Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Poison, Poison, Tasty Fish
Our first sushi excursion in Lincoln was nothing if not a memorable experience. Monkey and I headed south of Nebraska Highway to an unassuming little shopping center, circa 1975, where we found Kabuki Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar. Upon entering, we were impressed with the decor: mirrored walls, swords and vases on display, model ships and painted banners adding to the ambiance. However, the positive impression was shattered upon our first encounter with our server.
She approached us, dressed in a full kimono, asking abruptly, "Only two?" She led us to a table. "You sit here," she told us, removing two full galsses of water from the table and leaving behind the wet rings from the glasses and two quizzical patrons. The menus were at the table, along with the place settings for two, but around the table for four were crowded six chairs. Monkey and I looked at each other, stares of uncertainty in our eyes. We sat.
The menu looked promising. The waitress came over to take our order. The couple at the table behind us were begging for water. They waited fifteen minutes before one of them called the waitress over to the table to ask her, "Are you going to bring us water or not?" She brought them water. Did I mention that there were only three people working at the restaurant tonight?One hostess/waitress, one sushi chef, and one old dude who was really not doing anything, as far as I could tell.
Anyway, she took our order. We asked for seaweed salad. "Hold on," she said. She took three steps toward the sushi bar and began yelling at someone in Japanese. She yelled for about five minutes, and I never heard anyone reply. She came back to the table, saying, "No seaweed salad. I bring you regular salad." I told her I didn't want regular salad. "Included," she said. "Soup. Salad. Included." Okay, whatever. "How about a drink," she asked. "Hot tea," we replied.
While we waited for our food, we watched the sushi chef work, and our server just sort of putz around. During the length of our visit, not one table was cleared. There was a large table covered with half-eaten food, empty glasses and dirty plates from th emoment we arrived. The only change when we left: that is where our waitress placed the two full glasses of water she had removed from our table. Every table that was vacated as we waited (and eventually ate), was left in the state the diners left it. Perhaps our server was engaged in some sort of art project, I don't know. I should have asked. She certainly didn't seem engaged in much else. But I digress....
What seemed like hours later, we got our food. We never got our hot tea (but she did try to charge us). Overall, the food was average at best and the service was about the worst I have ever experienced. Having spent the past eight years enjoying the fine sushi that Osaka has to offer, not to mention the friendly and personal service, Monkey and I are spoiled, and this experience just didn't measure up. Word is there is only one other sushi place in town, and that it is not very good.
Granted, neither Monkey nor I suffered the fearsome fate of Homer Simpson (we try to steer clear of fugu), but it's gonna be a hard food transition, folks. At least in the sushi area.