I’ve been eating sushi for years and have always spoken to everyone I know on the topic ad naseum. Just for the heck of it I’ve created a list of sushi pet peeves that I’ve collected from what other folks say about their sushi experience as well as my own. These are not particular to any sushi-ya or region, but just general annoyances that one may experience when going out for sushi (of course many can be applied to any restaurant, but so what 🙂

So… Sushi pet peeves for potential perusal:

– A diner asking in a loud and braying voice what everything is, pointing and gesturing at the bar, at other people’s plates, etc…..
– People talking on their cell phones, especially at the close quarters of the sushi bar.
– Demanding attitudes or other disrespect of the itamae.
– Boorish manners (you can still be generally polite even if you don’t know everything about sushi etiquette).
– Loud TVs in the restaurant (sometimes a problem where they have regular bars in a restaurant).
– Loud, inappropriate music in the restaurant.
– Rolls that are sliced too large (mega-monster rolls). Once you’ve bitten into many of them, they fall apart.
– That one stray tobiko on my kappa maki (for those vegetarians).
Maki that was made a while ago where the nori is now too chewy.
– Too much sugar in the sushi rice.
– When they don’t clean the rolling mats well and rolls end up covered with tobiko or masago (some folks don’t like them).
– People who go to a cheap sushi place and then complain about the quality or size of the sushi.
– People who go to places known for their sushi and get tempura or terakiyi or worse who complain when they only serve sushi and not other Japanese food.
– Sushi served at the wrong temp (when the rice is still warm it’s nasty).
– Sushi served late, I don’t like it sitting around. I would rather have things come when they are ready than when the order for the whole table is ready.
– People who complain that their favorite rolls aren’t at a particular Japanese place. If you really must have the rock n ‘roll or avocado, spicy tuna and mayo bar-b-cue roll then ask nice and they may make it for you.
– People who think eating sushi is a great reason to do way too many sake bombs
– When someone at the next table points to your natto/uni etc and yells GROSS! Or really any other unnecessary comment.
– Friends who claim they like sushi, and then when you take them to a killer sushi place, they order teriyaki bento and tonkatsu.
– Restaurants that charge you extra money for the shrimp heads.
– Places that don’t serve the heads when you order ama ebi, even after specifically inquiring about it when placing the order.
– Ordering anything tempura and getting served something rolled in pako breadcrumbs and told it’s tempura
– Getting an unagi spine/bone stuck in my throat eating unagi
– When people don’t use proper etiquette for using ohashi…stabbing food, sticking it up in the rice…and especially using them as drumsticks.
– No *real* wasabi
– Sushi-ya that insist that you order through a waitress while seated at the bar.

Any other annoyances? Feel free to add your two cents!

Meshi Agare!
The sushi guy.

Warren Ransom

I have always been fascinated by the creation and culture of different foods, particularly sushi and sashimi in the modern era of Japanese cuisine. I am a classically trained chef and sushi connoisseur, also having operated a food service company and enjoy investigating and experimenting with food around the world.

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