Yes, but is it sushi?
I was reading our freelancer Gil Kaufman's review of Moy's Pacific Rim restaurant and sushi bar in Kenwood. I've been meaning to go there for awhile, because I always liked Kim Moy's other restaurant, Moy Moy's (so many restaurants, so little time. . .) Anyway, Kim is making and developing all kinds of sushi--surf and turf, veal, feta cheese, etc.
Which may all be delicious. But the question is: Is it sushi? And the next question is: does it matter whether it is or not?
I have a hard time with this, particularly when I'm reviewing a restaurant that serves sushi. I think classic sushi, especially nigiri sushi, is one of the most inspired food creations ever, and a pretty-near perfect thing to eat. Vinegared rice, a dab of wasabi, a morsel of raw or lightly cooked fish, a touch of soy sauce. Simple, beautiful, inexplicably delicious. Rolls are the next-best, with the nori wrapper, and a more varied range of things inside. So I hated it when sushi bars started making rolls with 10 things in them, with spicy tuna and ranch dressing and cream cheese, etc. But there's no way to hold the line--these rolls are the reality of American sushi bars and it seems like snobbery to ignore or disdain all of them--worse, it just seems irrelevant, like griping about kids playing video games. (And, let me just say before the comments begin, please eat whatever sushi you'd like. I won't try to stop you.)
Does anyone else share my wish for better, simple sushi and less playing around with the form? Or am I hopelessly out of fashion? Is there an unusual sushi you've had in town that you think worked well?