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Delivery sushi-- really?! [moved from Manhattan board]

I live in LA, land of sushi. My sister lives in NYC, land of pizza.

I was horrified to recently find out that she regularly orders delivery sushi.

This to me sounds just as terrible as delivery toast, but delivery toast-- while dried out and gross-- at least doesn't lend itself to salmonella poisoning.

Is delivery sushi in NYC really as common a phenomenon as she lets on? The thought never, ever would have occurred to me. Sushi, by definition, ideally should be eaten seconds after the sushi chef has made it. Or does delivery sushi occupy the same part of the New Yorker eating-mind as supermarket sushi, that has been sitting on shelves for hours (which is also horrifying, but happens here in LA as well so I've adapted to this particular grossness.)

Please help me understand what this is all about. Pizza delivery-- yes, of course. Sushi delivery? I'm traumatized. To my sensibility, it sounds like the "deliver everything to my door" phenomenon of NYC gone mad.

Mr Taster

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  1. I ordered delivery sushi in Dallas when I lived there nearly 5 years ago. It's not that crazy of a concept.

    I probably order sushi for delivery here more than any other food. Can't remember the last time I ordered delivery pizza. I've never been sick from it. Salmonella doesn't just magically appear over the course of the 15 minutes it takes the delivery guy to ride his bike to my house.

    I think your post sounds a little snobby.

    1 Reply
    1. re: loratliff

      ... and, just between us chickens, delivery sushi goes great with marinated Korean Moo radishes.

      Who needs gari when you have daikon!

    2. Sushi delivery is common in Japan....I've been to Japan related events here in NYC where delivered sushi was offered...I know Yuba in EV delivers. Sure other places do. Not unusual in least bit.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Silverjay

        Yeah, one of the things that drives me NUTS about California is how little you can get delivered.

        In Japan, you can get delivery sushi, ramen, fried chicken...and even in other parts of the US, it seems like you have more options.

        1. re: wintersweet

          Well, in Japan in Major Urban Areas. But throughout Japan, not exactly so much. But Silverjay's point is well taken.

          1. re: Tripeler

            i lived in rural akita prefecture and i could get delivery sushi, delivery ramen, and delivery pizza (the pizza place also delivered wings, pasta, sandwiches, bake-your-own pizza, fries, etc).
            can't speak for everywhere but it's not just urban areas, i lived in a small town and heck... there's not a major urban area ANYWHERE in akita!

            1. re: chartreauxx

              I would guess your small town was not too far from Akita city, which I would consider a major urban area. But it sounds like you were in a fairly populated residential area. Still, neither of us can speak for everywhere... and I wonder how long the delivery pizza joint has been in business.

              1. re: chartreauxx

                Cool ! Did they also make/deliver okonomiyaki ?

        2. Happens all the time. Unlike supermarket sushi that sits out waiting for someone to pick it out, delivery sushi is made to order and brought to your door. So its not as good a sitting at the counter at my favorite spot, but good delivery sushi is better than no sushi. Get it for lunch all the time.

          24 Replies
          1. re: Bkeats

            and unlike hot foods, if the delviery guy gets stopped at a light or something . . . its ok that it arrives cold.

            1. re: Bkeats

              And in Japan, sushi for delivery (demae) is prepared differently than sushi for immediate consumption.

              1. re: Glicoman

                That is an interesting observation. How exactly is delivery sushi prepared differently? Is it packaged separately, or are the ingredients for delivery sushi actually different?

                For what it's worth, I am less grossed out by the idea of delivery sushi that is vegetarian, cooked (like eel) or krab than I am of anything that contains actual raw fish... although you're still going to have some issues with gummy, chewy nori or cold, chewy rice (assuming the delivery person transports your sushi it in a cooler, these elements of the sushi are going to degrade rapidly and you can't revive them the way you can revive a cold slice of pizza).

                I really don't get it. Seaweed goes soggy very quickly... how can it stand up to 20 minutes in a cooler? Have you ever had those convenience store or Japanese supermarket onigiri where they have this ingenious way of isolating the nori in plastic, totally separate from the rice, so it doesn't touch the rice until you are actually ready to eat it? Yes, the rice is gummy and cold, but the nori is so snappy and crisp, it does its part to redeem the cold rice. And if you've ever had the premade/prewrapped onigiri, where the nori is touching the seaweed as it sits on the supermarket shelf? If so, you know how disappointing a bite that can be.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Most delivery is nigiri, not maki. The nori in maki items gets a little soggy. Raw fish in delivery stays reasonable cool or at worst gets brought to room temperature. It's not in transit particularly long. The rice they use isn't steaming hot...We get delivery sashimi sometimes as well.

                  1. re: Silverjay


                    Oddly, delivery sashimi would seem to suffer the least from the trauma of transport.

                    I'm still a little freaked out by the idea, but in terms of maintaining overall quality of the end product, the quality of a slab of fish is not going to be affected nearly as dramatically as something made with rice and seaweed would.

                    I'm not sold by a long shot on nigiri or maki, but sashimi at least makes logical sense from a Chowhoundly perspective.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      The rice is lightly mixed with vinegar. It doesn't get clumpy or hard or what ever it is you are freaking out about.

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        Hello Silverjay, remember some distant discussion about the gourmet Japanese TV show (from manga) called Kuitan? A foodie detective who uses his knowledge of food to solve...crime?

                        Episode 1 Season 1, there was a murder mystery involving a man and takeout sushi (in Japan). When they interviewed the sushi chef, he said that he invented a way to make delivery sushi taste almost as good...and this was where he packed the sushi rice pad/shari much less tightly and introduced a pocket of air by indenting the rice pad then molding rice around it, so that it compensates for the delivery time factor and still allowing for a delicious bite. Of course this likely does not happen outside of Japan.

                        Then there are scenes from the 1996 TV drama (from manga) Shota No Sushi where a restaurant has to make 50 sets of nigiri platters for catering a wedding. So at least in Japan they have figured out ways to do that.

                        At some of the more localized chain sushi restaurants in Hong Kong during my most recent visit, they have take takeout menus available (while they don't do delivery) but still an option nonetheless.

                        1. re: K K

                          K K

                          This is incredibly interesting.

                          Instead of saying "it's good enough", the sushi chef cares enough to say, "let's try to make it as close to eating at the restaurant as possible."

                          That's not the non-Chowhoundly mentality of a random Japanese grandma picking up leftover supermarket sushi for a deep discount-- it's the sign of a true Chowhound, who cares about his food, and wants to ensure that- for the people who choose takeout- their deliciousness is maximized.

                          Wonderful insight. Thanks again, K K.

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            But....that is just based on a TV show. Whether this is practiced in reality, is another matter. In theory that is a fantastic idea, but in reality nobody abroad will do such a thing, and maybe not many places in Japan. According to the TV show's character, the chef came up with the means to do so and objected to delivery/takeout sushi, but the detective commented "why not allow more people to enjoy your sushi, for those that cannot come into the restaurant".

                            It's just like ordering wok stir fry takeout or delivery. Soy sauce veggie fried noodles, dry fry beef chow fun. Has to be eaten right at the spot for optimal enjoyment, and to be able to taste the "wok hay"/wok breath. You can still get a fraction of it takeout/delivery, but is not the same, and no environmental or Styrofoam container is going to be able to retain that. But there is nothing a good chili sauce can't fix, if not to make the stir fried carb or protein taste many notches better, even if delivery!

                            1. re: K K

                              Oh I see-- I didn't realize it was a fictionalized TV show. I thought it was some sort of "sushi reality detective" show, which doesn't seem like such a far fetched idea for Japanese culture. Still, it's interesting that this idea has even been floated.

                              Mr Taster

                          2. re: K K

                            Hey KK, nice to hear from you...Yep, I remember those discussions....Hope all is well!

                2. re: Bkeats

                  It could not be "made to order" when it arrives in 10 or 15 minutes, but nonetheless, the place I order from must be so busy that the already prepared dish they deliver to me was probably only made minutes earlier, as it is always extremely fresh. I agree with loratliff that the post seems snobby. Food does not go bad in an hour.

                  <Sushi delivery? I'm traumatized. >

                  Really? Or is this post a joke?

                  1. re: rrems

                    Well, that, and the OP's insistence that sushi delivery somehow goes against being a "chowhound", whatever that is anyway. As he said "Let's not forget, that optimizing deliciousness is our raison d'etre." (Not true for me, but YMMV.)

                    But the OP does not seem to *want* to be convinced that delivery sushi is not only fresh, but it's also quite palatable, and in some instances quite good. I suppose I'm not a true Chowhound by his definition, if it excludes delivery sushi, which he admittedly has never tried.

                    Anyway, most of my sushi deliveries come from Kanoyama, which is spoken of quite highly on this board. In fact, I've never stepped foot in the restaurant itself and couldn't even tell you where it is.

                    1. re: loratliff


                      These boards were created in the late 1990s in order to defend against culinary entropy-- to defend against the blandification and chaos that takes over when we stop fighting to maximize deliciousness in every aspect of our gustatory lives. That's what being a Chowhound is-- and it's very clearly defined in founder Jim Leff's manifesto, which can be found at the link I referenced to in this post.


