Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Because man can not live on rice alone: Miya's Sushi

We visited Miya's multiple times for this post. Our reasons? The food and to capture the environment, the life of Miya's, the scene and people and quiet havoc that exists at this magical restaurant. In the editing of this piece we may get our timing wrong, confusing names and faces, but we assure you this is how it was when we visited. You are our trusted audience. There are no tricks up our sleeves.

"Mendez, I leave the blogcave for one weekend and you managed to eat everything in the refrigerator and icebox. Look, you still haven't taken the mousetrap off your fingers, have you no diggity-I mean- dignity? Don't give me those puppy eyes, I spare no sympathy for your incompetence. Oh, dear me, those puppy eyes...I'm sorry I yelled at you. How about I treat you to dinner at Miya's? Or better yet, let me pay for half your meal."

Mendez felt this to be fair. It wasn't his fault Hans bought catnip and four tiny individual packages of Count Chocula cereal. However, the bloggers eating habits of home have no concern when talking about Miya's Sushi. When talking about Miya's you reveal a part of yourself that still believes in Santa Clause and good will towards man.

The first time Mendez ate there, many years and fort nights ago, he complained that the menu was too long, too narrative, and lacked a dollar menu. Recently he dined on a spicy catfish and black been roll proclaiming, "This is the best restaurant in New Haven." He paused to contemplate the gravity of that statement but to say it again, before conservatively dipping another piece of sushi in soy sauce. This isn't your Sushi Palace, Sushi X or any other American Steak House version on the dish: the sushi is so flavorful as it is presented, too much wasabi paste or fresh ginger (as Miya's serves) would be both a waste of great sushi and quality condiments. Miya's is eccentric and innovative, to praise it any further without exaggerated hyperbole is difficult to refrain from. Much has been written about Miya's and many writers seek court with executive chef Bun Lai. We are no different from other members of the media in this regard.

Miya's location makes it a destination to seek out. It's a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant magnet Chapel Street. The building is small but the inside functions as a clown's car managing to fit as many people as possible and comfortably. They have the friendliest atmosphere in town, the sushi rollers smile and wave and cheer, "Hans and Mendez!" The waitstaff should be referred to more specifically as buddies. They must have unofficially practiced their waiting techniques in high school signing year book after year book.

"Okay Mendez, how about you choose all the rolls? Fair is fair." The menu is full of pop culture named concoctions to make the hardest to please Toshiro Mifune fan smile. The ingredients show a hodge podge of MC Escher thinking where limits and rules are thrown away. If a beet covered llama skull were to appear on the next menu, we would be the first in line. The prices reflect the quality put in, so there is a wide range from 3 dollars to 20 for a roll. Mendez waited patiently for the waiter to come over to the table. "We'll have..."

Hans jumped in, jarring Mendez. "We'll have ..."

There is no definitive Miya's post. Miya's is many times, experiences and people mashed together in a perfect paste. No, nothing can be perfect. We know of imperfect sushi rolls (unnamed here for protection). The kind you order again and again hoping to identify each individual ingredient, hoping to identify it, name it, own it. Miyas, like all New Haven restaurants is what you make of it. Like Richard Dreyfus with a mound of mashed potatoes we know that this post means something, but we know not what. Perhaps it is a recommendation, a critique, a thank you note...

Hans and Mendez and their Russian friend pulled up in front of Miyas. ZZ Top blared from the blogmobile like a screaming Medusa set to turn everyone into rock and roll fans. The Russian friend pointed to a table of cute Asians on the sidewalk (yes, this signifier means we are not Asian). "We gotta sit next to them" he said before flicking open his switchblade comb.

Miya's is the place where strangers are friends you just haven't met yet (Sorry, we forgot your names Forestry Students, you were polite and smiled prettily). Hans and Mendez were surprised that their Russian friend knew the hostess. She fell for his trademark smile and celery free teeth (but not his weird joke about liver transplants). Mendez demanded Firecracker Sake, shaking his finger at her to run to the kitchen for the freshest of chili peppers. The Russian friend was to make a joke about Anthony Kiedis but Hans frightened eyes killed the punchline.

The menus were stained with food and age, however that is their charm. Miya's is the place where shirts and shoes are optional. Pets just shouldn't be allowed anywhere. The menu contains back stories for many dishes and includes footnotes, parentheses, and an MLA citation for Freud's Civilization and its Discontents. So many appetizing dishes! Hans and Mendez chose the cheapest- we mean- their favorites. Hot headed cowgirl, spicy mushroom, Ravishing Rangoon, Spicy Char, etc.

The Asian girls left after Hans and Mendez kissed their hands. "We'll tell everyone about the blog and how awesome it is," they said. Who were to replace this lovely duo outside on a beautiful summer night? Groups of people stood waiting for an outdoor seat. Would it be the Russian's choice, the so- called "Ho Train" or the group of young Yalies.

The group of young Yalies sat down."Bloggers," intoned Esteban, "my dick is bigger than your vocabulary*. Don't tell me you're trying to write about Miya's. This one is wearing 'Jorts' and this one met the wrong end of the ugly stick." He said this to his two lovely female companions, Jenny and Vanessa. Jenny and Vanessa were Betty and Veronica to Esteban's Jughead.

"I'm not wearing 'jorts'" Hans replied checking his legs. Tokyo Fries were served and consumed quickly with sake. Tokyo Fries are Big Mac sauce and potato stix. Laugh now when reading this, but eat them up before your company out eats you.

The food came out, as did many drinks and what not. Police lights flashed and time passed. These few notes were taken about the rolls: Hot Headed Cow Girl is a combination of avocado, carrot, cream cheese and burdock and outlined with coconut. The sweetness of the ingredients is enhanced by the coconut, like a stream of hairspray to a birthday candle. The spicy char and cat fish were slimy and spicy. The Ravishing Rangoon is known for cream cheese and crab meat, like its namesake. The rice is top notch on every roll, made from the best stuff on earth.

Is it wrong to blame our company for distracting the bloggers from their task? Vanessa wanted to look at everyone's calves. Sassy Esteban called on our waiter to do the sassy dance which mortified the family sitting next to the window indoors. Sake bombs on the house were served. Police lights flashed again for a black man riding his bicycle (again, signifier) for reasons unknown. Hans and Mendez touched each other for free desert.

Yes, sometimes Miya's can have its bad days but who cares. Miya's is fun which counts for something in this town. When life is rough check out Miyas.

1 comment:

  1. "piss poor reporting skills: if you're gonna quote, at least endeavor for accuracy" intoned esteban.