There’s nothing like a little bit of burnout to turn you onto simple pleasures. Anyone that knows me knows my love of Japanese cuisine is nearing fatal attraction proportions. If there’s a sushi joint with in driving distance I’ve sessed it out. I’m the guy ordering the entire menu with no chance or desire of finishing. I want it all…everything, all the time.
Maybe that’s part of the reason I have such a love affair with Japanese food. The small portions are so innocent, just tempting me to order numerous dishes and rolls. What could one more piece of nigiri hurt? Surely this big round eye can sample the better half of a menu, well at least the nigiri and sashimi side.
This is how I’ve been party to Japanese restaurant bills in excess of $900. Yeah, that’s right, almost $1000 at one sitting. In our defense there was 37 bottles of Sake on that bill. What can I tell ya? Tattoo artists like the finer things in life.
In my neigbourhood there is only one sushi bar that matters. Taka’s Sushi is an 8 seat take out sushi bar. If you are lucky you can sit at the bar and try to converse with Taka whose Japanese accent is thicker than Burt Reynolds mustache. Don’t let the mild mannered nature of his establishment mislead you. The cornerstone of great sushi is in the subtle and delicate balance of flavour and texture. From that melt in your mouth buttery sensation of toro to the pop and squeak of Tako Wasa it’s here, at Taka’s, that simple pleasure takes on a whole new level for sushi freaks.
So after a long week of work I decided to treat myself to some of Taka’s finest cut’s of fish. I always listen to the chef when they suggest certain things, hell, I’m going to order half the menu anyways! Japanese Butter Fish, Jack Mackeral, Seared Sea Scallops, Blue Fin Toro, Tako Wasa, Tako, and so much more. Two of each please!
I guess anyone can put fish on rice and call it sushi. That’s pretty much what’s happened in Vancouver the last few years. Simple can go wrong so easily. Taka was the Sous Chef at Tojo. This experience obviously taught him the importance of freshness and proper cuts. But it doesn’t stop there. Small garnishing adds tons to the subtle balance of flavour. Taka is so confident that his preperations are solid that he doesn’t even serve you wasabi most of the time. Damn! Most sushi joints are hoping you’ll smother so much wasabi in your soy that you won’t even notice you’re eating year old frozen fish sticks. No thanks.
If you are at all turned on by Japanese simplicity, fine seafood, and gentle spirits, please go visit Taka’s Sushi in White Rock. Call ahead, as seating is sparse and often non-existent. Don’t be afraid to try things you normally shy away from. I’d given up on Tako(Octopus) years ago as It’s usually bland and rubbery. Holy Shit, if it ain’t turning out to be my favorite now. Go easy on the soy and let the beautiful balance of texture and flavour remind you that simple is often the best pleasure.
I gotta say, that dinner was pretty fuckin’ good.