Monday, January 26, 2009

Sushi Sei, Otemachi

You know how the Japanese alphabet (errr, syllabary) works, right? [Actually it's already time for a digression. Do you know the story of the Cherokee syllabary? The Cherokee had no written language until the 1820's, when one of them decided it would be cool to have, and made up a syllabary. Only recorded instance of an illiterate people becoming literate overnight (relatively).]

Right, we're back. Japanese doesn't have a 'di' sound, as in Rollatini di Mellanzane. If you said this properly, it would sound like 'ji'. But no one wants to sound uncultured, and there are so many foreign words that require the sound ('building'), that there's a workaround and everyone says 'di'.

But not the architects of Otemachi. When they were putting up some of the older buildings, they went right ahead and spelled it correctly - builjing (ビルジング). So you have the quite imaginatively-named Japan Builjing (日本ビルジング). I think this building houses some kind of municipal water and sewer department, because there are exhibits of pipes and manhole covers. And I'm sure the basement of this building houses the latest in the interminable series of restaurant streets that I've explored this year.

I went at 12. Mistake. There were places with, no lie, 30 people in line outside. This means I was somewhat steered into choosing a place with no line, and that left me with...sushi. Sushi Sei was adequate, nothing to write about really, but fairly fresh fish and a few more interesting menu items (中落ち, 鯛ごまだれ, サーモンとろろ). All the donburi were around Y1000, and the smaller ones (like I had) came with three nigiri as well. Now that I've looked at the web site, I recognize the head store as one I've seen while browsing around Tsukiji at night looking for sushi (I know, I know, shouldn't be that hard to find).

There are some better-looking places down there, including a steak place (should you want to eat teppan wagyu for lunch) and a pizza-pasta place with confusing epigrams about Taos, New Mexico on the walls.


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