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!
The sushi guy.
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been reading your site for a while, and I enjoy it very much.
here are a few of mine.
*people who think ordering a ‘spicy tuna rull’ or ‘California roll’ is “going for sushi”.
* People who douse their sushi in soy sauce.
* Anyone who adds wasabi to the soy sauce and makes some nasty paste like thing.
* bad tamago
* patrons who pull the fish off the nigiri, leave the rice, and expect to be served more sushi.
* Double agreement on the drumming with chopsticks.
Your site rocks.
Thanks for the words of encouragement, and it’s always nice to hear from a fellow aikidoka as well 🙂
You definitely added a few I should have, the bad tamago being up there. oog!
The sushi guy.
People you take along who spend time insulting the japanese culture and you wind up having to talk sense into across the table.
Aikibarista – agreed on the “spicy tuna roll”, but I think that the california roll is just another natural progression of the techniques once sushi reached North America.
This is kinda trivial, but in all my sushi bar dining experiences as a straight single man, I noticed that when couples sit down next to me, the woman always chooses the one of two stools that is farthest from me and forces her boyfriend/husband to sit next to me only to bump elbows with me and disturb the peace and bliss of my dining experience. Sometimes the oaf will even ask me what I ordered when there are clear illustrations of everything on the menu and sometimes I pretend like I never heard him for being encroached upon.