It was twenty five 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. Having grown up in Vancouver, which was back then more of a colonial outpost than an international cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the word sushi. But I was keen to try. So for lunch, my cousin took me to a local Irvine sushi bar (whose name I will no longer recall), and I’ve been Best Sushi Restaurants Near Me fan since.
I recall it as being a completely new experience, although one today that everyone accepts as common place. You go to the sushi bar, and also the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, and it also seems like the person you’re with is really a regular and knows the chefs as well as the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, and now, almost everyone has heard of sushi and used it, and millions are becoming sushi addicts like me. Needless to say you will find individuals who can’t bring themselves to accepting the thought of eating raw fish, possibly out of the fear of catching a disease from your un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as thousands of people consume sushi every year in North America, as well as the incidents of sushi-related food-poisoning are negligible.
Sushi has grown to be wildly popular in metropolitan centers with diverse cultural interests, specially those that have sizeable Asian communities, and people who are well-liked by Asian tourists. Therefore, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being simple to find of all street corners in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Vancouver. In the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience has made a substantial change in a number of key markets, that has broadened its appeal. The creation of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has changed the way in which many people have come to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was just for your well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that comprise the basics from the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It really is 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 when compared to 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 pays for every piece of sushi individually. Although a simple tuna roll chopped into 3 or 4 pieces might costs several dollars, a far more extravagant serving such some eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or more, depending on the restaurant. You can easily spend $100 for any nice sushi dinner for two at an a la carte sushi bar, which is well unattainable for a lot of diners.
The sushi dining business design changed over the past decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a brand new possibility to have the sushi dining experience even more of a mass-market home business opportunity, instead of a dining experience only 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, where 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, in which the sushi plates are put on the belt and cycled with 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 out of this model was the only price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, where the diner pays a flat price for all the sushi she or he can consume during a single seating, typically capped at a couple of hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America could have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, even though they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Away from Japan, certainly, the metropolis of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than any other city. Area of the explanation might be the fact that Vancouver provides the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, which is a hugely popular tourist place to go for tourists from all of over Asia. Most of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, a few of which cater to the sushi market that is ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond includes a population exceeding 100,000, and the majority of its residents comprise Asian immigrants that arrived at Canada within the last two decades. Richmond probably has got the greatest density of Asian restaurants to get found anywhere outside Asia, with every strip mall and mall sporting several competing eating establishments. Of course sushi is a fundamental element of the Richmond restaurant business, and diners can find anything from $5 lunch stops, to $20 sushi buffet dinner mega-restaurants.
Vancouver’s lower mainland (that features 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 the Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants are becoming famous for trying to outdo each other by giving superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, on the lowest prices to get found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a small fraction of what one would pay in Japan, and several Japanese tourists marvel at Vancouver’s huge selection of quality sushi restaurants. Some say Vancouver’s sushi offering meets and exceeds that lvugwn in Japan, certainly when it comes to price! Only a few people in Japan can manage to eat sushi besides for any special day. However, All You Can Eat Sushi is so affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it regularly, without breaking the bank! In the past decade, the buying price of eating sushi in Vancouver has tumbled, with sushi restaurants literally on every street corner, and also the fierce competition has driven the price of a quality all-you-can-eat sushi dinner down for the $CAD 15-20 range. An all-you-can-eat sushi dinner for just two, with alcoholic drinks can easily be had cheaper than $CAD 50, that is half what one would pay at a North American a la carte sushi bar, and in all likelihood one quarter what one could buy an equivalent meal in Japan!