The best meals I have are raw fish at Oga. Last night, the cubed hamachi appetizer with diced yellow tomato, endive, mache, and most critically a black sesame seed sauce. Fantastic. Sublime. Cap it with a California Maki and I’m very very happy.
Three years ago I was mortally afraid of sushi. I am a very modestly adventurous eater with certain unfortunate limitations. I have eaten goat, gator tail, and ostrich. I love spicy food with the exception of Chinese restaurant mustard. But I do not like mushrooms or (usually) fresh tomato. Texture is the heart of most of my hangups. I certainly do not care to have my dinner garnished with eyeballs, suckers or any part of a digestive tract (ruling out oysters, chitlins and haggis).
It was Iron Chef that made me eventually screw up my courage and eat raw fish. See, television actually has the power to do good. And now I understand that sushi presents a spectrum. I creep gradually further along that spectrum toward the more exotic end, goaded partly by curiosity and partly by occasional dinner companions like former co-worker Todd Datz, who will eat absolutely anything he can pick up with fork or chopstick. Recently I ordered steamed monkfish liver. Sometimes at Oga’s sushi bar they give me an unidentified free appetizer. I eat without asking. So far, no unfortunate incidents have occurred. Knock wood.