Wednesday, February 19, 2014

NYC: the sushi experience

We woke up to rain tap tapping on the window today.  And rain in NYC is just disgusting, but this rain was particularly gross, as it began revealing that the snow banks were not all snow, but snow covered 3-week old garbage and dog shit. 

In the rain, we rushed our way midtown east to eat lunch at one of the top restaraunts in the city: sushi yasuda.  It took us a bit to find it, so we were embarrassingly a little late, but once we sat down at the bar and I wiped my hands and face with the warm towel, everything calmed down and we settled in for a real treat.  

This is sushi the way it should be.  Your chef takes care of you.  He learns your pace and adjusts to it, placing piece after piece in front of you, until you are done.  But he won't let you gorge yourself either.  I learned today that one of the most important aspects of sushi is pace.  It was a joy to watch this performance as our chef wadded the most delicious vinegared rice I've ever had in his right hand while gently massaging each piece of fish with his left hand before placing each piece on my plate.  

Sushi is like Buddhism in America.  It is diluted and commercialized to the point that you can buy it on the shelf in the grocery store.  It is trendy and over done, as evidenced by the 10 different places we have back home in Lafayette.  None of which serve anything that could be considered sushi by this standard.  It's actually a problem, as it has helped lead to wide spead over fishing of large fish.

At sushi yasuda, however, sushi is as much food as it is experience as it is performance.  All balanced in the simplicity of sliced fish.  Nothing fancy.  No fusion tempura dragon rolls or soft shell crab piles.  Just perfectly paired, paced, and subtly flavored.  This was a dining highlight of my life.

Afterwards we hopped a train to Columbus circle to check out the museum of art and design, which is currently featuring a show on 3D printing, out of hand: materializing the postdigital.  I didn't think I was interested in 3D printing (as an artist I'm deeply connected to the act of producing something with my hands head and heart), but it turns out 3D printing is quite interesting.  

Cape and Skirt, 2013. 
No. 419 from Digital Portraits Systems, 2008.

details from Twisted Dump Truck, 2011.

There is also a ceramics show called body & soul: new international ceramics featuring figurative works.  Sergei Isupov was featured.  He is one of my favorite contemporary ceramic artists and has been since my days in grad school visiting SOFA in Chicago each year mostly to see his work and others represented by ferrin gallery.

We watched the oscar nominated live action shorts in the early evening before catching a cab to red farm for dinner.  After our shit experience at fatty crab, we were a bit reluctant to eat americanized Asian food, but red farm does fusion right.  Best dish:  black truffle, crab and chicken soup dumpling.  

crab and eggplant bruschetta
kumamoto and blue point oysters meyer-lemon yuzu ice
black truffle crab and chicken soup dumplings
spicy crispy beef
singapore rice noodles
hot and sour soup with jumbo grilled prawns

It was our last dinner in the city, and I would say that despite the terrible weather and rushing around all over, today was filled with delicious experiences.


Lynn said...

Cool pics! JoAnna would love those fashions. I think we went there this fall. Glad you had a good time in NYC.

Zach Medler said...

thanks lynn...we did have a great time in the is such a treat to get out of indiana for a few days...i do wish we had the time to go a little later so we could have seen the whitney biennial, but we've both got way to much to do in march and april...maybe next time...if joanna is into the 3D printing...this has a lot more fashion than what we posted and some really interesting demos. it's 2 floors of stuff and totally worth the $14 student entry...tell her to check it out...

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