In today's guest post, Robert of Cross Keys has a similar experience to mine at RA Sushi, which is always reassuring to me, except he didn't take a classical music critic as his companion and his waitress didn't hand out condoms. Here's RoCK. EL
This lack of recognition had me feeling like Al Cowlings. Oh, how I wanted to say: "This is RoCK! You know who this is, dammit!"...
I doubt, however, it would have done much good. Apparently, the name Robert of Cross Keys is not widely known outside of certain niche markets, and by that I mean my Facebook account.
RA Sushi eventually decided to let me attend. Maybe it was because someone backed out. Maybe it was because my wife told them that I was driving her down there, and the management decided it wouldn’t be good for business to have some guy standing outside with his face pressed against the window. I can't say for sure.
I walked into RA Sushi for the first time, and I would be lying if I said it is my kind of place. My preference in a sushi restaurant is more traditional, low-key, and if you’ll indulge a moment of pretentiousness, Zen-like.
Well, that's not RA Sushi. You won’t find tranquility and Geisha girls here. Instead you’ll find house music that is turned up to 11 and a healthy looking wait staff wearing adult Mad Libs T-shirts that say “Nice ____. Can I ___ them?” If that's a Buddhist teaching, it's one I’m unfamiliar with.
This event was to showcase a new tasting menu that featured a good selection of various items, including crispy shrimp, ceviche and chicken teriyaki. These items, while tasty, are not what I’m looking for from a tasting menu from a sushi restaurant. I’m there for the sushi, and the sushi items they had on this menu, with a few exceptions, tended to be mostly baked, fried or filled with cream cheese. Again, I’m not going to say that these items aren’t tasty because they are, but if I order a tasting menu from a sushi restaurant I’m looking for the taste of fresh fish. I want bluefin, yellowtail and white tuna. Give me salmon, scallop and uni.
Everything I had at RA Sushi was very fresh and of good quality, so I believe the place is capable of things beyond cream cheese. I think the problem is that a lot of the people who go here really don’t like fish, and that leads to a tasting menu that is perhaps too accessible.
In the end I think I have to accept what RA Sushi is trying to be. Much like Sullivan’s Steakhouse, it's packaging sex, food and rock and roll into a party-like atmosphere. If that's not what you're looking for, I don’t know if adding some uni to a tasting menu is going to turn you into a regular. Either this is your scene or it is not.
At the end of the evening, however, came a reason to believe that maybe this place did have something for everyone. Over the stereo system there was a break in the hip hop for some “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. And everybody loves Journey.
(Lloyd Fox/Sun photographer)