                      It may not be why you're specifically here, but it is absolutely the reason why Chowhound is here.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        I'm not sure how anyone could mistake the sites manifesto/guidelines as being anti-delivery, or take out. Just a reminder. Mr. Leff started Chowhound in NY.

                        I also don't recall this site advocating any elitist ideas, or any limitations on where tasty food can be found.

                        Oh, and by the way, our toast delivers just fine here. Let us know if you need a recommendation for that on your next visit.

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Pizza is the culinary entropy in the delivery scene, sushi is the fight against that entropy, maximizing deliciousness. You're pretty much making the argument FOR sushi delivery, not against it.

                          I live in Boston and have had sushi delivered. You seem to have some high holy view that the only good sushi is perfectly cut morsels of fish lovingly doled out by the sushi chef while you sit in front of him at the sushi bar, but I can assure you, it's perfectly feasible to have good, even great, sushi that doesn't come from sitting in front of a chef at the sushi bar. Delivery (or takeout) sushi is perfectly acceptable and IMO miles better than delivery/takeout pizza.

                          If you've had it and it's lousy and you're speaking from that perspective, that's a different picture, but if your only argument here is the concept of it, not the actual execution, then you're being the complete opposite of a Chowhound. A Chowhound finds delicious food where he/she can. To turn your nose up at an entire dining option out of some misplaced sense of what the "proper" way is to eat sushi is antithetical to the idea of Chowhounding.

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            These boards were created in the late 1990s in order to defend against culinary entropy-- to defend against the blandification and chaos that takes over when we stop fighting to maximize deliciousness in every aspect of our gustatory lives. That's what being a Chowhound is-- and it's very clearly defined in founder Jim Leff's manifesto, which can be found at the link I referenced to in this post.


                            It may not be why you're specifically here, but it is absolutely the reason why Chowhound is here.

                            Not anymore.

                            In fact, it probably wasn't even true when Jim Leff was keeping the site up and running by panhandling the posters.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Well, even if the ultimate goal of a Chowhound is to "maximize deliciousness" (stupid term, but I digress), then why is delivery sushi the ONLY thing that goes against this principle?

                              I mean, technically, because I didn't grow the salad greens I ate last night and they were cut and packaged before being sent to me, I didn't "maximize deliciousness". I didn't catch and fillet the pollock I ate the other night, so I didn't "maximize deliciousness" there either. I just don't understand why delivery sushi is so much more of an abhorrence than anything else.

                              1. re: loratliff

                                Could you imagine, loratliff, if all of us tried to maximize deliciousness in every single meal of every single day of every week of every year of our lives?

                                None of us would have any time to post on Chowhound.

                                Personally, I just try to maximize fulfillment in all things I do.

                                If that means take-out sushi, so be it.

                                If that means a cold, reheated Filet-O-Fish, all the better.

                                If that means, a $15 glass of apple juice, oh, wait, nevermind.

                                1. re: loratliff

                                  >> Well, even if the ultimate goal of a Chowhound is to "maximize deliciousness" (stupid term, but I digress)...

                                  That expression is not mine-- it's Chowhound founder Jim Leff's expression, which he used many times on this board in order to focus the conversation and remind us about what we came here for in the first place. He still chimes in here sometimes.

                                  The way I interpret it is that if good food X is located 10 pips away from me, but outstanding food X is located 20 pips away, as a Chowhound I will have a somewhat irrational compulsion to head to the one that's 20 pips away, thus maximizing my deliciousness.

                                  It does not mean that if I find that Guatemala has an extraordinary version of food X that I will fly to Guatemala for lunch. But I very well may drive from West Hollywood to East LA for it (and I'll note it for a future trip to Guatemala.)

                                  In no case would it mean that I would ever intentionally settle for so-so good food X simply because it was convenient. That's my issue with delivery sushi (or delivery toast).

                                  It also means that if my only options for lunch are so-so food X or very good food Z, I will go with Z, even if it's out of my way.

                                  If my colleagues are buying lunch, all bets are off.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    They are different experiences. First I can't afford to sit at the sushi bar and go nuts as much as i would like. Luckily I can afford to do it once a month where i sit in front of the bar and eat piece by piece. Other times I just want a few rolls for dinner and delivery works. Most rolls are inside out in the US anyway and the nori is soggy even at the restaurant. So my usual order would include a spicy scallop, salmon skin and yellowtail scallion roll. Only the yellow tail suffers but to be honest if I ordered all three at the restaurant it would be soggy by the time it got to me.

                                    So I am maximizing deliciousness in two separate situations.

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      One thing I can tell you for a fact, eating with Jim Leff is exhausting!

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    Well that's an interesting argument.

                                    A different one entirely, but an interesting and possibly valid one, that deserves its own thread.


                                    Mr Taster

                              2. re: rrems

                                >> <Sushi delivery? I'm traumatized. >
                                >> Really? Or is this post a joke?


                                Yes, it's a joke. An exaggeration with comic intent. But it's based in truth.

                                Mr Taster

                            2. The world is very sane, my friend.

                              Sushi delivery in Manhattan, alone (per Seamless): http://www.seamless.com/manhattan/sushi/

                              Sushi delivery in your very own hometown La-La Land (per Seamless): http://www.seamless.com/la/sushi/

                              And that's just on Seamless. Countless other establishments will delivery fish (raw or cooked), rolls (good and bad), to your door, but have not yet signed up to be part of Seamless. This is true in NYC, LA and many other metro areas across this great country we call U.S. of (we deliver) A!

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I am unfamiliar with Seamless.

                                I just clicked on the LA link and my eyes were drawn to 88 Sushi, a divey "Chinese and sushi" place in my neighborhood. I scrolled through the rest of the list and didn't see any recognizably Chowhoundish restaurants.

                                I am not familiar enough with NY sushi restaurants to know if there is a comparable analogy here, but at least in my "Seamless" neighborhood the type of restaurant that is offering delivery sushi is of the quick-and-dirty variety, or the trendy variety.

                                It is difficult for me to imagine a sushi chef who really cares about their sushi allowing it to go out the door and travel for 20 minutes. (And I'm not talking about Nobu/Matsuhisa/Masa, etc. but the utilitarian-but-still-good places like Sushi Gen, etc. Ipse, do you know if places like this do delivery in NY or LA? When I cook, I really care about how my food turns out, and if the quality is bad, I'll eat it myself before I share it with friends or coworkers. I imagine that the stakes are much higher when someone has a business reputation to uphold.

                                I'm open to the idea that my ideas and preconceptions may be built upon a foundation of shit.

                                Mr Taster

                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                  I would say that your last sentence is probably true, as far as NY delivery goes. And once again, you manage to come off as mildly offensive ("I scrolled through the rest of the list and didn't see any recognizably Chowhoundish restaurants.")

                                  I'm eating at Sushi Nakazawa tomorrow night, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy a delivery three-roll special on my couch three days ago.

                                  1. re: loratliff

                                    What I've been trying to get at here is really at the heart of the ideals of Chowhound's original manifesto, which is about maximizing deliciousness at all costs.


                                    "Everyone has one in his or her life: the brother-in-law with a collection of 800 takeout menus, the coworker who's always late from lunch because she HAD to trek to one end of town for the best soup and to the other for the best sandwich."

                                    "If you, too, fret endlessly about making every bite count; if you'd grow weak from hunger rather than willingly eat something less than delicious, this place is for you!"

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      You asked if it exists. It does.

                                      Typically it's not the Masa level of Sushi, as I explained, it's the utilitarian sushi, and some nicer places, but not the highest end.

                                      If you're challenging the idea or saying it's not Chowhoundish to eat something convenient, or utilitarian, then that's another discussion entirely. Sushi delivery works. It can be delicious. Sitting in your pajamas after a hard day, and eating well made, fresh fish that left the shop only 15 minutes before it arrives at your door is hard to beat. Does it win CH points? Luckily it's not really a competition, but in NY, discussions of delivery come up because it's helpful, and it's a way of life here. Sushi travels well, and hopefully you get a chance to experience that one day. We're not ordering tasting menus, we're ordering ala carte, and we might even be eating with the supplied plastic utensils. The horror.

                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                        It's not what I would do, but that's probably about as honest, clear and succinct an explanation as there can be, and I appreciate it. Thanks for playing, sugartoof.

                                        Mr Taster

                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                          It sounds like you're having trouble wrapping your head around it, and since it's not our job to try and change your mind, that's a-ok. We're just sharing educated experiences.
                                          NY even has businesses specializing in take out sushi.

                                        2. re: sugartoof

                                          Hatsuhana and Gari both deliver in midtown. Given, it isn't top tier, but it's very acceptable sushi and an excellent food option for the banker/lawyer/salaryman spending another late night in the office.

                                          I never get why people order from Aki or the like though, and why they are consistently the highest rated places on seamless.

                                          1. re: eastofthemississippi

                                            EotM, I think I can provide some insight on this question... As you can imagine, much of Seamless' business is driven by the financial / legal firms based in mid-town. As a junior peon there, you'd always work late and end up eating dinner at the office. One of the "perks" for giving up your work / life balance is that you typically get a $20 - 25 meal allowance for dinner. So, when you're in your 20s and basically shoving food in your mouth at your desk, the goal is to maximize the amount of food (I know, sad, right?). And what better way to do it then order from an Aki Sushi, where back in the day, you could do a 3-roll combo for like $11 and then tack on a few more items to boot. As opposed to a Gari, where $20 ain't getting you very far.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    I would love to get Sushi delivered fresh to my door. Where I live (Cincinnati area), the only places that deliver are pizza places and Jimmy John's.

