Americans just don't know what real sushi is

Posted by SANDRA OKAMOTO on December 5, 2012 

A friend was saying how good sushi was in a local restaurant and how authentic it was.

He loved all the sauces the sushi chef used.

Well, I hated to burst his bubble, but I told him that in Japan, the only sauces were soy sauce and the eel sauce.

Besides, the "authentic" sushi wasn't made by a Japanese sushi chef. At that time, there was only one Japanese sushi chef and he wasn't at that restaurant.

My friend really needs to see "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" to learn about sushi. It's a 2011 documentary about Jiro Ono, who owns Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo's Ginza district. It's in the basement of an office building.

It's small with just 10 seats, so you have to make reservations months in advance. It's also very pricey. You can easily spend $500 for 20 pieces.

The day before Thanksgiving, we were all at the Okamoto holiday gathering place. After eating shrimp and grits that my sister Dorothy made, we sat down to watch the movie. Our friends, the Yonekawas, used to own Tokyo Restaurant on Moon Road, came over for dinner, and were there. Papa said two friends went there for dinner and paid $1,000. Yikes!

It is fascinating how Jiro Ono, a 86-year-old man started the restaurant and got three stars in the Michelin Guide. He was the first sushi chef in the world to get three stars. His son, who opened another Sukiyabashi Jiro in another part of Tokyo, got two stars.

I know that I'll never be able to eat at either restaurant, but I'm glad I saw the movie.

I was able to eat at a sushi restaurant in the market area adjacent to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. My cousin Kotoe said it was the best in that area of Tokyo. It was sublime, and certainly didn't cost as much as Sukiyabashi Jiro.

But after seeing the movie, even I dream of Jiro's sushi.

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