A week ago I invited some friends to a Japanese restaurant that I found by accident with some really good rolls, and with a miso soup untouched with the need to make it more palatable to the American taste (meaning it was really, really good miso soup).
The ambience is very Japanese: traditional bamboo wall screen dividers, bamboo fans with Japanese characters, water paintings, and an overly large single propeller toy plane with "Budweiser" painted on the side.
American sports commentary from the TV fighting for volume with the Japanese pop music playing from the overhead speakers, mixing into some sort of deranged pidgin English/Japanese white noise as you eat.
Despite all the visual and auditory juxtaposition of everything, it didn't distract from the deliciousness of their rolls.
*picture is originally from http://leitesculinaria.com/84584/writings-table-for-one.html
02/20/2014 (Thursday)- Reservations For Ten
I find myself at a table on a slightly elevated stage, menus and table settings for ten, our shadows swaying back and forth in tune with the swinging overhead lights, “Ue o Muite Aruko” playing for the nth time.
Empty chairs and carefully folded napkins my only companions, as groups of diners come in through the door. Waiting. Hoping. Looking back down at the menu again.
A waiter approaches asking if I wanted a booth just for myself.
“I’m waiting for some friends,” I tell him.
The waiter smiles.
I try a smile, but it’s fake, just like his accent.