                                  3. Umm, I find pizza delivery more questionable than sushi delivery, as long as you're not expecting a high quality sushi experience. Delivered pizza is never warm enough, and the crust is often soggy.

                                    13 Replies
                                    1. re: strangemd

                                      This. Sushi travels a hell of a lot better than pizza, in my opinion. Unless you're super-picky about rice temperature, I don't see how sushi could deteriorate at all in the 20 minutes or so it spends in transit. Pizza, on the other hand...

                                      1. re: small h

                                        Ah, but consider this. Just before calling in your pizza delivery order, you crank up your oven and your heavy baking stone to 550. In the 30-45 minutes it takes for delivery pizza to arrive, the stone will have heated up to a respectable temperature (the idea preheating time to a heavy slab would be a full hour, but hey- we're in a rush for pizza here.) And I think we all understand that properly reheated (aka twice baked) pizza is often better than pizza fresh out of the oven. The crust gets crispier and more flavorful from the extra baking.

                                        Mr Taster

                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                          I'm not saying it's not salvageable, and I eat my share of delivery pizza - I'm not (that much of) a snob. I'm saying that sushi travels better than pizza. Unless the sushi has to travel via the 405, and then I could see where you'd have trouble.

                                          1. re: small h

                                            I'm not talking salvageable-- I'm saying it's actually better when properly reheated on a hot stone.

                                            There is no salvaging of old sushi. When it's old, it's just old.

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              How old is old? Because the fish and the rice have been sitting there a while before they're presented to you, even if you're seated at the sushi bar. It's not like you order uni and someone runs out to dive for it.

                                            2. re: small h

                                              Totally agree... I found the idea of twice baked pizza much worse than sushi that takes 20/30 min to arrive at my table from the moment it was made..

                                              1. re: alepenazzi

                                                If you live in NY, you're more likely than not to eat a twice-baked slice from virtually any slice joint across the city. And those slices can be pretty great, depending on the pizzeria in question, of course.

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  I think it's a matter of taste, I've never found a reheated pizza great...
                                                  I actually find delivery pizza pretty awful, and the same goes for slice joints pizza. if I want a pizza it needs to be straight out of the oven. But that's just me.
                                                  Other people would never have a burger or a pasta delivered, many others do, and so on..

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    I disagree. I hate twice baked pizza. I honestly feel like it loses some undefinable flavor in the reheating process. If they aren't cutting from a fresh pie right of the oven, I'd rather have it lukewarm than to have it have it reheated.

                                              2. re: Mr Taster

                                                If I'm ordering delivery pizza, its defiantly a time when I"m not hanging around preheating my oven so my pizza stone is a the "perfect" temperature.

                                                Life happens, and on occasion less than perfect food is what it needs to be "Food"

                                                Or you can come hang out with us and cook the next time we loose power and are bailing out our sump pump manually and begrudge us our Jimmy John's delivery

                                                1. re: autumm

                                                  I don't know about Jimmy John's specifically, but a good Italian sub is definitely one of those things that gets better with a little age. You have to careful with your vegetables (shredded lettuce can turn slimy) but the compression of the meats and cheese with the oil and vinegar soaking into the sub roll... that's definitely better with some delivery aging time.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    I hear you about Italian subs-but in the Boston area, no good Italian sub will include lettuce! Pickles, onions, tomatoes, hot peppers, oil,salt and pepper can be added- but no lettuce. Lettuce is usually used on "grinders" around here. Grinders are usually served in greek style pizza joints, and are baked. But- this subject could probably be another thread entirely!

                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                  Any twice baked pizza is lousy and can't compete with freshly made pizza - so I don't understand your discussion that delivery sushi "violates" your CH ethics when you violate it even more with accepting delivery pizza (and by the feedback in this discussion the majority of posters seem to think that quality of delivery pizza is much worse than delivery sushi

                                            3. Maybe not in seconds but certainly within 30 minutes after being prepared. Seamless is amazing!!

                                              1. Sushi delivery is very common in NY.

                                                The only issues are when they stack soup or hot entrees in the same bag. Keep in mind, we're talking about lower level sushi, not rare fish with delicate presentation that must be eaten in seconds. It's usually fresher, and a step up from premade sushi sitting in plastic trays, which is also common.

                                                I don't think there's a food you can't get delivered in NY.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                  Exactly. And the good sushi delivery places bag things separately, and even poke holes in containers so tempura stays crisp.

                                                2. Sushi of gari even does delivery.

                                                  I've had- and enjoyed- countless sushi deliveries. It may not be Nakazawa quality but I'm not such a high maintenece/ paranoid person to refuse to order it because of that.

                                                  It's nyc. What you want, when you want it, delivered to your doorstep!

                                                  1. I find it funny how people in this country tend to fetizise sushi. As in you must eat it immediately, you must sit at the counter, and you must banter with the sushi chef. And you must never eat takeout sushi, supermarket sushi or gas station sushi.

                                                    Meanwhile in Japan, people are buying sushi from supermarkets and convenience stores, having sushi delivered, and grabbing sushi off conveyor belts. The horror, the horror.

                                                    24 Replies
                                                    1. re: pixelcat

                                                      Not to mention, department stores and supermarkets in Japan sell sushi at discounted prices at the end of the day...and those do get bought!

                                                      1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                        I have no doubt that they do-- but do you think these are Chowhounds doing the purchasing?

                                                        Let's not forget, that optimizing deliciousness is our raison d'etre.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                          It is inexpensive and often pretty good for what you pay....The stuff at convenience stores though is not so good.

                                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                                            The sushi at 7-11 around new years eve looked way better than most midtown roll factories.

                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                            How does it taste? That should be your number one concern.

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                              so only Chow hounds are allowed to eat sushi?

                                                              Maybe optimizing deliciousness is your reason for existing, but I have other agendas as well. Like living

                                                          3. re: pixelcat

                                                            Sushi here in the US isn't fetisized as much as it is mythologized. Commentary is often taken to a weird level of un-informed boasting and persnicketiness.

                                                            Regarding delivery in Japan, many small neighborhood sushi-ya or decent chain sushi-ya will deliver to houses and businesses. It's not unusual to order a platter or platters for get-togethers, events, etc. I've been to a few events at the Nippon Club in Manhattan that had platters of sushi out.

                                                            Japanese though really do fetishize sushi. Japanese review sites feature lengthy blow-by-blow pictorial accounts that go into even more excruciating detail than any of the annoying ones you read on CH.

                                                            1. re: pixelcat

                                                              For what it's worth, for me it's really about maximizing deliciousness rather than fetishizing or mythologizing any particular foodstuff or culture. (My wife is from Taiwan, we're traveled in the region extensively, including Japan, and I'm acutely aware of the false western image of the far east as a tranquil zen garden.) On those rare occasions when we eat sushi, I don't banter with the chef. I don't sit at the bar. I just enjoy my food with my wife and friends and drive home. I don't need it to be expensive. I certainly don't want the bullshit song-and-dance of pretense or exclusivity. I absolutely do not need or want a sushi chef to make me feel special. I'm there for the food, first and foremost. But even good quality, mid-range priced sushi, it's an expensive meal, and as a result I do want it to be as delicious as it can be, and that means it needs to be as fresh as possible. I can't see delivery sushi, well, delivering on that need. That's where my fetishizing begins and ends.

                                                              Mr Taster

                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                Honestly I'm OK with that because the difference between decent and incredible sushi is so much bigger than decent but incredible burgers, pizza or pasta. It's only in dishes with overwhelming flavor (sushi, steak, etc.) and minimal sauce that tiny changes in freshness are detectable.

                                                                1. re: eastofthemississippi

                                                                  That's exactly the point.

                                                                  Sushi, by its nature, is minimalist. If one thing or one element goes wrong, the whole thing suffers to a much greater degree.

                                                                  To draw the clunky comparison with pizza delivery, there's so many more elements to pizza, and many of those can be fixed at home. Soggy crust? Cold cheese? In the oven you go. But sushi-- soggy nori? Chewy rice? Torpedo.

                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                  So having your sushi wait out on the counter while the chef makes your companions three platters doesn't diminish the deliciousness? Getting a whole tray of sushi instead of being served piece by piece, is eating it "the second after the sushi chef made it"? Honestly the 10-20 it takes the delivery guy to bring it to my door isn't very different.

                                                                  For the record it is nice to sit get a few rolls, some miso soup and ohitashi delivered to my apartment.

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                    but isn't the belief that sushi must be "as fresh as possible" part of the mythology?

                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                      If you want to maximize delicioousness then you will never order anything delivered. Nothing is as good after even 5 minutes (much less 20) as it is when it was made.

                                                                      However, even in the original CH mission statement that you cited, Jim Leff mentions a guy with hundreds of takeout menus.

                                                                      New York is not the land of pizza. New York is the land of delivered food.

                                                                      1. re: plf515

                                                                        >> Nothing is as good after even 5 minutes (much less 20) as it is when it was made.

