The Japan Series — Imogen Dreams of Sushi

“Are we going to eat a lot of sushi in Japan?” my 7-year-old daughter, Imogen, asked before we left on our trip.

“You betcha,” I assured her.

“Just sushi!?” she clarified hopefully. And it was my sad duty to inform her that we would probably eat ramen and tempura and yakitori and other things as well.

Immy’s first sushi meal in Tokyo

In case you’re checking into this blog for the very first time, this is a theme that comes up with some regularity. That is, that Imogen loves sushi. She is an expensive date.

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Simplicity

A wet and drizzly morning of the sort we’ve been having lately, the usually dry stream that crosses our property burbling happily, the canyon veiled in gray and exploding in every shade of green, brought me back to a memory:

A child, a younger me, dripping in the rain — no umbrella, no boots, socks and shoes wet — setting leaves into the gutter and chasing them down the street. Joy: unrestrained, unmannered, untethered.

Simplicity.

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In the kitchen, after a previous evening’s West/East mashup of spaghetti ai ricci di mare, Venetian carpaccio, spicy fried tofu and three different kinds of sushi, I craved simplicity on the plate, too. More

OMG! Omakase!

In Japan, “omakase” means “I’ll leave it to you,” or more precisely, “I trust you.” It’s a common phrase in fine sushi bars, when you put your meal in the hands of the chef and let him make you whatever he feels inspired to moment by moment.

“Kanpai!”

In Topanga, “omakase” means my pal Don Schneider shows up at my house at 10 a.m. to drop off seven or eight different seafoods for a sushi dinner that evening, before he and family leave for a month to Israel to visit an ailing mother. He trusts me. More

The Piñata

“Dad,” a tiny voice said as I prepared to leave the house one morning, “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to a meeting in town.”

“You’re NOT going to the round-and-round sushi restaurant, are you!??”

“No,” I said, “I’m not.”

Phew!! my 4-year-old sushi-obsessed daughter sighed. “You are NOT allowed to go there without me!”

Imogen at the Kula sushi bar, April 2014

Imogen with princess dress and salmon at the Kula sushi bar, April 2014

I’ve written about Imogen and her sushi fixation on several occasions before (perhaps most memorably when, in her desperation, she insisted on eating frozen salmon sushi). But recently things had reached a whole new level. At one of our Tuesday sushi dinners with the Schneiders, she lingered around the kitchen after the kids had finished their dinners. More

Dinner with My New iPhone 6

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