Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sasazushi, Kanda (笹寿司)

Sasazushi is constant. Sasazushi doesn't change. This is the first thing they say on the web site, which is pretty funny when you consider that the history page features a detailed explanation of all the various sushi carts and locations on both sides of the river that went into the lineage of the present-day Kanda location (since 1949, if my unassisted translation serves). Still, if they want to trace their history back 5 generations and lure in suckers like me and Todd, it's all good. Actually only one of us is the sucker; he was following me. This picture is a little deceptive; not that it doesn't look like this, photos don't lie unless they're photoshopped, but because it's in a small street and most of the stuff around it is much more modern. There are neat little old-fashioned bits scattered all through this neighborhood, like sweets at Miharado around the corner.

Getting atmospheric, here's what it looks like. One could be disappointed at the exposed cooling elements in the fridge; on the other hand, perhaps it was all the rage when they bought this to show off the fact that you had mechanical cooling! The little zashiki room is by itself, and there's one more table. They make some noise on the web site about how special their knives are, and using a big pile of fresh wasabi is always a special thing. Makes me want to take a trip to wasabi country, now that I think about it.

Perhaps in the old style, they make heavy use of the top of the fridge for sushi making. This is really the extent of the counter, since Todd and I were sitting at the far left end. The old master (turned 75 last week) and assistant whipped up sushi for everyone at the same time, slicing off netas and stacking them for pressing into nigiris. (My pluralization of Japanese words is as cheerful as it is incorrect.)

You can choose nigiri or chirashi (chopped fish 'scattered' on rice), in regular, medium or upper (it's not clear if that's volume or quality), and this is medium nigiri. You could say this is the signature plate since they have a 3-foot glamour photo of one above the bar (perhaps to offset the poor overhead lighting and show you what you're getting? Like the way that the whole market at Tsukiji is strung with the same hanging exposed lights so that everyone's fish gets the same chance to shine.). You could say it's pretty good sushi too, and you could also say that you could get stuff as good or better in a few other places around town for a good bit less. Not too many though.

You could further say "If it ain't broke," but I think there's a case for fixing things that are just bent.


  1. Where did the days go between 2/10 and 2/15? Did you really cook at home all that time??

  2. My bad, forgot one. But yeah, I had that fish'n'sake party, probably did some repeats that I've forgotten, and did quite a bit of cookin'.