                                                                        Even if you disagree with the idea that pizza is better when it is twice baked, very often stews, curries and chilis (and some soups) do much better the next day, after the flavors have had time to coalesce. When it's had time to mellow, the fat infuses more fully with the flavors of the stew, and becomes an even greater thing the next day.

                                                                        And if you want to get into technical baking, fresh bread straight out of the oven may taste good steaming hot, but the gluten structure of the bread rapidly collapses if you don't give it time to cool off, leaving you with a sunken, deflated loaf.

                                                                        Also, I sometimes made a recipe for thin and crispy oatmeal cookies which require a good 15 minutes rest after coming out of the oven, because if you eat then straight away, they are chewy-- not crispy.

                                                                        So, it really depends on what food you're talking about.

                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                          <Also, I sometimes made a recipe for thin and crispy oatmeal cookies which require a good 15 minutes rest after coming out of the oven,>

                                                                          Very true. Many foods require a certain level of "resting" period to make them better. I personally enjoy pizza which is not pipping hot, which means I wait a bit. As you said, many cookies, especially the crispy ones need to cool down and slightly air/dry out. Most crispy cookies are soft coming out of oven and become crispy after 10-15 min of cooling. Most large item baked foods like baked chicken or baked turkeys definitely require resting.

                                                                          While sushi tastes best shortly upon finished, one can argue that the rice which is used to make sushi is always rested. You don't use freshly cooked rice. The rice has to be mixed and cool down a bit. No one use steaming hot rice.

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            >> The rice has to be mixed and cool down a bit. No one use steaming hot rice.

                                                                            But the rice is coming from an insulated pot of some sort, which is keeping it somewhat warm (or very warm, depending on the preference of your sushi chef). The fish is kept very cold. What we have here is the McDLT problem. Cold fish + warm rice eaten quickly is fine. Cold fish + warm rice + 30 minutes on the back of a bicycle = kind of gross.

                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                              Why would it be on the back of a bike for 30 minutes? There are 6(8 if you include crappy pan asian) places that serve sushi in a five block radius of my apartment.

                                                                              NYC is quite compact.

                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                Yes, this is the thing. I don't think that Mr Taster quite grasps the concept of delivery in New York, period. If I order sushi, it is coming from one avenue block away, a 2-3 minute bike ride at a snail's pace.

                                                                                1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                  Hypothetical. Your mileage (literally) may vary :)

                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                    How is that hypothetical? I order via seamless, someone monitors the printout, the order gets processed, the food gets made and delivered to my house in well under half an hour. How can it possibly spend a half hour on a bike? Maybe if the bike was invented by Doc Brown and takes a side trip to 1984 and back.

                                                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                  The shari and fish will often arrive both close to room temperature- which is quite possibly not far off from the same temperature your sushi might be when you wait at a table while your sushi is prepared and served to you in a mid-level restaurant.

                                                                                3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  "Very true. Many foods require a certain level of "resting" period to make them better."


                                                                          2. re: pixelcat

                                                                            I have seen sushi vending machines in Tokyo!!

                                                                            1. re: pixelcat

                                                                              That's exactly what I was thinking.

                                                                              In Japan, picking up a pack of sashimi at the grocery store to go with a nice dinner at home (particularly if you've got guests) is considered totally normal, and not at all substandard. And they've figured out a way to package convenience store onigiri so that the seaweed is perfectly crispy when you go to eat it.

                                                                              If you say that sushi at a high end place where you sit at the bar and chat with the chef as he is slicing your fish is going to be better than delivery sushi, I'll agree. And delivery pizza is not nearly as good as pizza in a restaurant. But the delivery versions can be perfectly fine, and not everyone can do the high end version.

                                                                              Maximizing deliciousness is not simply a matter of going for the best at all costs - you'll spend any amount of money, any amount of time or inconvenience to get the peak eating experience. If it were, 99% of those of use on the board would be out of luck, due to finances or the pesky need to do things like show up for work or take care of a family. It's optimizing your resources to thoroughly enjoy your food as much as possible.

                                                                              Depending on your priorities and circumstances, that can easily involve eating delivery sushi in your pajamas while watching TV.

                                                                            2. Sushi delivery is fine. Is it as good as you get in a high-end sushi restaurant? Well, I've never ordered from such a place, but the places I've ordered from have delivered fine sushi. I see in the comments here that Sushi of Gari (a fine place indeed) does deliver.

                                                                              Most food is better the moment it's cooked, but some suffers more than others. Sushi suffers relatively little.

                                                                              Now, delivery tempura - that would be gross.

                                                                              As for poisoning - well, I believe supermarket sushi is actually *safer* than fresh, for the same reasons that it isn't so good: The rice and fish are kept very cold. Germs don't thrive in very cold environments. In a good sushi place the rice is warm, isn't it? And it's not cooked per order.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: plf515

                                                                                Tempura, it depends on the place. The nicer places, with a more delicate batter are more likely to send it soggy than the cheaper places. It also depends on how they package it.

                                                                              2. We have ordered sushi delivery a couple of times. There is no question that: some odd chemical reaction occurs when the raw fish/sushi hits the styrofoam container. It loses nearly all taste and enjoyment and you are likely better off with a tuna fish sandwcih.

                                                                                Sushi is a dish best eaten in a restaurant....

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: comiendosiempre

                                                                                  I would never order from a place that puts it in styrofoam. That's weird.

                                                                                  1. re: comiendosiempre

                                                                                    Most places have switched to tin or plastic.

                                                                                    I don't think styrofoam sucks up all the flavor though.

                                                                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                      In Japan, neighborhood shops will often deliver sushi in their own platter trays. When you are done eating, you wash them out and leave them in front of your home and the shop will retrieve it the next day or so. They look like this http://tinyurl.com/lsyjqhs .

                                                                                    2. re: comiendosiempre

                                                                                      I have ordered sushi delivery from several restaurants. Never got it in styrofoam.

                                                                                    3. personally, in NYC, i'd never order delivered sushi, as i'd rather save my sushi eating for the counter at Ushiwakamaru...just my preference given the options available here...

                                                                                      However, if there was a place that was delivering ochizushi (pressed/box sushi w/ mackeral) i'd likely be an addict (and ochizushi has been some of best takeout sushi i've had when in Japan as well)...

                                                                                      sidenote re: Gari-referenced-as-alleged-stamp-of-something-good: i personally despise Gari, and wouldn't eat their sushi in or out...

                                                                                      1. Ok, I'm getting a bit fed up with your denigration of delivery sushi. Lets turn your original argument around. Who the hell would want to eat delivery pizza? What kind of crappy pizza place delivers pizza anyways? Dominos? Papa John? What kind of dump sells pizza by the slice where they take a pre-made pizza made hours ago and heat it up for a 3rd time? The one right next to the grocery store that has the pre-made sushi packages sitting in in the cooler.

                                                                                        If you have been to many of the better pizza places in NYC, you will have to eat it there or maybe order it for a pick up. They don't deliver. You want the pizza fresh, piping hot out of the oven. That's when its at its best. The aromas coming off a freshly prepared pizza can only be appreciated then. Not after sitting in an insulated bag for 1/2 an hour. By the time you get it, the cheese has congealed and the oil has soaked into the cardboard. Who would want to eat that crap? I NEVER eat delivery pizza. Grosses me out (JK).

                                                                                        Reheated pizza? What kind of philistine eats that? That's no better than hour old makizushi. Might as well nuke a slice with some tekamaki on it. Better to just eat it cold for breakfast.

                                                                                        Sheesh dude. Lighten up. If you think the best pizza is reheated pizza, you have NOT had good pizza. On the other hand, delivery sushi is perfectly acceptable like delivery pizza. Neither is the epitome of its food group, but to say its not Chowish? Well that's not chowish.

                                                                                        ETA: You really think salmonella develops in the 15 minutes it takes for the order to show up at my door? Really? If salmonella was going to be a problem, it will be there as you sit at the table in the restaurant and eat it there. Those 15 minutes won't make a difference.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                          <You want the pizza fresh, piping hot out of the oven. That's when its at its best.>

                                                                                          Hmm... is it just me? I actually like the pizza slightly cool down from "piping hot". I have never been able to eat a pizza straight out of the oven. Too hot for me.

                                                                                          <On the other hand, delivery sushi is perfectly acceptable like delivery pizza. Neither is the epitome of its food group, but to say its not Chowish? Well that's not chowish.>

                                                                                          I don't think either is very good, but I can see where the original poster is coming. Normally speaking that is. I think the price makes a difference. I can get a large pizza for $20 which is good enough for 3 or 4. I will probably have to spend $60-80 on sushi.

                                                                                          Let's take Chinese food for example. It may be justified to order home delivery Chinese cheap food like those $5-10 one, but it make less sense to order delivery for high end Chinese food delivery like those $50-100 dishes.

                                                                                          <Those 15 minutes won't make a difference.>

                                                                                          I agree with the salmonella argument.

                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            Hi Ck

                                                                                            To be fair, I wasn't explicitly claiming that salmonella would spontaneously erupt from a piece of raw fish unrefrigerated for 15 minutes. I said the practice lent itself more readily to salmonella poisoning in the same way that unrefrigerated toast would not. It was a contrast to make a general point, not a declarative statement of fact about a specific situation.

                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                          1. A lot of people order sushi out. I am pretty sure this also happens in LA. You probably just don't know about it.

