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11-24-2009, 09:34 AM

Originally Posted by MMM View Post
I have never been to Texas, so i don't know how things are there.

However, here in Portland and Seattle and the rest of the Northwest your description applies as a minority. There are cheap sushi restaurants, and nice sushi (and Japanese) restaurants.

I am not going to try and convince you any further. If you have never been to the NW you don't know what there is in the way of sushi. (On the coast, Japan-trained chefs, etc.) then you don't know. San Francisco is awesome, too for sushi.

So again, talk about your city or state, but please don't say "America" when crapping on the American sushi scene.
aish... i don't think you quite got what i was saying....

just answer this...
how many 'itamae' do you know... are under 30 years old?
because... all the itamae i know... are from 40-60 years old...
i've never met, nor heard, of a true 'itamae' whose younger than that....

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11-24-2009, 02:15 PM

Well, I have easten sushi in several restaurants in Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and several other places along all three U.S. coasts so I have a slightly wider perspective than either of you may have.

From what I have seen the artistic and experienced itamae are almost all at least in their mid 30s and most much older. Whether Yuujiro was referring to this class of professional or all sushi chefs, I cannot say, but his comment hold true with those I would deem professional itamae, as opposed to simply a "head sushi chef". Yes there are dedicated and inspired chef coming up through the ranks, but they are rarely without supervision and I have seen too many of them enduring what he described - limitation by owners or kitchen managers that impair the art for the sake of customer volume, notariety and their ledgers.

MMM is right that the field is considerably better, especially the farther north you go on the west coast. But I have also encountered some of the sloppiest, unimaginative and overly Americanized offerings in more restaurants there than in Texas. My feeling is that because of the volume of patrons and the availability of fish at lower cost, there are more restauranteurs that have opened for business simply for the cash flow the "sushi craze" provides - as in lots of less then discerning patrons filling up tables. Because of the size of the west coast market, there are more mediocre and poor example that are able to survive than in Texas.

Here in Texas the overhead is much higher to operate and the gap between knowledgeable customers and people just wanting to seem trendy is seems to be much wider. As a result, most restaurants that survive more than a year fall into one of two categories. They are (1) extremely good and run by dedicated adn talented itamae so that they attract the limited Japanese clientele available and the American sushi "afficionadoes"; or they are (2)the ones with flashy decor, lots of minimally trained staff focusing on volume production of cheap product, and ever changing attention-getting dishes that have less and less resemblance to sushi and more and more to gastronomic one-ups-manship. For satisfaction I eat #1 (almost exclusively), and for entertainment and curiosity I visit #2.

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Some Informations About Sushi - 12-01-2009, 08:49 PM

Hello, I'm foreigner living in Japan for 12 years. Here are some informations about sushi in Japan, also some photos, taken in sushi-restaurant in Japan :

Closer to Japan > Food
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12-01-2009, 09:53 PM

Originally Posted by yuujirou View Post
aish... i don't think you quite got what i was saying....

just answer this...
how many 'itamae' do you know... are under 30 years old?
because... all the itamae i know... are from 40-60 years old...
i've never met, nor heard, of a true 'itamae' whose younger than that....
I am not sure what this has to do with what I was saying. All I am saying is don't over-generalize about the sushi scene over the entire country when what you know is Texas.
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12-02-2009, 12:50 AM

Here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, I know of only one Japanese Sushi Chef and one restaurant owned by a Japanese. The rest are owned by other Asians and it tastes like it. There might be other Japanese owners and chefs in the area, but we haven't found them yet.
I agree that food is changed to the tastes of the locals. Mexican food in Japan sucked.

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