Last night was another visit to Midori Sushi (formerly called Maeda) in Studio City on Ventura Blvd. Michael introduced me a couple of months ago. I admit I was wary at first: All-you-can-eat sushi for $23.95... sounded like the makings of a mediocre fish and slow service disaster to me. I imagined a Todai-like atmosphere with screaming children and hot pink platters with bits of fish haphazardly tossed onto globs of rice, and messy, deconstructed rolls. But I generally trust Michael's taste, and was elated to find that quality was just as important as quantity to these folks. In fact, it's some of the freshest fish I've had in LA so far. Last night's visit was my third.
It was a packed house (on a Tuesday night!) so the sushi came out two rolls and four nigiri at a time rather than our normal 10 or 12 rolls and 8-10 orders of nigiri all at once. We've gotten into the habit of writing down on the paper placemats what we want for our first round, crossing out the rolls and nigiri as they come, and as we eat work on putting together the second round. They have rules, you see, that go something like this:
1. One hour limit for all you can eat. (You're on the clock! Go! Go! Go!)
2. No sharing unless everyone at the table is doing all you can eat.
3. You can't order more until you've finished eating your previous order.
(And these last two we love...)
4. No take out boxes for any leftovers
5. Any pieces left over are subject to additional charge.
Wai, wait... so, we can't take home what we don't finish, but you'll make us pay for it anyway? Huh wha?
Whatever. We love the sushi. We just do what we're told... which means eating and ordering and eating and ordering. We were starting to lose track a little of what had already come out, and slowing down and getting relaxed. We had 2 pieces left to go on the table, and we were feeling good. Suddenly...
Two rolls, plus another roll with mounds of baked scallop and sauce on top, and four pieces of albacore magically appeared on the table. My stomach sank, my eyes bulged, and we all looked at each other, laughing, with nausea and disbelief swimming in our eyes. It was a dollar a piece that we didn't finish, and we had 22 freshly arrived pieces on the table.
We tried... oh, did we try. I we finished the albacore, and got 8 or 9 pieces of rolls down, but it just stopped. We couldn't continue. We were trapped. Our heads hung in shame. Then...
Ryan started it. He took a piece off the platter and said, "Well, look, if you do like this," and ripped it apart, mashing the rice and shredding the nori, "and then you put some of it here on your plate and some on her plate and some in the soy sauce, it doesn't look like a roll at all! Come on, try it! *mashmashmash*"
We spent the last 15 minutes of our dinner at Midori destroying sushi.
Demolished nori into soy sauce dishes. Mashed rice on placemats and plates. Scallop bits into empty beer bottles. I couldn't eat even if I wanted to because my stomach hurt so bad from laughing. Michael, Ryan and I even flushed a few pieces of sushi. We flushed sushi! Who ever thought of flushing sushi to save a few bucks but these ridiculous people?
We are officially the sushi destroyers. But we have learned our lesson, Midori, and we will be back soon enough to eat all we can.