                                                                                            That being said, I personally have not ordered out. So while people do it, I don't want to paint a picture that most people do it. I bet most do not.

                                                                                            <while dried out and gross-- at least doesn't lend itself to salmonella poisoning.>

                                                                                            I am not sure if this is true. If the fish meat already has salmonella, then it already has it. If the fish meat does not have salmonella, then it cannot spontaneously grow salmonella in 20 min.

                                                                                            <Sushi, by definition, ideally should be eaten seconds after the sushi chef has made it. >

                                                                                            By today's definition, but not by ancient tradition.

                                                                                            <Sushi delivery?>

                                                                                            I think it is the same as any food delivery. You don't feel like eating in a restaurant. You want the food delivered to your home, so you can enjoy it with the rest of family.....etc.

                                                                                            1. I love it! - "maximize deliciousness"

                                                                                              As long as sushi is not pre-refrigerated like the ones you get from Trade Joes, Costco and local supermarkets, I'd eat it. Of course they lack maximum deliciousness but delievered sushi is better than boxed mac and cheese when one has no time to cook.

                                                                                              On that note, I am going to eat premade sushi from Dainobu today.

                                                                                              1. I talked with my sister about this post, and the passionate responses that it has been getting.

                                                                                                Her response was "The bottom line is that people just don't care. They've had a stressful day in the city and delivery sushi is good enough."

                                                                                                Is that what's happening here?

                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                33 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                  Yes. Have you not been reading people's responses?

                                                                                                  1. re: loratliff

                                                                                                    He simply doesn't care for legitimate explanations.

                                                                                                    1. re: loratliff

                                                                                                      Then we're back to the argument about whether "good enough" belongs on Chowhound.

                                                                                                      I've been contributing here since about 2001 to find the best representations of various foods in my area. I rarely, if ever, settle for "good enough". This does not mean I eat expensive or fancy food. It means that I maximize deliciousness in my primary category of eating, which tends to be homey cooking-- whether I go out or make it at home. It can be homemade wonton soup or beef stew, or roasted chicken (that's for tonight). But I cook from scratch, I don't use expensive or fancy ingredients, and try to make every bite count.

                                                                                                      I am the person who will go far out of my way to buy my wife better luóbo gāo. I'll travel to 5 different supermarkets to get just the right ingredients for a dish I'm making. I'm compelled to do it. It interests me, and it's fun for me.

                                                                                                      My sister, however, is not (nor has she ever been) a Chowhound. And she has a kid. So, easy, fast and convenient are the rules of the day. Delivery is a lifestyle for her. But, as I said-- she's not a Chowhound. We are.

                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                        Yet you you go to the restaurant and sit at a table and order sushi. That to me is settling for "good enough"

                                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                          I'm not sure I understand your point. I suppose if you live next door to a sushi place, the sog time would be minimized, but it still wouldn't be as fresh as if the server walked your maki ten feet across the restaurant.

                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                            Oh come on, the difference is negligible. The fish does not deteriorate that quickly. It WOULD be "as fresh".

                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                              My point is best when served piece by piece directly from the chef. If you sit at a table and get served a platter of sushi it is sitting around while your tablemates orders are prepared. The quality deteriorates as it sits around. So when you sit at a table you are not "maximizing deliciousness". So in essence you are settling for "good enough"

                                                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                Hear, hear! Great point. The OP has already compromised the sushi experience by saying he prefers to eat at a table instead of the bar. Which is only one step removed from take out. I recall the first review for Masa which made the point that eating at a table was distinctly inferior to dining at the bar with the master. Maximize your experience Mr Taster. Eat at the bar.

                                                                                                                One other thing, based on a prior post, it seems you don't have children. I'd like to see how those hours long trips in search of the best ingredients or the 30 minutes out of the way drive fits in with the screaming hungry kids. Just saying life has a way of getting in the way of maximizing deliciousness.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                  Actually I would beg to differ in that eating at the table is many many steps removed from take out/delivery.

                                                                                                                  I ate sushi at a restaurant last night. A very decent one in terms of ingredients quality and turnover. My table was 10-15' from the bar. My sashimi/nigiri/maki often came just as quickly as the sushi bar patrons (I was watching and eyeing what the bar patrons were eating, haha). Just because you sit at the bar doesn't mean the chef hands you your order as soon as he makes it. There's usually no logic to the timing of food arrival, and if the chefs are busy preparing larger platters of sushi to table patrons, it's conceivable they'll get their foods sooner after preparation than the blokes sitting at the bar.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                    I beg to differ from your beg to differ. From what you have described, the sushi place you went to is no different the any of my basic not particularly great neighborhood sushi place.

                                                                                                                    When I want really good sushi, I go to a place where I sit at the bar and discuss what's good with the sushi chef. Based on that discussion, the chef begins my meal. As he makes each piece, he places it on front of me to eat. There's no platter being prepared to bring to the table for 4 or 4 different orders being prepared en mass which as MVNYC points out means the sushi is just sitting there.

                                                                                                                    Huge difference I think when the chef prepares and hands it to you one maybe two at a time. You have to go to the right place. Where you were wasn't of this type.

                                                                                                                    Sitting at a table with 3 of your friends waiting 20 minutes for the fish to show up isn't that different in my mind.

                                                                                                                    ETA: Didn't you want to go to Sushi Nakazawa? That's how its done there. Piece by piece at the bar.

                                                                                                                    But I will come around and agree with you that at your typical sushi place, there is little difference between the bar and a table. But then going to such a place would not be maximizing deliciousness would it? ;)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                    <The OP has already compromised the sushi experience by saying he prefers to eat at a table instead of the bar.>

                                                                                                                    Well, we all make compromises. For example, some people like to make their food, and you really have a whole range of "make your own". Let's just use a simple Chinese dish: the "fermented black bean chicken":


                                                                                                                    You can use prepared sauce, like people use prepared pasta sauce:


                                                                                                                    or you can make your own sauce from dried fermented beans:


                                                                                                                    or you can ferment your own beans.
                                                                                                                    or you can even start growing your beans....etc

                                                                                                                    What I am saying is that we all draw a line somewhere and make compromise.

                                                                                                                    <made the point that eating at a table was distinctly inferior to dining at the bar with the master.>

                                                                                                                    This is probably true.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                      CK - I agree with you, however, its the OP who seems to say maximize, don't compromise so I'm not sure why you are responding to me. Life and food is full compromises.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                        I responded to you because I like you. :)

                                                                                                                  3. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                    Hey if/when my platter of sashimi/nigiri/maki arrives (and my companions' foods haven't arrived), I don't give a flying fish roe about them, I just dig right in ! :-D

                                                                                                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                      Well getting the entire platter at one time means your sushi will be sitting there for however long it takes you to finish your meal. It is not getting better during that time. Also usually at the better places, the sushi delivered to tables is usually made by the apprentices, not the head chef.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                        >> Well getting the entire platter at one time means your sushi will be sitting there for however long it takes you to finish your meal.

                                                                                                                        That's a fair point, if you're talking about an exceedingly large platter of nigiri and maki. Not as much with sashimi (especially if served on ice), for reasons I outlined elsewhere on this thread.

                                                                                                                        >> Also usually at the better places, the sushi delivered to tables is usually made by the apprentices

                                                                                                                        That's not a fair generalization, since every restaurant could have a different practice. Additionally, it assumes the apprentice's skills in this hypothetical situation considerably worse than the master, which may or may not be true- again, it's extremely situation dependent.

                                                                                                                        In either case, the argument falls flat, since the ultimate responsibility for maximizing one's deliciousness would be up to the individual Chowhound. They would need to have the knowledge to pick a restaurant where they can be assured that preparation would not be compromised. It would also fall on the Chowhound to know how best to place their order to maximize quality.

                                                                                                                        I've learned, for example, to always order dim sum in waves of 2-3 steamer baskets at a time. If you order everything at once, or it's inevitable that by the time you reach the end of your steamer trays, your buns will be dry, and your har gow will be chewy.

                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                          The argument falls flat? Eating at a table while eating at a sushi restaurant in no way maximizes deliciousness. There you go.

                                                                                                                          "They would need to have the knowledge to pick a restaurant where they can be assured that preparation would not be compromised. It would also fall on the Chowhound to know how best to place their order to maximize quality"

                                                                                                                          Don't you think hounds getting delivery sushi are doing the same? No reason to be so condescending to everyone else.

                                                                                                                      2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                        < I don't give a flying fish roe>

                                                                                                                        ha ha ha

                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                          Thought you'd like that one.

                                                                                                                          Bet you like CHirashi too, right CK ?

                                                                                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                  But how to you find the best representations in your neighborhood? Either you go out there and try it, ask for Chowhound (or trusted friend) recommendations, or go the unChowhoundish route and look to papers/magazines/yelp for a suggestion. Unless you are truly lucky you will have some meals that are "just good enough" on your journey. So if people want to share their journey, and discuss it with other there will be "just good enough" on Chowhound.

                                                                                                                  I always took the manifesto to mean that a Chowhound will suffer on their path to finding great food and won't settle for anything less than what they consider great. And that they won't automatically dismiss something as potentially being great without first trying it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                    That's a fair point. Really old school Chowhounding... sniffing out a place by feel, sight and smell-- unless your instincts are super keen-- does require a certain amount of taking one for the team.

