“I no yack that!” Welcome to dinner time at my house. Lately it seems that no matter what we put on her plate, my three year old daughter is quick to declare that she doesn’t like it and has no plans on eating it. So night after night, my husband I try to explain a simple lesson to her…you don’t have to like it, but you do need to at least try it.
However, if I’m honest with myself, I’d have to admit that I’m guilty of not always following this lesson myself. When it comes to food, I’d like to think that I’m pretty easy to please…give me a steak, a slice of pizza, a piece of chicken or some spaghetti, and I’m a happy girl. But if you go beyond that, I get nervous. Let’s just say that eating at P.F. Chang’s is about as “ethic” as I get.
So, I decided to take a “bite” out of life by taking a bite out of something I never thought I would: sushi. Yes, I know TONS of people love this stuff and rave about how delicious it is. But I just don’t get it. It looks weird and nothing about it is at all appetizing to me.
I recruited someone special to join me in this little raw-fished adventure…another sushi virgin: my mom.
So the two of us made a lunch date. We had it all planned out. Picked the perfect restaurant and had been researching their menu all week. Little did we know that our lunch date would not go as we planned. In fact, afterwards the two of us would laugh about how there seemed to be countless signs telling us that this was a bad idea.
I met my mom at the restaurant, excited that we were going to “live on the wild side”. And then we encountered our first sign. Problem #1….during all of our research about the restaurant’s menu, somehow we overlooked a small, yet important detail…the restaurant was closed. Yep–no lunch on Saturdays. Scrambling to quickly come up with a plan B, we remembered that there was another seafood restaurant around the corner….closed too. Determined not to give up, my mom suggested a Japanese steak house 20 minutes away. So off we went.
And strike three.
We pull up to the restaurant (by this time starving), only to see that they weren’t going to open for another hour. This is where we should have cut our losses, rescheduled and tried some other time. But my mind was made up…I WAS GOING TO HAVE SUSHI!
We drive yet another 20 minutes to a restaurant near my house. Thrilled that they were open, we hoped that our issues would be over. Unfortunately, we were wrong.
The lunch started off promising. My mom and I toasted cups of sake and were surprised by the chef with a fun appetizer. And best of all? Both were good! I was starting to become more and more optimistic that we were going to have a great lunch.
But unfortunately, that seems to be where our luck would end.
Another detail that I failed to think about ahead of time was communication challenges. None of the workers at the restaurant spoke a lick of English.
My mom and I sat at the sushi bar, totally clueless about what we were supposed to do. We tried to explain to our waitress that we had never tried sushi before and that we just wanted small bites of a few different kinds.
She smiled at us politely. “Bites? Yes.” This is about all I understood of what she said to us. The menu had pictures so we were pointing to them, trying to find out how big a “roll” was. “Bites.” Again, that’s all I got from the waitress. So not knowing any better, my mom and I took our best guess and just started ordering…3 different rolls, 2 of each. In our mind, when she said “bites” that meant that each roll was essentially 1 bite. We were expecting 6 small sushi bites–3 for each of us. We were wrong.
Instead we got a little bit more than that. Like six times more than that. That’s right…for those of you who may also know the ins and outs of sushi, here’s a quick tip…each roll has 6 “bites”. So before we knew it, a GIGANTIC platter was put in front us of with nearly 40 pieces of sushi.
We both just sat there for a moment…staring at the huge plate in front of us. It was overwhelming and yes, scary. Even though by this point I was starving, nothing on this plate looked remotely good to me.
My mom made me go first. I put a piece in my mouth. My mom was glued to me…waiting for my reaction. And with my mouth still full, I said the first thing that came to my mind…
“I no yack that!”
My mom, now terrified to try it, slowly took a bite too. Her face was priceless: complete and utter disgust.
Struggling to get our first bites down, we did the only thing we could…we started laughing…a lot. In fact, we laughed so hard that we were both literally crying. There we were…sitting in a sushi bar…totally grossed out…and staring at this huge platter that we accidentally ordered.
I’m proud to say that we did force each other to at least try 1 bite of each roll. And that was enough. Mission accomplished. From this point on, I can confidently say that I’ll have to stick with just the sake!
I looked at my mom and asked her a simple question…”Ready for a cheeseburger?”