There was actually a time in my life when I couldn’t eat fish.  Sure, when I was in middle school, “daring” consisted of a thin layer of lox atop a thick smear of cream cheese on an everything bagel.  So along with eggs and mushrooms, I couldn’t tolerate even the mention of fish for dinner without a long whining Ew.  Kids are picky eaters.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  It’s not that I wouldn’t eat raw fish; I actually couldn’t.  Couldn’t have hot dogs or too much caffeine,  and I certainly couldn’t have sushi.  I was pregnant.

Giving up alcohol didn’t bother me.  Nixing coffee sucked so bad.  But the no sushi rule, hands down, killed me.  I remember sitting at Sushi of Gari on the upper east side, ordering creative rolls with mango and avocado.  Imitation grab.  It’s all imitation sushi if you ask me.  I wanted a fix of raw, real bad.  The beads of rice stuck to my chopsticks.  I was ready to lunge for just a lick of spicy tuna.  I left the meal unsatisfied and cranky.  This sucks.

Now, I eat it for breakfast.  I’m not talking day old, cold from the fridge leftovers here.  There’s a market near where I work, and in preparation for the lunch crowd, the sushi gets going quite early.  I love sushi for its variety of textures and flavors. The bounce of salmon, the cool mush of avocado, the subtle hint of sesame.  I could go on, but I won’t.

Sushi feels clean.  A few years ago, I ate it at least once a day.  My mother worried.  “Stephanie, I worry about all that raw fish in your system.  You’re going to get stomach cancer.  No, I’m serious.”  So now I eat it at least 5 times a week.
When I was a food critic, I could tell a decent restaurant by their drinking water (did it still have whole ice cubes in it), by the bread (hello–warm pull apart rolls with whipped creamy butter), and whether or not they folded your napkin while you were in the loo.  When it comes to sushi, the litmus test is the spicy tuna roll.  It’s my go to move.



  1. I feel the same way about sushi. And I am desperate to be a food critic, as well.

    and way to make an ass of yourself "argh." wow.

  2. I'm not much of a sushi eater…

    I've tried it a few times… my sister is a chef and she's made me lots of different kinds… I don't mind sushi without the fish.

  3. yeah, that was just plain cruel. and i love sushi too… it is truly the ultimate delicacy for me… A sliver salmon sashimi or a Opal roll with eel, avacado and strawberry… I get all slobbery just thinking about it.

  4. I saw a show where a guy had a large worm growing in his intestines from eating raw fish. Thus, I am afraid to eat sushi. People, I can handle. It's the raw fish that scares me to death.

  5. i am a sushiaholic also. one hint for you, with regard to your recent posts about being unhappy about your weight, dieting, etc.: lay off the spicy tuna (or scallop, as the case might be). its like taking some great sushi, and sticking into a tub of mayo. yeah, its great, i wont argue with you, and i love it. but if you want to continue to work on your weight, stick to the sashimi (no need for the extra carbs in the rice, not to mention i feel it detracts from the fish), and lose the mayo with a kick.

    just a thought..and indulge in it once in awhile, but if you took a look at the calories/fat in a spicy tuna roll, you would pass out.

    and i would hazard to say that drinking 5-7 nights a week wont help in your dieting efforts also. but again, you are a big girl (no pun intended), do what you want.

  6. To "No One Special": What a horrendously crass commentary you leave here. How charming of you to give advice that is punctuated with insult.

  7. Did you really find a correlation between the service in a restaurant and food quality? I've often experienced the exact opposite, the service will be great, but only to compensate for the terrible food. It's trendy, though, and new. So the girls will flock, and the guys will follow.

  8. spicy tuna does sound damn good…in fact, this post inspired me to pick some up from whole foods tonight! and contrary to "no one special"'s belief, this spicy tuna isn't made with mayo, but rather a hot pepper paste… just fyi

  9. You were pregnant for all of 10 minutes before you toss it in the trash. Please, you couldn't have missed sushi that much.

  10. So, how do you know how long she was pregnant? 1.And why do you care? 2.Are you related to her? 3.Her friend? 4.Or just a dickhead? I will say………

    Number four.

  11. Not sure if it's in your neighborhood, but have you tried the spicy tuna at Ota-Ya on 2nd ave on the upper east side? It's unbelievable. Definitely my favorite spicy tuna in the city.

  12. No one special: It didn't seem to me that your post was the least bit insulting.

  13. It's funny- I didn't like the same food as a kid as you- mushrooms, eggs, fish- I think it was more the texture than the taste that grossed me out then.
    I love sushi as well, but can't eat it that often- it's full of iodine and makes me break out- I read this in some beauty magazine once and I swear I can trace the 2 blemishes I've got going on my chin to the 2 rolls I had at Hi-Life in the last 2 weeks. It's like clockwork- I know that every time I have sushi I am going to get a pimple- it sucks!

  14. Having just watched Morgan Spurlock's demolition of McDonalds, I totally empathise with the "sushi feels clean" thing – I love it.

    UK readers – Waitrose sushi 'aint bad for supermarket fare and I would have that over a soggy sandwich anyday. You know Vine Street on the Monopoly board? It's on the opposite side of the road to the Ritz in London – a little way up on the right with your back to the Ritz. It looks like the sort of alley you would put the bins out in, but the best sushi restaurant is in there.

    I'm hungry now…

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