                                                                                                                    I do a minimal amount of this kind of Chowhounding, instead relying more on the collective wisdom of elder Chowhounds. But at this point, I've been around here long enough to become of the elder Chowhounds. I did bring to the LA Chowhound consciousness the wonderful Feng Mao Mutton Kebab, They make the delicious cayenne and cumin yang rou chuan, which at the time I wrote about it was very hard to find in LA. My review got picked up by Exilekiss, a popular Chowhound and food blogger, and then the LA Times picked up on EK's story. I couldn't be happier for the owner, who is this incredibly sweet lady, and still credits me for the success of her business. But, that's the exception for me. I tend to have a broad but reliable rotation that I dip into, and every so often when I see something interesting pop up from a known, reliable source I will check it out. That insulates me from a lot of the dirty work.

                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                        That is one of the great Chowhound mysteries. Some people seem to know, but do not say.

                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                          well, what do those "some people" say when asked about Exilekiss? I think I remember him having a blog as well. I think I checked it and it stopped suddenly. I was thinking he may have passed away :(

                                                                                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                            They say nothing, but hint at the idea that they know.

                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                              well, my guess is that he passed away :(

                                                                                                                  2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                    So you don't go to Japan to eat it off the fishing boat?

                                                                                                                    You know being a Chowhound isn't really a real thing Right?, But if it were, there'd be regional differences.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        Okay, well your health fears are unfounded, and I hope we can agree that the Chowhound thing isn't about close mindedness, or preconceived notions.

                                                                                                                        Do you have any sushi delivery options where you live?

                                                                                                                3. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                  Sorry, no. The fact that people prefer sushi to pizza (or noodles or whatever else you'd get via delivery) is what's happening here. You seem to be coming from the viewpoint that while delivery food is OK, sushi isn't, based on... what? I really don't understand where you're coming from.

                                                                                                                  If your point is delivery food is never acceptable, then I suppose I see where you are coming from, but that doesn't seem to be your viewpoint.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                    I pretty much explained the long day scenario.

                                                                                                                    I'll even add that sometimes it's better than good enough, and the quality takes little hit. The food arrives, and it's almost as if you have your own wing of the restaurant across the street, or two blocks away, where you get to serve yourself and not have to deal with people. If the food's not delicious or there's temp problems, you'll try one of two dozen other options, or thousands of options you can carry home yourself. Sometimes, you might imagine you're passing Jim Leff on the street, and he doesn't tell you how to live, eat, or make you worry about eating like an official Chowhound, because you have managed to maximize deliciousness for that day, knowing there were worse options.

                                                                                                                    If your idea of being a Chowhound is only eating sushi hand fed to you by a world class sushi chef, then I think you may have misconstrued something.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                      <Is that what's happening here?>

                                                                                                                      Not sure because I have never ordered out, but I think my mom did it once or twice when we were little kids. Yeah, I guess you can say that we don't care. I also think it depends on the quality you are expecting, right? It is like the relatively inexpensive sushi $20-30 per sushi plate (8-10 pieces), then it is not a big deal. If you are paying high quality sushi worth $50+, then probably you will have more incentive to go to the restaurant and eat it there.

                                                                                                                      Let's take Chinese stir fry for example. Same thing. Stir fry food actually should not wait too long, but plenty of people order Chinese food for delivery or for takes-out. If you are pay $5-6 for your below average kung pao chicken, then you probably do not care if it is delivered. However, you probably will feel differently if it is a high end kung pao chicken which costs $20-30.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                        Or pasta for that matter, which should 'technically' be eaten immediately.

                                                                                                                    2. I do it all the time. Sushi is finger food, I don't think of it as haute cuisine.

                                                                                                                      Now, if you go to a very high quality sushi restaurant and sit at the counter, you can get a good experience which you wouldn't even get by sitting at the table.

                                                                                                                      But you can go to stores either in the US or in Japan where they sell sushi that's prepackaged and ready for take-home.

                                                                                                                      1. What is the difference between delivery & supermarket? Actually delivery is probably loads fresher as the supermarket sushi is delivered to the store, and was made God knows when..... Unless you go to Gelson's, where they have sushi chefs making the prepared sushi behind the fish counter.

                                                                                                                        I've heard of many other items delivered in NYC.... That's the advantage to living in a great city that occupies a tiny island, as opposed to the megalopolis sprawl of our fair city.

                                                                                                                        1. Our neighbors own a sushi restaurant in the "good" part of town. They say deliveries make up 40-50% of their total sales. The neighborhood has a strong mix of families, empty nesters and singles/students < 30.

                                                                                                                          1. My sister and BIL have sushi delivery almost weekly. They prefer to eat at home; after a long day and a long commute, they're just not interested in dressing for dinner. Nope, it's (at the risk of TMI) jammies and sushi.
                                                                                                                            I recall from learning to make sushi, that (one of) the purpose of su-shi (vinegared) rice was to be slightly acidic, so as to aid in preserving the fish. Nigiri sushi and roll sushi are part of lunch foods... and possibly left at room temp for several hours.
                                                                                                                            I like sushi. Sometimes I don't want to be in a cold/noisy/whatever "out" space. Luckily I live near several acceptable take away options. Not so my sis; she has delivery.

                                                                                                                            1. What if someone just enjoys slightly-aged sushi?

                                                                                                                              Sort of the way some people enjoy cold pizza over fresh, hot pizza.

                                                                                                                              Or how I prefer cold vegetarian dumplings to just boiled ones.

                                                                                                                              If that were the case, wouldn't delivery sushi be maximizing deliciousness?

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                "Or how I prefer cold vegetarian dumplings to just boiled ones."

                                                                                                                                [Gasp] .... that's it, we're not having playdates together anymore !


                                                                                                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                  That just means more vegetarian dumplings for me!

                                                                                                                                1. I gotta say, the more I read your comments, the more I don't want to read them.

                                                                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                    i feel like the original post here is the ultimate yucking of others' yums. moreover, deliciousness is highly subjective. there have been times i've been sick, or living overseas, and a box of kraft macaroni and cheese with peas and ham in it has been at that moment literally the most delicious thing on earth. i have friends who love to eat natto for breakfast; i have friends who find cilantro to be as repulsive as dog poop. my boyfriend really dislikes bleu cheeses, stinky cheeses, eggs, pork belly, and mushrooms. i have a friend from italy who despises cheese, period. i happen to find asparagus, beer, sourdough bread, smoked cheeses, and mashed potatoes yucky.
                                                                                                                                    "deliciousness" is a concept, an experience, not an absolute and verifiable attribute. similar things are "comfortable", "difficult", "easy", etc. what i find comfortable, maybe you don't. doesn't make it NOT comfortable for me, it just means we define (and experience) comfort differently. same with food - here, delivery sushi - insofar as if i order delivery sushi, and experience it as delicious, it's delicious. you don't have to agree or experience it the same way, but you don't get to tell me that *i* didn't experience it how i did.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                      <i've been sick, or living overseas, and a box of kraft macaroni and cheese with peans and ham in it has been at that moment literally the most delicious thing on earth>


                                                                                                                                      On the other hand, we all criticize and praise food. This is a food forum for discussion afterall. I cannot remember how many times people have made fun of recipes, like the infamous Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake.

                                                                                                                                      I started a fairly lengthy thread about two popular Chinese Szechuan restaurants and compared them, which definitely put me in the position of praising and criticizing them:


                                                                                                                                      The original poster is yucking of other's yums. Sure, but I don't know who has not done it here. He criticizes people do takes-out sushi. I have heard at least 20 times here people criticize supermarket sushi, and I must have heard at least 100 times people made fun of McDonald. Hey, supermarket sushi and McDonald are in fact very popular.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                        See, I think you hit on something with the last paragraph. He criticizes people who take out sushi. A post that said "I had takeout sushi and I really didn't think it held up well" would have maybe 12 responses. Multiple posts stating that eating takeout sushi is inconceivable and people who do are not complying with the chowhound ethos, especially from someone who has never tried it, are going to make people feel judged.

                                                                                                                                        There's no objective standard for "maximum deliciousness." Even within the same person. Maximum deliciousness on a Wednesday three weeks after Christmas when I worked ten hours and drove well over a hundred miles is not going to be the same as what it would be on a Saturday when the bank account is plump, at least not for me. If someone is really able to maintain completely consistent standards of what is acceptable across literally every single contingency, then I respect that but we have very different value systems. Some days what's important is putting in extra effort at a job I care about, and spending some of my very limited free time in my PJs with the husband and dog. I don't have sushi delivery here but I'd give it a shot if it was that kind of day.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                        I was talking to Mr. Taster. And if that was your impression too, I absolutely agree with your comments :-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                          it was. people are entitled to like and dislike what they please, but i find it bothersome when someone dismisses an entire category of stuff they don't happen to like (or haven't even tried!) writ large as inherently of "low quality" or "not chowish".

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                            The OP's plead: "Please help me understand what this is all about." was breached by himself as soon as he started dismissing our views and comments. He was just looking for people to agree with him.

                                                                                                                                            Reminds me of those corporate employee morale/performance initiatives .... "help US to help you" [rolls eyes].

