Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sushi, Saki, and Fauxsabi at Moshi Moshi with Mo

Mo Ringey and I are both insane Virgos and recklessly established a co-birthday tradition tonight. Mo's birthday is September 10th which I remember by thinking "9-10 a big fat hen." For fit and trim Mo's sake I should probably change it to "9-10 a right-sized hen." I need tricks to remember most things these days, though for some reason I can still remember locker combinations from junior high school. I once rattled off three of them to a cop during a field sobriety test. The cop actually asked, "How do I know you aren't just making those up?" As the sky finally let go, we grabbed an umbrella and headed to Moshi Moshi, the homey sushi restaurant on the corner of Strong and Main run by owner and head sushi chef Sam. "Moshi Moshi!" (Japanese for Hello!) Sam and the chefs shouted as we entered.

Mo had her own personal chopsticks waiting. Regulars are greeted by name, but hardcore sushaholics are issued a set of personalized, numbered chopsticks, which are stored decoratively above the sushi bar. There are over 300 sets of chopsticks, named and numbered. You can see them above Sam in the photo below. Did you know that the word “sushi” doesn’t refer to fish at all—it refers to rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt. "Su" referring to vinegar and "shi" a form of the term for cooked rice.

The unfiltered saki Mo and I enjoyed set the tone for indiscriminate photography and borderline behavior for a public eatery, but the rest of the downstairs customers were soon on board as the rain came down in black sheets outside. We were all in it together and if need be we would clamor on board the wooden sushi boats as the waters rose and set sail for higher land! Or maybe row.

I am a modern primitive with my nose cap. Did you know that the mound of green wasabi you get at a sushi bar isn’t wasabi at all? IT'S PEOPLE!! No, actually it's horseradish with a kick of hot mustard and some green food coloring. Fauxsabi. Silly Americans. Here's the wasabi sob story.

(below) Sam: "Captured fresh in Paradise Pond this morning by first year Smith student in wetsuits with nets, snorkels, and night vision goggles." Actually, nearly half the fish consumed as food worldwide are raised on fish farms rather than caught in the wild. One of my favorite sushi fishes—yellowtail—is factory farmed like veal and fattened until its muscles disintegrate while it’s still alive. Yum!

Unfiltered saki needn't be served in dainty thimble cups.

Do these glasses make my ass look fat?

The best sushi chefs prepare octopus by giving the animal a lengthy, full-body massage—while the creature is still moving. "Oh. Ahhh. Yeah. Right there. The fifth tentacle on the third leg." Wait just a minute! While we're blowing the lid off of sushi myths, soak this up: Surprisingly, an octopus has neither legs nor tentacles. It has arms, which have suction cups on the underside. Most people think they have tentacles, but common octopuses do not. In fact, tentacles are merely flexible extensions. Squids and cuttlefish have such things as tentacles. Huh? What sort of wak-ipedia bullshit is this? Maybe this will clear it up.

While I certainly trusted I was getting the fish I asked for from Sam, did you two hear about the two high school students who did a project wherein they sent small samples of purchased sushi to a DNA fingerprinting lab for identification, and found that a large percentage of the meals at restaurants were mislabeled? Now, the students had a bit of an edge because one has a father whose expertise is in that very area, and thus had the proper connections. Nonetheless, the this sort of check is becoming quick and easy, meaning that rapid DNA typing could soon be an easily accessible procedure for personal use. Imagine the possibilities....bringing a sushi scanner to dinner. Here's the whole story from the New York Times

Impress your date with your increased sushi acumen, courtesy o' the 'Dome!

Above, mad sushi balancing skills. Below, saki emergency radio-transmission device.

Below, who will take the tiny pumpkin chopstick levitation challenge!

Mo's signature appliance mosaic artwork recently earned her a place in a book featuring the world's top five mosaicists.

Mo's blog Benign Girl
makes life worth putting up with for one more week at least.


Mo said...

Isn't Wasabi actually horseradish? I thought Wasabi was a Japanese horseradish ground to a powder and mixed with vinegar.

Thanks for letting me "option" your camera for the evening and go hen-wild. If I had a weight problem I might neurotically crumple at your memory trick for remembering my birthday. How about 9, 10, we hugged a hen?

I am making a blog post this morning about our sushi-rama extravaganza and will link to this post and expect the same in return. ;-). What a delightful evening. Thanks pally pal. I'd love you even if you weren't a virgo. ;-) Given that virgos are typically OCD and neurotic how do we withstand each other's company? I think it's the empathy and identifying thing.

Love the recent increased blog activity here. Now let's write our books. Can I have your camera? Do those glasses make my butt look fat?

Your pal-

Mo said...

Sushi is god-like.

Mo said...

Moshi Moshi is the most down-to-earth and friendly sushi joint on the jointing circuit. sam, is sweet but why does he not remember that he named it after me?

Mo said...

I am a better man today for having sushied the night away.

Mo said...

I am OCD-ing comments here.

Mo said...

I am virgo, hear me me roar neurotically.

Mo said...

Jim Neill for president.

Alison said...