant, Akari, in Merrick, and check out some other sushi places in the area before I came back.

So I went today and as the new usual, I tell the chef to give me whatever he wants. Now, I am learning that this is better to do on light customer traffic days earlier in the week so you get more attention. Also, I realize that I like to go by myself – I can just concentrate on the food and not worry about the other person liking what they are eating. Another useful tidbit is that you will most likely get a better cut of fish if you sit at the bar – if your customer was looking you in the eye, wouldn’t you want to impress him that much more?

Today I learned toro is not regular tuna but ridiculously delicious fatty cut of tuna. wow.

How it works is that the chef will place on the shelf of the bar in front of you your next piece to eat. Today I went through 3 rounds – one app as tuna nuta which was pieces of tuna and kale with mustard on it (so hot, I was leaking from my nose and eyes) – then a plate of nigiri (toro, tuna, yellowtail, sweet shrimp) then the fried shrimp heads (I love it). Another time he gave me them individually piece by piece and it rocked. I made the mistake today of having the piece with the seaweed (nori) last. You are supposed to eat the noried pieces right away because it is better CRISP! By the end the nori was falling apart, so oops.

Well, there is an obvious language barrier between us.
I try to communicate and I even had convos prepared beforehand (izakayas and his brothers restaurant), but many times there is that excommunicative laughter that shows our language barrier.

Today a hostess handed him a shrimp and for some reason he showed it to me (I think) and then went to cutting it up. I thought it might be for me (even though I was already getting the check free???) so he peels it and cuts it and then puts its uncooked head on a plate in front of me. I am used to it being cooked, of course, but this time it was wet and oozing out some cranium liquid. It was right there in the spot where all my other dishes were placed… I said something to him like “just like that?” with an anticipatory smile. At this point, my naivety said Sure! I was excited to try this scary shit. I leaned forward and then immediately one of the hostesses took the plate to the kitchen to be cooked for someone else. It wasn’t for me…

That was close. I really shouldn’t just put my life in someone else’s hands. It wouldn’t have killed me, but it could have been pretty nasty. Would I know it’s nasty if no one told me it was not normal?

Oozing cranium juice. I would have eaten it.

Tuna Primer


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