Kosher sushi? I never even had sushi until i was 26 and a friend from Yeshiva made it for me back in Boston. Growing up it was always one of those foreighn substances that had an imaginary ‘trief’ symbol and so i never touched it, even if it was rabbinically approved. However, today i’m all for sushi and with an abundance of kosher sushi bars in Jerusalem i don’t have to (st)roll far.
My recent article in the Jerusalem Post on Jerusalem’s kosher sushi scene came about after a long break without eating sushi ended a few months ago at Sushi Bar Rehavia. I had just finished slurping down a few pieces (i know that’s not what you do with sushi) when i realized how much i liked it and what a great idea it would be to write about it.
Instead of a review story the focus was the capital’s kosher sushi phenomenon, which had taken off in the last 3 years. My ‘investigation’ took me to sushi bars of different persuasion: some chill, some trendy and flary and others feeling more like upper class fast food joints.
Some of the managers were too busy to talk, some were very pleasant, and others had much to say. Two of them acted like ex-mossad agents who gave up their careers to work in the restaurant business, kind of like the story-line of ‘ You Don’t mess with the Zohan’ -about the Israeli mossad agent who stages his own death and runs away to New York to be a hair stylist. And when i approached one particular kosher establishment they insisted on calling my editor for an appointment to talk. I think they thought i wanted a free meal and i think they missed being in the article.
Meanwhile, watching the sushi chefs at work was intriguing and some of them are edible substance artists. Others were more ‘frum’ (traditional) and would consider the former heretics saying it may be art but its not sushi.
To me its all fascinating and i’ll have to keep eating sushi in order to understand it enough to protest one way or the other. Until then, i’ll keep eating sushi and be happy i can do it in Jerusalem.