Hold the soy sauce

A couple of Christmases ago, I placed a Los Angeles restaurant guide on my list of items I couldn't live without. Counter Intelligence by Jonathan Gold is not an ordinary guide pointing out the best of the best; but rather sets out to bring the reader a greater understanding of the roads less traveled as far as restaurants go. The book is filled with descriptions of dark alleys and street vendors. I know what you are thinking... Yum right? Well usually if a place is listed in C. I. it's well worth the trek to get there. Dave and I have yet to be disappointed. Which brings me to last Saturday night.

Dave was itching for some good sushi and I wanted to stay close to home; preferably within biking distance. If you don't have to get into the car in LA, my theory is its a good idea to avoid it. I found a couple of listings in C. I. One in particular, Sushi Gen had a great write up, was cheap and also a direct shot downtown under 2 miles away. We hopped on our bikes and set our for some raw fish. After a short wait we pulled ourselves up to the sushi bar. The waitress came by and offered us hot hand towels and a drink... but no menu. The chefs behind the counter stared at us; I turned and stared at Dave; He stared at me. Finally one of the chefs asked what we wanted to eat. Gosh, I don't know.. Raw fish?! Looks like we were going to have to wing this one. After finally getting a listing of all the fish they had for the taking; Dave and I settled on salmon sashimi, tuna sushi and fresh water eel sushi. All were excellent! We decided to push our raw fish boundaries and went for the scallops. This one the chef set on our plates and then gave us a stern look and said. "No soy sauce, No ginger!" Um... No soy sauce? That's like asking a Smith to hold the ketchup on fries. His stare didn't waver though, so Dave and I uttered a small prayer and then shoved the fish in our mouths. WHOA. The scallops were soaked in lemon and hiding somewhere was a bit of onion. We were hooked. The chef gave us a small smile and wink and kept the excitement coming the rest of the meal.

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