Now, I'm not that adventurous a sushi eater. I love sushi, but I do tend to stick to my comfort zones. You pour eel sauce on it, and I'll at least try it, but honestly, I'm the next stage up from California rolls in terms of adventurousness--get into the scary weird invertebrates and I start to back away. (Kevin, on the other hand, is a voracious and enthusiastic eater of every form of sushi except natto. I have, out of pure machismo, eaten the fried shrimp-heads and sampled uni,** but I don't order them.)
Nigiri, for example, is completely wasted on me. So I have been going to this sushi place for three or four months now, once or twice a week when I mailed stuff, solely because their soup and salad is totally the best I've had. (I don't know why their ginger dressing is so much better than anywhere else, but it is) and you can get a great lunch with a very yummy (and gigantic) roll for ten bucks. It's my lunch splurge out, and makes up for the canned soup and Lean Cusine I live on the rest of the week.
That their nigiri might cause strong men to weep never occurred to me, until Kevin gazed into his sashimi sampler and dabbed at his eyes. Apparently their wasabi was also the superior grade rather than the cheap nuclear stuff you get at the normal run of places. Go figure. I just liked their ginger dressing.
Also, Kevin's mojo was never more apparent. MONTHS I have been going in here, to the point where the waiters just go "Ice tea and Maynard roll lunch, right?" when I walk in. I have never seen the owner. But let Kevin come in, and the owner (a lovely little Japanese woman with an unusual quasi-British accent) comes out and talks to us for forty-five minutes about wasabi grades, sushi, and then she discovered Kevin was in IT and the words MySQL and Apache were uttered and I pretty much lost the thread after that. (It finally occurred to me after about twenty minutes that the owner, who kept praising Kevin to me, might have thought we were on a date. Since I generally come in alone and read a book over my sushi, perhaps she was trying to help him out.)
So we finally rolled out, stuffed on good sushi, and went out to Quail Ridge books--they'd asked me to come in and sign their stock of Dragonbreath--and then headed over to a Christmas-Kwanzaa-Haunnakah party that some friends of Kevin were throwing. They had the best bathroom ever. It was one of those wonderful old tile jobs where the pale color is edged in a black border and they have the black built in ceramic soap dish and so on. I had a yellow-and-black bathroom in St. Paul exactly like that. Theirs was cotton-candy pink and black, and the floor tiles were exquisite. (The only problem, according to the owners, was that when they broke one of those ceramic soap dishes, she had to scour the world to find a replacement, and eventually wound up in an ancient dusty shop presided over by the God of Tiles.) I love those bathrooms. The nostalgia grabs me by the throat and shakes me.
And there were carolers. With an accordion. I mean, c'mon! An accordion!
Today, meeting of local Webcomics Group, perhaps some doodling, and tonight the kids go back to their mother and we eat cheese and wine and wander around naked. Woohoo!
*Maynard and Harrison. Go there. They need customers, they have fantastic lunch specials, and their food is awesome.
**Blech, blech, and more blech. Like tidepool tapicoa pudding.