Tai wrapped around Carrot ,Diakon, Yam, pickled Burdock, Cucumber, rice noodle, and Shiso leaf with a drop of Tobiko..... Back in a bit....
Sushi has for certain a special place in the hearts of Santa Cruzans and you cant swing a cat in this county with out hitting a Sushi joint. some are good some are not and some have folk lore that keeps the bar full. We have Korean influenced Sushi ,we have Cali style galore and even some hard core traditional in the heart of the Point(no silly not Pink Godzilla) lets just go over some terms to help you traverse some of the daunting menus so you get what you want and find what you need.
First .....DO NOT OPEN YOUR CHOP STICKS AND RUB THEM TOGETHER! Beyond disrespectful to the owner and Sushi chef. You are basically telling them that their joint is so cheap that they do not provide proper utensils. Its a big F You. I know some times we do get those cheap mass produced chop sticks that are less than perfect but rubbing them together isn't going to rid the splinters and the Ugly American behaviour is just not good. Respect is huge . We all want to receive it and as well project good will to those who provide a dining experience.
Size matters. In Japan Nigiri style sushi is the size of ones finger just enough for one bite. The piece should not be theses ginormous slabs o fish that takes two to three bites to get down. Silly Americans so concerned with quantity rather that quality. We also have a funny relationship with wasabi . creating a slurry of paste and Soy then dunking the poor fish till half the dish soaks into the rice masking any attempt at the delicate nuances raw fish can give. The wasabi is the GIRL FRIDAY to the experience. A tiny dab smeared on the piece and rare is it that soy is necessary. Alot if Sushi chefs will put a dab "under the skirt" to give you the proper ratio wasabi to fish for the best experience. The delicate flavours of the rice alone with the hint of sweetness and sour from the rice wine vinegar that gets paddled in when cooling from the cooker. You just miss so much when too much wasabi and soy are introduced. At the very least try without to create an opinion about your bite you might be very surprised what you might discover rather a hot ,salty ,textural roller coaster ride.
Cream Cheese has no place in the sushi repertoire. End of story. Fusion is Confusion and this is a perfect example. In Japan the is little or no dairy culture thus cream cheese needs to return to the bagel with a beautiful Gravlox.
Enjoy the terms and try a few out some time. The Chef will be tickled by your genuine interest in his/her culture.
Good eating my friends....
Domo. Thank you.
Domo arigato. Thank you very much.
Gaijin. Outsiders, foreigners.
Gochiso-sama [deshita]. Traditional phrase closing a meal.
Itadakimasu. Traditional phrase opening a meal.
Itamae. The sushi (or other Japanese) chef.
Konichiwa. A greeting, roughly `how are you'.
Omakase. Chef's choice.
Okonomi. The practice of ordering sushi a few pieces at a time.
Sabinuki. `No wasabi, please.'.