June 5, 2007
The newbies have arrived! My name’s Jim. I’m the other new editor here at Chew on That, and I’m thrilled to be here. You’ve already heard from my cohort Hillary; now it’s my turn to tell an embarrassing story about food.
Since I could see over the hibachi and wield a pair of chopsticks, I’ve had a lifelong obsession with Ron of Japan. I love authentic Japanese food, but I also love Americanized Japanese food–and Ron’s got that in spades. You wouldn’t find teppanyaki this unhealthy in Tokyo (trust me, I looked), but the taste is worth the calories…particularly Ron’s secret weapon in the restaurant wars, their amazing egg sauce. It absolutely destroys any nutritional benefit left in the already oil-soaked food, but it leaves you full, happy, and possibly incapable of movement (that’s if several delicious Super Mai Tais haven’t already knocked you on your oshiri).
That’s not to say that Ron only offers teppanyaki, and that’s where my story comes in. Recently, I was there with my family, happily guzzling cocktails and watching the chef prepare our appetizers. My brother ordered a new item, beef sashimi, and we all watched in awe as several dark red slices of raw steak were laid out before him.
Graciously, he offered me the plate. I reached for a slice and, worried I wouldn’t like it, popped the whole thing into my mouth without even looking. Then I realized: I’d grabbed a hunk of wasabi-spiced hot mustard off the plate instead of the intended target. At that moment, the chef lit some oil on the grill, creating a towering fireball. Impressive, sure, but it could not have possibly been hotter than the inside of my mouth.
I screamed, hunched over the table, and spat into a napkin. I couldn’t taste anything but hot for the next half-hour.
Always look before you eat, folks.