Monday, February 12, 2007

Train of thought.

This weekend, Mr. Awesome and I had dinner at Sakura. Sakura is a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar, located at 75th and Neiman. More importantly, Sakura is the only sushi bar in town that has a sushi train. The train method of sushi distribution is ideal for those who love sushi and for those who are novices. The newcomers can sample several different varieties of rolls and nigiri without feeling as if they must finish something that isn't to their taste. The pros get the pleasure of seeing plate after plate of delicious sushi goodness roll past, each plate tempting, but not required eating. Sushi porn, if you will.

One rather large group of people took up residence at one end of the bar. They had in their company a little boy, maybe 2 years old (I'm horrible with children's ages, so he could have been older, or younger, I don't know) who kept putting his chopsticks up to the train. We eventually noticed that he was touching almost every plate that went by with his germ-covered chopsticks. At one point, his fat little arm thrust a chopstick forward just in time to derail the train. His parents didn't seem to care that much, but did tell him not to touch the train any more. He sort of complied, but really, if your heathen fucks with the train, they should lose bar privileges, pronto. I don't care how much you want to sit at the bar - you take your vile creature to a table and confine his cooties. We vowed to not take anything that passed by him for the rest of the night.

The place was pretty full, but there was a single seat across the bar from where we were sitting. About halfway through our meal, a beautiful young woman, maybe in her early twenties (Okay, I'm horrible with all ages, so she could have been older or younger or both or neither), sat down at the bar, alone. Wearing a teal tank top with a cropped cream colored cardigan and a pink wool scarf tossed around her neck and shoulder, she looked, to me, quite a bit like Scarlett Johansson. The girl was startling, not just in her beauty, but because here she was, dining alone on the weekend before Valentine's Day, not at all self-conscious or awkward. She was trying to not be noticed, as she was keeping her limbs close and making small, cautious movements, but she was such an anomaly in the usual scene that I don't think anyone could help but notice her.

I love the idea of the beautiful girl who loves sushi so much that she goes to the bar alone on a Saturday night. That is the magic of the sushi train - you don't have to interact with anyone if you choose not to, you can be totally anonymous and enjoy your meal. But as a patron of the train, you become a participant in the dinner show, and can't possibly be totally anonymous, as all the other participants will undoubtedly apply their own narrative to you.

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