So today was Friday.
Dreama, my Native American friend, born from a hippie, and irrefutably a hipster (although she denies it), had weeks ago planned to take us out for sushi. Jessie, her untitled, ethnically Asian boyfriend with fierce Korean pop-star hair was her crafty accomplice.
And the story begins here. So we secretly snuck away from our other companions and met up in front of the Art building of my educational facility prison. For the most part, we remained unseen as we ventured further and further away from the crowd.
Joseph and Berto, my two old pals since kindergarten were the only others that came with us. Deviously.
Sure along the way, since we walked, we ran a few green lights, and scared some old folks by accident... but we managed to make it safely -and hopefully in one piece- to Japan House, our sushi homestead.
Actually, I for one had never been to this place. It was a little unpromising from the outside, judging by its suburban location behind a second-hand music store. Or so my opinion was bias.
Hoping with optimism that this would be a cool experience (forgive me for the adjective) we entered the restaurant loudly. After that, funny, I noticed we five hoodlums were the only customers in the shack.
I'll mention that I was impressed, the decor very contemporary... subtle neutral colors, clean.
At this point in the story, we'd sat down and ordered our drinks after dumping out whatever spare change was in our wallets to buy us some food. Jessie had fifteen or more dollars, I contributed twenty, Joseph and Berto invested about the same, and Dreama coughed up literally a nickel and a few pennies. But after digging through our purses and pockets, surprisingly, we summed a count of sixty-two dollars and eleven cents!
Gradually over time our drinks showed up, a round of Ramune, a coke, and a sprite. The sushi curtains leading into the kitchen were becoming unbearably annoying as they flapped into my face every time a slight breeze would pick up mysteriously inside the building...
We ordered a few rolls from the classic, middle-aged, Asian waitress who usually on most occasions cannot speak English. A few relapses later and one or more revisions to our order, the waitress left out table. After that, the party of five, talked about the usual. Mundane topics like, "Lovely weather we're having, eh?" weren't in the picture, but we did end up talking about our previous schools and old friends.
Jessie and Dreama got to hear about Joseph, Berto, and I growing up together as near siblings. We'd come from private school, and although sheltered, it really was the best thing that could've happened to us, coming from a non-menial perspective.
After telling some stories and waiting for the paint to dry, our meals finally arrived one by one. We each got about one or two rolls from whatever plate was placed in the center of the table so that all of us could try something different.
This was Berto's first time at sushi. BLASPHEMY!!! You can't be American without having sushi at least once in your life. You haven't lived until you've had sushi. How could you survive culinary school without ever tasting the sweet, sweet spice of sushi! Man, I didn't know how he did it!
But the past is the past, my friends. And I caught that first bite on camera. Flipping out my video recorder at just the right time, I taped Berto's actions as he slowly drew his chopsticks to his mouth, clenching the California roll delicately between the two wooden sticks. His expression was expected, but not quite the epitome of sushi-bliss and euphoria of the taste-buds. I'm not really sure if he was digging it.
I think... he was... confused? The texture too much?
It was a California roll. You can't go wrong giving that to an amateur.
I wanted him to try the Kappa Maki cucumber roll- but NOOOO... somebody doesn't like cucumbers! Who doesn't like cucumbers?
But anyways, we all loved the sushi. I tried new things, he tried new things, we all found something to our taste in the end, even though everything was spectacular.
The thing I learned, well... I already knew this... but moral of the story, never judge a book by its cover, and never judge a sushi-bar restaurant by the hobos sitting outside the threshold.
Why did I eat sushi out of a dark corner restaurant, blocked by an ally more or less filled to the brim with scary hobos and heroin-junkies? Why did I take the risk of seafood poisoning? Because curiosity is a funny thing when you add hippies and California rolls together. It creates a masterpiece of a hell of a good time.