I went to Sushilishis again last night, being the recipient of a coupon that offered me a special not to be missed. It was $2.00 a plate for whatever we ordered, so we ordered the most expensive plates, normally up to $4.00, composed of rice roles with salmon and sauces of all kinds, an extraordinary roll made out of tofu skin with a tempura shrimp balanced atop it, crispy rice topped with spicy tuna... wonderful things. We ate till we were ready to bust.
When I first ate at this restaurant, I thought it was a mere gimmick... It is one of those places with the revolving belt of sushi winding its way through the tables. One waits patiently for her favorites to wend their way through the place, hoping no one will notice them until they arrive safely within reach of the waiting diner, chopsticks held up in anticipation to snatch the plate off the conveyer belt. But not only does this place have a conveyer belt (one of three or so in the immediate area that have this feature), but it also gives silly names to the rolls, and works changes on them that could be offensive to traditional sushi fanatics, but after tasting the Blizzard or the Sushilicalifragilistic, no one could be upset. There is so clearly an intelligence at work here, planning these dishes. These are real food, even if they work changes on the traditional sushi rolls people know and love.
Last night, R and I sat next to a Japanese couple who clearly preferred the sashimi and roe to the fancy newfangled rolls. But seeing our eyes roll back in our heads when we tasted some of them, they asked us to describe what they were like, and they tried one. They didn't repeat the experiment, but by their expressions, I gauge that they were not disgusted or displeased, and that they understood the appeal.