A long while back I started running what was supposed to be a recurring sunday item called Scary Sushi Sunday . So as to replace Zamboni/Haiku Sunday. I planned to eat sushi from less than reputable establishments and then report on it's effects. It's not that I've been chicken, it's just that I hadn't come across an establishment worthy of the day. Until now.
I present to you Scary Sushi Sunday: Sea Lion Sushi.
Sea Lion Sushi is in a mall. A sad mall. A mall dotted with empty kiosks. This mall's flagship store is a Kohl's and it's nicest restaurant is the Old Country Buffet. I've never eaten at an Old Country Buffet, but I did take a walk around inside this one. Everything looked congealed. Even the salad. If they served sushi, I'd be writing this to you from my deathbed. Although it is possible that any deadly bacteria would be killed by the gravy.
Sea Lion sushi was about 3 storefronts up and 5 over from Old Country. As we passed, I gasped, " I have to try it." My wife said only, "I know." Then she walked away, head held high. Brave woman.
I went in. The place was empty. Even of employees. Good sign. While I waited, I noticed that what in most places what was known as a tekka-avo maki roll--tuna and avocado--had been renamed the "Tunacado!" Great sign. This was the place.
The "sushi chef" came bustling out from behind a curtain after a couple minutes. I'm sure she was butchering a fresh haul of yellowtail or something. She came out and took my order. Just some basic tuna maki rolls. $2.99 for 6. Mmm, what a bargain. She asked if I wanted wasabi and ginger. "No. I'd like the raw fish purchased at an empty sushi joint in a failing mall to go in my mouth condiment free, please." I said yes. I got them to-go and took my little styrofoam container and chopsticks out to one of the empty kiosks.
The rolls were prepared with all the deftness of a person who wasn't very deft. I've seen bums rolled for change with more finesse than this maki. They were lumpy, vaguely cone shaped, and a few were splitting open. The tuna was a jeweled pink color much lighter than the usual deep red one expects. I dug in with gusto. They were gone quickly. There was a slight stickiness and a sweet/tang flavor to the fish that I don't always find in my sushi. It was slight enough that I may have imagined it. Or not.
I joined my wife in Marshall's. Not long after, I started to feel a little warm, a slight gurgle to my belly, and a little lightheaded. Honestly, it felt like I had just eaten a handful of shrooms and in about 10 minutes I was going to be tripping balls. If memory serves.
As I announced these symptoms to my wife, I was met with pursed lips and shakes of her head.
"I don't want to hear it. No, I don't." she said.
"I think I'm getting woozy," I said.
"Really . . .? NO. I don't want to hear it."
"I feel hot."
"I can't believe you. You better not be sick because I am not driving you to the hospital."
You have to drive me to the hospital. It's in the vows. Sickness and health.
"Yeah, well, they don't say anything about stupid."
"You'll take me . . ."
In the end, it was disappointing. I did fine. Even had some supper later in the evening. Not a hint of stomach cramps or extra-disgusting bodily fluids, I am sorry to say.
But for a minute there, it was: SCARY SUSHI SUNDAY.
Your intrepid sushi reporter,