02 July 2008

Likes & Dislikes

If you're old enough to read, (and even before then) you're old enough to know what you do and do not like. I knew I liked grapes and disliked apples before I knew what either was. I've discovered other likes and dislikes in the last 26 years and I think I've done a pretty good job of remembering them. So when I told Jesse I do not like sushi, I assumed he'd take me as an expert on the matter of my taste buds. I was wrong.

Jesse started eating sushi sometime after Thailand. There were several catalysts for this change in fooditude, including endorsements from travel-buddy (and malaria victim) Jay and poker playing icon Doyle Brunson. Jesse was really excited to share his new discovery with me, and chalked my professed dislike to the quality of sushi I tried. He was convinced sushi from a place he found would change my opinion. He was so excited. I just could not deny him an honest attempt at eating (and enjoying) sushi.

It should be noted, however, that I did eat reputable sushi. I went to Osaka (the restaurant) in Henderson (the city) about two years ago. Osaka was the first Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas. It's been run by the same family since 1967, and the most widely circulated magazine in Japan rated it one of the 50 best restaurants. It's legit (but does not have a website). I went with sushi lovers David & Annie and tried so called "beginner" rolls. No dice.

Jesse took me to Naked Fish. I don't know its history, but it was very nice inside and seemed almost as traditional as Osaka. Osaka did not have non Japanese options - and certainly nothing as Western as "For Sizzle My Nizzle," which you might know as a jalapeño popper. I felt more comfortable knowing there were other choices. It probably made it easier for me to agree to go, but it shouldn't have.

I left all the ordering up to Jesse. He ordered the Japanese Lasagna (the top seller), For Sizzle My Nizzle (the familiar food), and a Roppongi Roll (the roll that made Jesse like sushi). I ate the poppers first, and it was downhill from there. The Japanese Lasagna was okay, almost like eating a creamy rice covered mush. There was supposed to be crab inside but I didn't taste it. I knew I didn't want to eat the Roppongi Roll. It was really thick and had an extra bit of tuna on top. It was quite a lot. I told Jesse I didn't want to eat it and he convinced me to try it. I took a happy picture first and went to town.

It looked like a lot - and was even more to chew. I watched Jesse the whole time and willed myself not to throw up. I reminded myself how excited Jesse was to share his joy. I told myself this meant a lot to him. I even focused on the fact that he suffered through Sweeney Todd -- which I thoroughly enjoyed. That all happened while I was still chewing. It was awful, but I got it down. And Jesse finally understood. I do not like sushi.