Getting a bar seat at your favorite sushi emporium on a bustling weekend night? Sometimes pretty elbow-to-elbow. Because not only are sushi aficionados there for their fish, and their rice, and their Sapporo, and their sake, but they want the show. The thoughtful and no-corners-cut cutting of rolls and rolling of cones and careful handling of tunas and daikon sprouts and seaweed sheets.
Now that the Sushi Masters Finals East/West Challenge is making for Los Angeles -- on Sunday, September 20th, to be exact -- you can fully focus on watching the four competing chefs spend 45 minutes dicing and chopping and rolling and perfecting. No chitchat with your party. No other diners to distract. Just you enjoying the art of sushi making.
You'll want to watch the whole thing, naturally. And you'll want to stroll the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, where a Food & Sake Festival will be happening at the same time. It's $60 (and up) for the afternoon, and you'll get to sample away.
The Challenge is presented by the Center and the California Rice Commission, which includes this interesting factoid on the Sushi Masters site: "Every piece of sushi made in the United States uses California Rice." Best tuck that tidbit in your vest pocket and pull it out on your next date.