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper


                                                                                                                                              There have been several instances on this thread where I have praised or encouraged other points of view or arguments that I felt had merit. There have been others that I have taken issue with. Remember, that's why we're all here... to debate and discuss delicious food.

                                                                                                                                              My understanding of this phenomenon has broadened a bit (e.g. sashimi from a very local restaurant is a good candidate for delivery), but ultimately my hypothesis remains unaltered.

                                                                                                                                              My takeaway from this debate is that sushi is not a food item that gets better with age, and as such is a lesser candidate for maximizing deliciousness then a soup or stew or Italian sub, which will either hold up equally well, or even improve, during the transit (leaving pizza out, since people are getting caught up on it unnecessarily. Pizza delivery, like toast delivery, was a contrasting counterpoint, never the main argument.)

                                                                                                                                              Nobody here has yet put forth the argument that traveled sushi is better sushi. If anything, it is merely "good enough". And "good enough", as a card-carrying Chowhound, is something I personally try to avoid.

                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                If you don't want "good enough" then don't eat "good enough." That's what people are trying to tell you that you don't seem to get, but for the rest of us, who might work 60+ hours a week or juggle two kids or whatever other life obligations, "good enough" is delicious at times—and that goes for sushi, pizza, Italian subs, Chinese take-out, you name it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: loratliff

                                                                                                                                                  I understand your perspective. For ten+ years now, Chowhound has informed my philosophy on food and eating. Before that, it was Jonathan Gold, whose Counter Intelligence book opened up my world. Traveling clear across town for Chinese food? Yes, because the Chinese food in my neighborhood is shit. But Korean food? It's a cornucopia of kimchi. There's spectacular options in my area. I go where the good stuff is. And if I want Chinese food, but I don't feel like driving across town, do you know what I do? I eat something else. My stomach is not going to wither and shrivel because I didn't get my shuijianbao. I'll go when I have the time, and will enjoy it all the more when I do.

                                                                                                                                                  That's the point I'm getting at here. Sometimes maximizing deliciousness means not getting what you want, precisely when you want it. I live by that philosophy, which is rooted in those early influences cited before.

                                                                                                                                                  In any case, I think it's clear that I will not be partaking in delivery sushi any time soon. I do appreciate those Chowhounds who have elevated the debate by thoughtfully and clearly expressing their opinions.

                                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                  I remember when you visited Japan a few years ago and you posted on the Japan board a thread titled "The password is CHEAP" asking for budget recommendations for the whole country. Now here you are today the defender of the sacred scrolls of Chowhound. Yous alls grows up now, aren't yous?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay


                                                                                                                                                    You're making the mistake of correlating "cheap" (as in inexpensive) with "low quality". Deliciousness and low price are not mutually exclusive. In fact, particularly in Los Angeles, you can find a broad array of outstanding food for absurdly low prices. That's what I was seeking in that thread, and it's what I still seek today.

                                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      " Deliciousness and low price are not mutually exclusive."

                                                                                                                                                      Nor is presentation, or the mileage you travel, or the mileage the food travels.

                                                                                                                                                      I don't know why you think Chowhounding is about intellectually dismissing something you've never tried. Or categorizing delivery as aging. Or asking a question all innocently, then challenging the answers because it doesn't fit your hypothesis. None of this is Chowhounding. The phrase you keep repeating, about maximizing deliciousness, has everything to do with the moment and situation.

                                                                                                                                                      The reality is, being a Chowhound is not all that different than being a New Yorker who likes food. Your sister is probably as or more of a CH than you, without ever being a member of the forum.

                                                                                                                                                      We like food so much, we'll find the best sushi available to us when we're dead tired and can't sit as Masa's, and we'll take that time we couldn't have had a better meal, and eat the hell out of some delivery sushi, because that's what we want to eat. And to be honest, the conversation is meaningless, because if a CH found a sushi delivery service where they actually served aged soggy sushi, in styrofoam, and pronounced it the very best sushi in a 100 mile radius, that would be their valid opinion - and maybe they would have discovered a new CH favorite.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                                                                        The other password could be "Foodie".

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      < If anything, it is merely "good enough". And "good enough", as a card-carrying Chowhound, is something I personally try to avoid.>

                                                                                                                                                      I agree that takes-out sushi is unlikely to be as good as sushi in dining. However, the difference is small, and sometime "good enough" is good enough. We are not talking about special occasions neither like wedding or birthday. We are talking about if it is acceptable for someone to order sushi for takes-out on Wednesday evening.

                                                                                                                                                      I do want to add that we have all done "good enough" from time to time. I remember you told us that Victorinox knife and Accusharp hand-held sharpeners are good enough for you, and you don't have any plan to trade-up, right?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                        I agree that we all have to compromise at some point. As I said before, I'm not going to Guatemala for lunch. But, if my choices for lunch are 1) delivery of an item that degrades in transit or 2) an item that gets better, I'm always going to go for the latter. That rules out sushi delivery for me.

                                                                                                                                                        I love good sushi, but I don't need it so badly that I simply must have it on demand, quality be damned. As a Chowhound, I will wait until such time as I can have that meal in a restaurant, with crispy nori, soft warm rice, and cool fish.

                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                          Yet you sit at a table. The nori just isn't as crisp

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                            I maintain that nori touching moist rice for twenty minutes will be far less crispy from nori touching rice for twenty seconds. You seem to disagree, and that's fine. In any case, I appreciate your input into this spirited debate.

                                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                              20 seconds? Your sense of time seems a bit off.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                            "Pizza delivery-- yes, of course. Sushi delivery? I'm traumatized."

                                                                                                                                                            Yet you compromise by getting delivered pizza. Why not go to a local wood-burning brickoven pizza joint and sit at the counter, and when that pizza comes out of the 800F oven and right onto the counter in front of you, you dig in into deliciousness maximization ? And I bet if you were to sit at a table 20' away, that optimization would be lost as a result of the pizza taking time to get to you via the server.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                              Good analogy! There are some pizza aficionados who say that Neapolitan pizza just cannot be delivered because it gets soggy too quickly.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LorenzoGA

                                                                                                                                                                Motorino is on Seamless, and I've tried delivery.

                                                                                                                                                                It arrived soggy. Just like it did the last time I ate there.
                                                                                                                                                                I probably wouldn't do it again though. Reheating it wouldn't occur to me. The cheese wouldn't survive that. Might as well make your own pizza then.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                >> Yet you compromise by getting delivered pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                That's not true. I haven't ordered a delivery pizza in, well, since I was a teenager and didn't have a drivers license.

                                                                                                                                                                I was making the argument about foods that can be revived after aging, and a food that cannot.

                                                                                                                                                                A piece of maki that has aged in transit will never get the snap of the seaweed back. The fish will warm. The rice will cool. It will become something less than it was before it traveled (again, assuming you're getting something that has traveled more than a few minutes).

                                                                                                                                                                It's an intellectual argument more than a practical one.

                                                                                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                          "The floggings will continue until morale improves."

                                                                                                                                                3. This thread is a hoot! Who knew so many people were protective of delivery sushi. And of their Chowhound credentials!

                                                                                                                                                  For me, I get sushi delivered on a regular basis. I rarely eat out at high-end sushi spots so maybe I just don't know better. Anyway, my lifestyle is such where takeout/delivery makes up a significant portion of my meals. Not the ideal way of eating, but it is what it is. And based on the options I have available to me, delivery sushi is better than no sushi.

                                                                                                                                                  Are there some things I won't get delivered? Well, I've never had any problems with delivery pizza in the past, but I have pretty high standards for pizza and most places near me right now stink. So I rarely get pizza delivered. Chinese is probably my #1 delivery choice. I think the food holds up well enough and I happen to live close to some really good spots.

                                                                                                                                                  Mr. Taster, I really enjoyed reading your post. It seemed to be all in good fun, and I found your perspective, as someone who's never really thought about delivery sushi before, interesting. I too think you're a snob but so are most Chowhounds including myself. =)

                                                                                                                                                  1. I was going to comment, but from the other comments I can see this has been thoroughly addressed.

                                                                                                                                                    Of all the comments I've read, the one that gets to the heart of the matter is from the person who observed that having food delivered is just not that common in LA--period. So it's not surprising the OP singled out sushi to be horrified at. To people who are accustomed to having all manner of food delivered, sushi doesn't raise an eyebrow.

                                                                                                                                                    As others have observed, delivery sushi is common all over, including in Japan. The OP is putting sushi on a pedestal. Sure, it can be high cuisine with an element of performance art in certain high-end sushi bars, but there is plenty of pedestrian sushi, too, even in Japan. Sushi as high cuisine and sushi as simple food are two different categories of sushi. Simple sushi made with pedestrian cuts of fish will not suffer THAT much. Time and increasing temperature will no doubt take a small toll on any raw fish, but salmonella is highly unlikely in the span of an hour or so.

                                                                                                                                                    Finally, the OP's statement that he has "adapted" to the idea of supermarket sushi but is "traumatized" by sushi delivery takes away much of his credibility. You practically admit you are not thinking rationally, OP.

                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LorenzoGA

                                                                                                                                                      >> the OP's statement that he has "adapted" to the idea of supermarket sushi but is "traumatized" by sushi delivery takes away much of his credibility.

                                                                                                                                                      You're right-- supermarket/convenience store sushi is horrifying, but for some different reasons (and some of the same).

