Jiro Dreams of Sushi

[L-R] Producer Kevin Iwashina, Director David Gelb, Editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer

and Giant Robot Editor Eric Nakamura

Last week, I attended a screening of Jiro Dreams of Sushi as part of a fundraiser for CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment). I had been intrigued by the teaser for the film several weeks before hand but didn’t think I’d get to see the film anytime soon. It’s expected to be in limited release by the end of the year or early next. Then hopefully it’ll open wide.

After the screening, there was a short Q&A led by Giant Robot editor Eric Nakamura with Director David Gelb, Editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer and Producer Kevin Iwashina. Watch a clip here.

This movie is the ultimate food porn.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

I remember the first time I ever had “sushi.” And really, when I look back on it, it was just California rolls and other maki. It wasn’t until a year or two later I transitioned to someone who preferred nigiri and sashimi. Finding fantastic, sublime affordable sushi in L.A. has proven to be a difficult and somewhat unpleasant task. Occasionally I bemoan the awfulness of Pasadena, running back to my favorites of Sushi Gen and if need be, Sugarfish for a quick fix.

I have read both The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson and The Sushi Economy by Sasha Issenberg. I realized afterward the world’s hunger for sushi was leaving our oceans depleted and I decided it was better to just eat an occasional pricey out-of-this-world sushi meal than countless awful combo plates.

After watching this movie, it renewed my interest in trying more high end sushi restaurants. There’s an artistry I appreciated in Jiro’s philosophy. Jiro is one of the oldest chefs to receive Michelin stars and has the love of the likes of Joel Robuchon. He said (and I’m paraphrasing here), in order to make delicious food, you have to eat delicious food. In order to develop a palate, you had to eat delicious food. Jiro said this in several different ways and I agree.

Forgetting my resolve to eat better sushi, I went to Arashi near my office (pics here) . It’s okay. It did its job by satisfying hunger but it didn’t satisfy the need. I am the one that wants to dream of sushi.

Director David Gelb recommended Nozawa, Sushi Ko, Sushi Karen and Hirozen in L.A. Perhaps it’s time to save up!

Jiro Dreams of Sushi