Monday, April 03, 2006


I could never understand how sushi restaurants got away with charging so much for their food. It's not like there really is a ton of labor that goes into making a sushi plate. They don't even have to fire up the stove.

Smear some rice on seaweed paper, add rows of ingredients, roll it up, cut it up, and place on dish with a little smidge of wasabi and a pinch of ginger. Voila! Roll!

Or, make a small mound of rice, place a cut piece of fish on top. Voila! Sushi!

Or, simpler yet, place a cut piece of fish on a plate. Voila! Sashimi!

So with this simplistic approach to serving up dinner, sushi restaurants are making more of a profit margin than the local coffee shop that sells 4 cent cups of coffee for $2.50 a cup.

Sure, there's that component of skill when it comes to cutting up a piece of fish into a pleasant shape, but there's skill in everything, whether it be grilling a porterhouse or pouring sauce over pasta. And besides, how hard would it be to cut a piece of fish fillet into a square. Or trapezoid. Or an oval? It's not like every piece of sushi is fugu fish.

The arguement can be made regarding the use of "sushi grade" fish to justify the cost. But what exactly is sushi grade? It's just fish that's been frozen to kill the parasites. "Sushi grade" sounds all fancy-schmancy and elitest, but it really isn't. It's just fish that meet the minimum FDA requirements. Nothing special. And hardly anything to really justify the high cost of asking for a bunch of uncooked fish on a plate.

Funny thing though, if I found a sushi restaurant with bargain prices, I'd probably end up avoiding it.

A cheap sushi place? Hmm... sounds suspect.