Friday, March 21, 2008

Sushi With Kids

My mom had a hip operation and last weekend we went to Saratoga Springs, where she lives, to visit her in the hospital. She’s doing quite well now. Thanks for asking. She's in pain, but up and walking. A good thing.

One night we took the kids for sushi at a restaurant called Sushi Thai Garden and they were very friendly and kid-welcoming and good, fresh raw fish was had by all. The staff, made up of lovely Asian girls, smiled a lot and acted like our kids were the cutest thing since puppies. They barely seemed to mind that we left the floor littered with bits of raw fish, flecks of seaweed, discarded edemame shells and stray noodles, even though we tried to pick up as much as we could with our fingers. The floor clearly needed one of those steam cleaners and I’m quite certain they'll be picking Edie’s dinner out of their carpet long into next year.

Still, the staff smiled politely at us all through the meal as if they were glad to have us there. Actors all of them. They barely bat an eyelash when Lucy decided she didn’t like the red flowers on our table and made a rather authoritative and determined b-line across the restaurant and stole some poor couple's plastic pot of pink flowers off their table. The couple was a bit taken aback (By the loss of plastic flowers...Get a life, Freaks.) and so, we made Lucy bring a similar pot of red flowers back to their table and forced her to whimper a pathetic, insincere “sorry” to the couple, who smiled their best fake smile and then huddled together, undoubtedly judging us with their whispers and making a mental note to themselves to start using a condom with their diaphragm...just in case.

Still, the restaurant staff barely flinched and their steely, unflappable nature became even more apparent when Lucy became enamored, dare I say obsessed, with the sushi chefs behind their station. She loved standing off to the side or on her father’s shoulders watching the guys cut the fish and roll the rice and eel in the seaweed. And these guys LOVED it.

No, really, they LOVED it. I mean who the hell ever pays attention to them anyway? And now, this little kid was obsessed with everything they were doing and asking, with machine gun fire speed, every sort of question imaginable – What is that fish? Is there pinkie fish? What is that thing? Can I touch that? What’s a maki? Can I roll that thing? That looks like poop. Do I like seaweed? Lets count the pink fish…one…two …threefourfive. Now, let’s do it in Spanish…uno…dos… Are sushi alive? Can they swim? It's octopussy!! Can I ride it like a dolphin? I want to ride it like a dolphin. Really, that looks like poop.

It was like they were movie stars.

And because Lucy was so interested – and so freakin’ loud about it – the whole restaurant started watching her and then, started watching the sushi chefs and they started realizing it and hamming it up and the next thing you know they were singing Ethel Merman and knocking down a standing ovation…okay, I exaggerate. The Ethel Merman thing was in my head.

When we left, Lucy - sitting on David’s shoulders - yelled “Bye bye sushi chefs!” at the top of her lungs, which made the whole restaurant crack up and we tried to get out quick so we wouldn’t disturb our fellow diners anymore, but the sushi chefs couldn’t resist one more minute of contact with humanity and like all 6 of them started waving and yelling things to Lucy, who was soaking up all the attention like some kind of 70’s child star starring on The Love Boat and we left with the whole restaurant in a trail of fish crumbs and salutations and the couple who hated us a minute ago put a wreath of baby's breath on Lucy's head and someone threw rose petals at our feet and then, everyone got up from their seats and joined arms and we all sang "Amazing Grace".

Okay, that's a lie - the amazing grace part. And the garland thing, And the rose petals.

We just left.

oooxxx YM



Anonymous said...

oh what a wonderful story...even the made up parts. i love how the girls eat sushi...and even EDAMMAME! I can't get the cheesemonger to eat either. and he has an amazing palate. It's not that he doesn't like's just that no matter how much he eats he never feels like he has had enough.

ntsc said...

I didn't have sushi until almost 30. I'm from the midwest, a child of the 50s-60s, fish is frozen, breaded and comes in a box. there is no other kind, unless you catch it yourself, in which case it is pan fried with bacon.

My first marriage had ended and I was out on a date in NY City. Unknowingly I had been steered in to a Japanese resturant with a suggested starter of tuna roll. Now I knew it was fish, and I knew it was raw, but I very much wanted to make a good impression on this woman, who I spent much of college being afraid to ask out.

So, mentally gritting my teeth, I tried the first piece. To my amazement I liked it. I like other Japanese food, but my choice is always sushi or sashimi.

And yes, the attempt paid off and I got to buy her breakfast as well.

Le laquet said...

Yay hay! Sounds fantastic and why shouldn't they be minor celebrities at that age?

L'altre stelle said...


Thanks for the positive review of Sushi-Thai. One of my professors recommended it to me, and I was just telling my boyfriend we should go! Sounds like it's worth checking out.. and I love sushi. Were those photos from the restaurant?


The Yummy Mummy said...

Megan -

No, the photos weren't from the restaurant. I had my hands full enough! I can barely get a shot off at a restaurant these days. Hopefully that'll change once the kids get a little bigger.

Are you at Skidmore? How do you know Sushi Thai Garden??? I'm so intrigued now...


L'altre stelle said...

I'm in the psy grad program at the University at Albany. Saratoga is about 40 minutes north :) I've only been there a couple times, but it's nice!