It was 25 years ago when I was first introduced tosushi, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been a sushi addict ever since. Back in 1981, I was in grade 11 living with my parents in Vancouver, Canada. That Christmas for the holidays, I went out to Irvine, California, to visit with my cousin and his wife, who were studying at UC-Irvine. I recall my cousin asking if I had ever tried sushi. I had no idea what on earth he was talking about. He explained that it was a Japanese delicacy, whereby raw fish was beautifully prepared usually on beds of rice, and presented by sushi chefs in what could best be identified as a culinary art form. Having grown up in Vancouver, that was back then more of a colonial outpost than a global cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the phrase sushi. Having Said That I was keen to test. So for lunch, my cousin took me to a local Irvine sushi bar (whose name I will no longer recall), and i have been Best Sushi Near Me fan ever since.
I recall it becoming a completely new experience, although one today that everybody accepts as common place. You enter the sushi bar, and also the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, and it seems like the individual you’re with is really a regular and knows the chefs and the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, and now, most people has been aware of sushi and used it, and millions are becoming sushi addicts like me. Needless to say there are people who can’t bring themselves to accepting the thought of eating raw fish, possibly from the fear of catching a condition through the un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as thousands of people consume sushi annually in North America, as well as the incidents of sushi-related food-poisoning are negligible.
Sushi has grown to be incredibly popular in metropolitan centers with diverse cultural interests, specially those with sizeable Asian communities, and those that are favored by Asian tourists. As such, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being easy to find of all street corners in La, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Vancouver. Within the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience has made an important change in a quantity of key markets, which has broadened its appeal. The creation of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has changed just how lots of people came to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was just for that well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that define the fundamentals of the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It is actually imperative the raw seafood be properly cleaned, stored and prepared, and then in most markets (even on the west coast) these raw ingredients are costly in comparison with other foods. Therefore, the cost of eating sushi has historically been expensive. Sushi bar eating is typically marketed in an a la carte fashion whereby the diner covers every piece of sushi individually. Although a simple tuna roll chopped into three or four pieces might costs several dollars, a far more extravagant serving such a piece of eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or even more, depending on the restaurant. It is possible to spend $100 to get a nice sushi dinner for 2 in an a la carte sushi bar, and this is well unattainable for many diners.
The sushi dining business structure changed within the last decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a whole new chance to create the sushi dining experience even more of a mass-market business opportunity, instead of a dining experience simply for the rich. They devised a way to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in large quantities, training and employing sushi chefs in high-volume sushi kitchens, when a team of 5 to 15 skilled sushi chefs work non-stop creating sushi dishes in large capacity settings, where such restaurants can typically serve several hundred diners per night. It had been this business structure that devised the rotating conveyor belt, where the sushi plates are positioned on the belt and cycled through the restaurant so diners can hand-pick their desired sushi right off of the belt at their table side. However, the key marketing concept borne from this model was the only price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, in which the diner pays a flat price for all of the sushi she or he can consume in a single seating, typically capped at two hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America may have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, even though they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Away from Japan, undoubtedly, the city of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than any other city. Part of the explanation might be the fact that Vancouver has the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, which is an increasingly popular tourist place to go for tourists from all of over Asia. A lot of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, a few of which meet the needs of the sushi market which is ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond has a population exceeding 100,000, and the majority of its residents are comprised of Asian immigrants that arrived at Canada over the past two decades. Richmond probably provides the greatest density of Asian restaurants to be found anywhere outside of Asia, with every strip mall and shopping mall sporting several competing eating establishments. Obviously sushi is an important part of the Richmond restaurant business, and diners can find from $5 lunch stops, to $20 sushi buffet dinner mega-restaurants.
Vancouver’s lower mainland (which has a population of some 2 million) is also the world’s undisputed capital for all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Given Vancouver’s fame for the abundance of fresh seafood due to its Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants are becoming famous for trying to outdo each other by offering superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, at the lowest prices to become found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a small part of what one would pay in Japan, and many Japanese tourists marvel at Vancouver’s large variety of quality sushi restaurants. Some say Vancouver’s sushi offering meets and exceeds that lvugwn in Japan, certainly in terms of price! Very few folks Japan can manage to eat sushi besides for a special day. However, Sushi Near Me is very affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it on a regular basis, without breaking the bank! In the past decade, the cost of eating sushi in Vancouver has tumbled, with sushi restaurants literally on every street corner, and also the fierce competition has driven the cost of an excellent all-you-can-eat sushi dinner down for the $CAD 15-20 range. An all-you-can-eat sushi dinner for 2, with alcoholic drinks can be easily had cheaper than $CAD 50, that is half what one would pay at a North American a la carte sushi bar, and possibly one quarter what one could pay for a comparable meal in Japan!