Our neighborhood Japanese restaurant has moved to bigger and nicer premises, and when we visited last week we noticed a new feature: a TV behind the sushi bar. That's in addition to the regular TV, which is silently tuned to CNN news, filling us in on the latest manufactured scare story (this time it was piranhas eating up swimmers in Argentina).
This TV just plays an endless loop of fancy sushi rolls.
So if you are intrigued by the Zen roll but not sure whether you would like it, you can gaze upon it and decide whether it's love.
I don't like any of these fancy rolls. I learned to love Japanese food almost 50 years ago when it wasn't trendy -- heck, it wasn't even on the radar screen of the food culture. Sushi meant a small piece of raw fish on top of a little heap of rice, maybe a little seaweed in the picture for a basic roll. And that's still what I love (and what they serve in Japan). The new trend in sushi, resembling dessert more than it resembles fish, and with mayonnaise squiggled on top, is just too frou-frou for me.
Nevertheless I think it's a wonderful idea to put food porn on the TV in a restaurant. I bet it increases their revenue a lot.