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Sushiya - Joe Shlabotnik Is My Hero [Who Is Joe Shlabotnik?] [20 Random Pictures Taken By Peter] [What Is Peter Reading?]
September 29th, 2007
12:29 pm

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Sushiya


Manhattan, September 27, 2007 - After my Spanish class at NYU (to which was nearly late because a Barack Obama rally in Washington Square park meant I had to walk the long way around), I walked to the new Whole Foods on Houston Street, looking for a quick bite to eat. I found it upstairs at Sushiya. You sit at the counter, and plates of sushi and other items glide by on a magnetic track. Pick the ones you want to eat, stack the plates (which are color-coded by price) when they're empty, and pay when you're done.

It's a neat gimmick; a woman sitting at the counter (one of only two other people at the counter at the time) says she'd seen this in Amsterdam before, but it was my first encounter with something like this. To me, it seems like something that might be common in Tokyo. The whole two lonely people in a mostly-empty weirdly-lit vaguely futuristic sushi joint somehow gave off a "Lost In Translation" vibe. I suppose we could have spent a chaste night singing karaoke and filming whiskey commercials, but I simply ate four plates and left to go to a nearby bar.

The bar was tiny, modernly designed, and empty except for a friend who was bartending. And then she had to leave for a few minutes, leaving me in charge and completely alone, watching a soundless episode of "Who's The Boss" over the bar. Which was even more surreal than the sushi conveyor belt. Then she came back, having changed into her space camp jump suit, and soon afterwards a few more of her friend showed up, one in deely boppers and one in a track suit with miniature lights sewn in. "The Wonder Years" came on the TV and another guy and I had a conversation about our crushes on Winnie Cooper.

Maybe I was in my own quirky independent film adventure after all? Well, she had invited people to the bar for her birthday (which was three weeks earlier), and told everyone that there was a space theme, but I was lame and came as a guy who shopped at Banana Republic. (The first Banana Republic on Mars, maybe?) She made us a great lemon drop shot, I had one more drink, then I went home early because it was a work night. Stupid work. It always gets in the way of my quirky independent film adventures.

(Oh, by the way, the sushi was sadly not that great, and a bit pricey for what you got. It's worth a look, at least. More photos here, here, and here.)

(Yay! 7 comments! | Please leave a comment!)

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From:paisleychick
Date:September 29th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a very interesting night! Fooey on work though.

There's a sushi restaurant in San Fran where there's a circular bar and a trough with water flowing on it in place of your magnetic strip... there are little "boats" with sushi that float by and you pick up the ones you want and then stack the boats (which are design coordinated) up at the end and pay your total then. The chef is in the middle of the bar making up the sushi right there in front of you, so you know it's fresh.
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From:joeshlabotnik
Date:October 1st, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
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Cool! It's like the It's A Small World ride at Disney World, except for sushi!
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From:tigermelp
Date:September 30th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
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I love places like this, but mostly for the fun factor! The food usually leaves something to be desired, but for a quick bite, it's not bad. There are a few here in DC...but it's definitely something that started in Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conveyor_belt_sushi

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From:joeshlabotnik
Date:October 1st, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
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I'm not surprised that I'm seemingly the last person to have ever heard of this, but I am surprised that there's a Wikipedia entry!
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From:tigermelp
Date:October 1st, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
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Well, the magnetic belts as you described them seem pretty new to me... :)
From:filmcat
Date:October 2nd, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)

girl at sushi place

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hi there, yes it did have a lost in translation vibe...but fortunately it was not under the direction of copolla's daughter..

...nice night you had. i went home and painted some..and watched the movie, perfume..
regular night for me. yeah, i agree that the sushi was overpriced.
it was not bad what i had though. in general anything in whole foods is too pricy. especially when compared to chinatown, since i live nearby...but i wouldn't advise eating in chinatown all the time of course..in fact, i've given up eating there..for the time being..
thanks for the pics.
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From:joeshlabotnik
Date:October 3rd, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)

Re: girl at sushi place

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Thanks for taking a look! I think I would have enjoyed some cheap and greasy Chinatown food, but (happily for my arteries) it was a bit out of the way.

Hope you find a happy movie to be in!
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