JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI : I DREAM OF JIRO

This piece was originally published May 21st, 2012.

jiro Dreams Of Sushi Post TemplateIn the last 25 years Japanese cuisine has become as easily obtainable as a trip  to your local supermarket or a quick walk down the block to a nearby Japanese restaurant.

However, with the rapid influx of this delicacy, what quality are we getting?

What standard is upheld within the industry?

And just how dedicated to sushi is the person making it to sell in the prepared food section of your nearby mega chain supermarket?

Sushi, one of the mainstay items almost always offered at a Japanese restaurant, by its simplest definitions is cooked vinegared rice (shari) and whatever the rice is combined with (neta). Added to that can be the condiments such as wasabi, soy, ginger etc. The neta can be cooked egg or other things, but is most often raw fish that has been carefully selected and sliced, then presented with the rice by a highly trained and skilled chef who knows how to prepare it so as to avoid any illness that can be had by eating the raw fish.

There are many variations of sushi, such as the common ones here in the US: the rolled sushi which is calledmakizushi, and the nigirizushi which is the classic small mound of rice shaped by a chef’s hand with the slice of fish placed atop the rice. So sushi always has the rice, while sashimi, also often served in a Japanese restaurant, would be the slices of raw fish alone, either on a dish or over a bowl of rice.

Here at Mystery Box H.Q. all of the above, sushi, sashimi, etc. (along with the many other variations and other dishes that are usually served in a Japanese restaurant like miso soup, actual ramen noodle soup, oyakodon, and tempera, just to name a small few) are among our all time favorite culinary delights.

So it was with a much anticipated long time wait we were finally able to experience the documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (2011) by director David Gelb.

 

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JAPAN NITE! AN INTERVIEW WITH AUDREY KIMURA

This piece was originally published March 15th, 2010.

Japanese Demon IconIf I had to pick one single annual event that would be my all time favorite to attend, it would without a doubt, be JAPAN NITE, which is a touring musical showcase/festival that brings to the United States some of the coolest, most creative (and at times most insane) Japanese pop, punk, rock and beyond bands that you’ll ever see.

The lineups change on a yearly basis and you get to hear and experience amazingly fun groups who otherwise would doubtlessly not have a chance to tour the States on their own.

Some of these bands are really popular and signed to major label record deals back in Japan, and many due to their appearance on one of these JAPAN NITE prestigious tours, which includes the hugeSouth By Southwest Festival a.k.a. SXSW, gives an added boost to further their careers and create large American cult followings (and for some even bigger prospects along the vast trajectory that is now indie rock’s network).

As well as having one of the nicest vibes you’ll ever experience (yes politeness and happiness really is the order of the evening, however crazy the show gets) and you’re able to purchase all sorts of great merchandise and meet the band members in person after they perform.

The Mystery Box
 had the great pleasure of talking with JAPAN NITE’S inimitable founder and tireless promoter, Audrey Kimura, who sheds some light on this most happening of all music evenings…

Audrey Kimura and her fantastic, signed Lolita No.18 poster
.

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A SMALL POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE CRACKED RAINBOW

This piece was originally published December 28th, 2009.

Mod 2009 Year-End IconThankfully, here at The Mystery Box H.Q. I am kissing goodbye to what has been a roller coaster of a year.

One that has been filled with the lowest of lows, albeit also with some very beautiful  happiness.

In retrospect, this seems to be a transitionally positive and better year than last year, which downright sucked dirty motor oil and exhaust fumes.


Without reporting the downers or becoming mired in too much negativity, since I get enough of that through reading Twitter and Facebook updates from the cranky or through my own venting outbursts, I am going to run down a list of a few of the standout things that have really helped make this year more fun than not, more up than down…

Listed may also be some things that I will be doing future column pieces on, so for now I won’t fully elaborate on everything in long detail and unfortunately, I am probably going to forget quite a few that I would love to add, but I will try my best to spill out a selection of The Mystery Box 2009 for your reading pleasure…
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