In response to my first "Best Sushi in the States" blog entry, the texted conversation with Tamara, my foodie wine expert friend from NYC, went like this:
"Best sushi in the states is a big claim but your photos made me drool..."
"Admittedly, never been to Blue Ribbon, which I hear is fab. May be in NYC at end of month. Will keep u posted."
"Great. BTW, blue ribbon is my fav in NYC."
And sure enough, I was going to be NYC at the end of June, so we arranged for a sojourn to Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan and Prince Streets in Soho.
I was in such anticipation for the meal that I barely had a chance to drop off my things at the hotel before I was already calling Tamara about getting to Blue Ribbon, which doesn't take reservations, straight away.
We ordered a wonderful Sake - which Tamara would have to talk more about since I've forgotten everything except that it was a rarity in its being unfiltered and that it was slightly sweet and imbibingly delicious.
As for the sushi, we ordered all the classics - Spicy Tuna Roll, the Blue Ribbon Special Roll, Squid and Yellowtail sashimi, Salmon and Uni Sushi. And you know what? It was rather disappointing. Honestly - the place that I had built up in my head as the panacea of sushi in all the contiguous states and beyond, the place that I had heard all the chefs hang out at after their shifts were over, was utterly disappointing. There was no nuance that I could praise as capturing the spirit and detail of an ancient Japanese secret. There was no flash that I could adulate as bringing sushi to a whole new level. Nothing. It was okay. And Tamara knew it. She looked up and said, "You know, it's been 3 years since I've been here. It just doesn't seem the same. It really doesn't."
And then she told me she was going to Ippudo in a week with a coworker of mine, and I felt an instant pang of jealously stab at my heart. Now that place. That place is a panacea.