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 referred to as a culinary art form. Having grown up in Vancouver, which was back then more of a colonial outpost than an international cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the phrase sushi. However 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 have been Sushi Near Me fan ever since.
I recall it as being 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, plus it seems like anyone 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 today, most people has heard about sushi and used it, and millions are becoming sushi addicts like me. Needless to say you will find those who can’t bring themselves to accepting the thought of eating raw fish, possibly away from the fear of catching a disease from the un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as huge numbers 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 popular with Asian tourists. Therefore, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being readily available of all street corners in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Vancouver. Within the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience has created an important change in a quantity of key markets, which includes broadened its appeal. The development 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 only for that well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that make up the basics from the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It is imperative that the raw seafood be properly cleaned, stored and prepared, as well as in most markets (even on the west coast) these raw ingredients are costly in comparison to other foods. Therefore, the price of eating sushi has historically been expensive. Sushi bar eating is typically marketed within an a la carte fashion whereby the diner covers each piece of sushi individually. Although a simple tuna roll chopped into 3 or 4 pieces might costs several dollars, a more extravagant serving such some eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or more, depending on the restaurant. It is easy to spend $100 to get a nice sushi dinner for just two at an a la carte sushi bar, and this is well unattainable for a lot of diners.
The sushi dining business structure changed over the past decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a brand new chance to create the sushi dining experience more of a mass-market online business opportunity, rather than a dining experience simply for the rich. They devised a means to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in large quantities, training and employing sushi chefs in high-volume sushi kitchens, in which 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 model that devised the rotating conveyor belt, in which the sushi plates are positioned on the belt and cycled from the restaurant so diners can hand-pick their desired sushi right from the belt at their table side. However, the key marketing concept borne from this model was the one price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, in which the diner pays a flat price for all the sushi she or he can consume throughout a single seating, typically capped at two hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America will have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, even though they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Outside Japan, certainly, the city of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than any other city. Portion of the explanation might be the truth that Vancouver provides the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, which is a hugely popular tourist place to go for tourists coming from all over Asia. A lot of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, a few of which cater to the sushi market which is ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond has a population exceeding 100,000, and nearly all its residents are made up of Asian immigrants that got to Canada in the last two decades. Richmond probably has the greatest density of Asian restaurants to get found anywhere away from Asia, with every strip mall and mall sporting several competing eating establishments. Of course sushi is an important part 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 has a population of some 2 million) is also the world’s undisputed capital for many-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Given Vancouver’s fame for its abundance of fresh seafood because of its Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants have become world famous for attempting to outdo each other by giving 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 fraction of what one would pay in Japan, and lots of 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 in terms of price! Very few people in Japan can manage to eat sushi other than for a special event. However, Places For Sushi Near Me is so affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it frequently, without breaking the bank! In the past decade, the 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 two, with alcoholic drinks can easily be had for under $CAD 50, which is half what one could pay at a North American a la carte sushi bar, and probably one quarter what one would purchase a similar meal in Japan!