Thursday, August 9, 2012

a feast for the eyes

UPDATE - We watched Jiro last night and it was a wonderful film.  Beautiful photography, sound track and sushi, it was a film about much more than the Jiro and his sushi restaurant .   steve

In a few days I will drive down Balboa Drive, make a left on Mission Bay Drive then make another left at the the fish taco joint.  I'll park across the the 7-11, walk back into the corner of the strip mall to one of the top-rated sushi restaurants in San Diego.  Strip malls and hole-in-the walls, isn't that where you can find the best sushi?

Sometime between now and then, courtesy of netflix, I will watch a documentary that will prove that point.  The film is called "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" and it will become, no doubt, one of my favorite films about food.  Watch the trailer and you will see why.  Jiro is an 85-year-old sushi master who runs a sushi restaurant in a Tokyo subway stop.  The restaurant seats just ten people.  Sushi as art, chef as artist.  I can't wait to watch this one.

I love "food" films and I'll mention a couple of my other favorites here.  "Big Night" with Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub (better known as Monk) is the story of two brothers from Italy trying to save a failing restaurant.  The movie doesn't have the visual artistry of Jiro, but the story is compelling, funny and quirky.  Tucci and Shalhoub are at their best, one a businessman and the other a purist in the kitchen.  I watch this film every couple of years and always find something new to enjoy.
With "Tortilla Soup", think of a latin version of Bon Appetit magazine (with Raquel Welch thrown in).  This film does have the visual artistry of Jiro.  The stories, light romances of the three sisters, take a backseat to the beautifully photographed cooking.  Fish and shrimp, rich red sauces and latin spices, soups with complex recipes and marinade brushes made of banana leaves.  Wow, I wish I could cook like that.

As for the trip to San Diego, sushi and Mexican food are already on the menu.  Maybe I'll have to sneak is some Italian too.


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