                                                                                                                                                      7-11 sushi is guaranteed to be gummy, mushy and entirely a different eating experience that what you'd receive dining at a sushi restaurant, but I've seen it for years so its presence doesn't jolt me anymore. I wouldn't eat it, but I'm not shocked by the idea. Not because it isn't disgusting-- it is-- but because it's familiar-- and that's the difference. It is hypocritical to some degree. But it's also human, to adapt to our environment. In this case, the environment we're discussing is the commercial sushi landscape.

                                                                                                                                                      Re delivery sushi, what I've learned from this thread is that if you order correctly (and eel probably fits this-- warm eel, warm rice, yes the nori will sog, but at least the sauce from the eel will help to hydrate the rice, and you won't have the temperature equalization problem) from a nearby place with a good reputation, of course you'll get a product far greater than the 7-11 sushi. Hell, even if your order takes two hours to get to you, it's going to be better than the 7-11 sushi which is probably already 12 hours old by the time you buy it, and that's death to texture. But here's the similarity. If sushi spends time in a cooler, either for delivery or on a 7-11 shelf, the temps will equalize and you're going to get something lesser (to a larger or smaller degree) than you otherwise would if you got the sushi shortly after being made, when the temps of each of the components are ideal. That simply wouldn't be the same case for a product that wouldn't degrade in transit, like an Italian sub. But again, if your goal is "I want sushi that is not great but good enough so that I don't have to go out and get it myself, because I am overworked, tired, etc.", then that's a fair point, though not a Chowhoundly one. But a human, understandable one.

                                                                                                                                                      It's also true that we do not live in a delivery-based culture here in LA. Most places have free parking lots, and our cars are parked in our driveways, not parking garages a mile away, like can happen in Manhattan. The weather is nice almost all time time, so it's not as much of a hardship to walk outside and take a drive as it would be for a New Yorker in the dead of winter to venture out into the cold, snow and ice for a bit of cold fish on warm rice with crispy seaweed.

                                                                                                                                                      My main point, and my conclusion after reading and considering your posts, is that I simply feel there are other foods much better suited to delivery than sushi. I'm with the poster who was surprised at how personally people take their delivery culture in NYC-- that's something I also hadn't considered. To challenge delivery service in NYC is tantamount to challenging an entire way of life. I hadn't considered that people would feel threatened by that prospect, since it's so foreign to my way of life. That was an enlightening observation to me. I know I've offended some people, but my intent was not to offend-- it was to gain a better understanding of how and why so many people partake in this alternate universe that is contrary to so many of my Chowhoundly instincts. I did my best to provide specific evidence and logical reasoning to back up my point of view, and I hope that some of you have considered, or at least enjoyed, reading my point of view.

                                                                                                                                                      So, to all the Chowhounds who contributed here, I appreciate your participation and I hope there are no hard feelings between us.

                                                                                                                                                      In Chowhoundly brotherhood,

                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        "Most places have free parking lots, and our cars are parked in our driveways, not parking garages a mile away, like can happen in Manhattan. The weather is nice almost all time time, so it's not as much of a hardship to walk outside and take a drive as it would be for a New Yorker in the dead of winter to venture out into the cold, snow and ice for a bit of cold fish on warm rice with crispy seaweed."

                                                                                                                                                        You do know that most New Yorkers don't even have cars, right?

                                                                                                                                                        I live in NYC, grew up in LA (just to clarify my standard of comparison). I almost never get food of any kind delivered even in the dead of winter (and NEVER sushi OR pizza). More likely I will call the place and then go pick it up (on foot) and bring it home.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                                          Spoken like a true Chowhound!

                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                          If you're getting an eel or any other inside out maki the nori will just not be as crisp.

                                                                                                                                                          You may not consider it "chowhoundy" but clearly a lot of people beg to differ.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                            I would argue that maki in general are not particularly chowhoundy as they are considered stomach stuffers at the end of a sushi meal. They are typically throw-in items in Japan and decent places here in NYC. I personally wouldn't even consider maki in the calculus of whether a sushi shop is particularly appealing. That's like judging a pizza place on garlic knots.

                                                                                                                                                            Also, eel is the last thing that I would order for delivery as it is cooked and sauced. It's going to come out mushy. Even places that don't prepare it well for in-house dining serve it like this sometimes. Kind of nasty I think.

                                                                                                                                                            The best items for delivery are fish and squid. They taste fine a little chilled or at room temperature.

                                                                                                                                                            ...and cold fish on warm rice just sounds weird. The picture he paints of he and a group of people sitting at a table in the back of a mid-tier Los Angeles sushi restaurant eating warm rice and cold fish and soggy eel and a bunch of maki rolls does not sound appealing at all.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah I would agree with everything you said. When I order sushi I usually order from a mid tier place and get 3-4 maki. It's a different animal in my mind from sitting at a sushi bar and getting served nigiri a piece or two at a time. Honestly sitting at a table at a mid tier place isn't much different than delivery.

                                                                                                                                                              As to whether maki is chowhoundy? Well some places are better than others and sometimes a few rolls and a salad can make a nice dinner.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                            No hard feelings at all. You've made your case. Point taken.

                                                                                                                                                        3. It is also worth noting that some sushi, at least in Japan, and maybe random pockets of other parts of the world, where certain sushi is constructed and can survive some form of travel (take out, delivery, or say in the case of eki-bento's, brought on the train to be consumed). Not absolutely everything has to be consumed right away after making (in the case of Edo style nigiri sushi).

                                                                                                                                                          Kasen in Fountain Valley California (Orange County) offers some fantastic saba sushi (battera), Osaka style pressed sushi. There is a variant of saba bou-sushi (stick). The fish is marinated in vinegar, and served with vinegared sushi rice (the recipe varies slightly depending on the region). Fish doesn't have to be mackerel, and there are regional variations using sea eel (anago) and kodai...some of these you can even find at some of the regional Japanese themed food fairs at Mitsuwa Marketplace, pretty sure Costa Mesa, New Jersey, San Jose, San Diego would have something like that as well once in a while. Some of these specially designed gift bentos have crab, salmon roe, amongst other bits. While they are not necessarily restaurant quality delicious, they do constitute part of the takeout/delivery type sushi category.

                                                                                                                                                          Also with marinated fish, if the chef is chowhoundish/snobbish about it, he can even take freshly marinated/vinegared fish and just construct the Osaka style sushi for delivery, thus using the transit time to allow the vinegar marination of the fish to harmonize with the vinegared flavor of the sushi rice to compensate for the quality in taste due to time factor.

                                                                                                                                                          Then of course across Taiwan, there are always shops and small vendors selling prepackaged sushi rolls designed for the local market, that are not Japanese in nature, but are also not anything like American style rolls. Those I think are designed to be packaged and taken away to eat, but do not suffer the degradation of time and refrigeration like supermarket sushi.

                                                                                                                                                          So yes, delivery/take out sushi can work, depends on the format.

                                                                                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: K K

                                                                                                                                                              Once again, a wildly interesting, informative & Chowhoundly post from. A type of sushi that is engineered, by design, to age well? Why aren't world's sushi delivery shops on top of this? :-)

                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: K K

                                                                                                                                                                I hear they have sushi on the International Space Station.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                  there's a supermarket near me that sells frozen sushi. like, premade, commercial, mass-produced sushi. i confess that one made me raise an eyebrow.

                                                                                                                                                                  worst bit is it's less than a block from a decent locally-owned sushi joint that does takeout. and the frozen is more expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                      i have no idea, i haven't ever tried it...i did laugh and text my boyfriend a snapshot though... (we both lived in japan for several years). we both got a good chuckle from it... probably because we didn't eat it? (maybe it's good, but i'll let someone else guinea pig that for me.)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                                                        I read some articles about the frozen sushi many years ago. The company spent many years and a fortune figuring out how to make decent quality frozen sushi.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                          That's interesting, seeing as how a fair amount of high end product used in stateside sushi is flash frozen to begin with.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                            it's frozen whole, though, not pre-sliced; also, as i understand, the frozen stuff is frozen in read-to-eat nigiri form, just nuke and nosh. is this right? how does it work? has anyone here tried it?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                                                              Right, frozen whole fish, or partially broken down, and then frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                              Considering that, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work sliced or made for reassembly later.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sugartoof

                                                                                                                                                                                i guess? it looks like you're supposed to set it out to defrost to room temp... might work? my main concern would be how freezing would affect nori and rice?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                    Not surprised.

                                                                                                                                                                    Just out of curiosity I entered 壽司外賣 (sushi takeout) in Chinese and pasted it in google. Numerous results, pointing to big name local chain restaurants in Hong Kong (some are conveyor belt sushi joints like Genki, and quick/fast/affordable made to order places like Itacho). Offerings range from nigiri, sashimi, rolls, to all sorts of other things. A few actually do delivery with a minimum order (some done by scooter).

                                                                                                                                                                    You can't deny blue collar workers who want to indulge in affordable low to mid tier stuff, but don't want to bother with a high end Michelin star rated kind of place (or cannot afford to) and also could be stuck at their jobs/shifts who just want a bite of sushi. In terms of how the food is contained for quality during delivery and whether delivery is within 30 mins, is hard to say...one would expect that a chain restaurant has enough locations to cover geographical boundaries and districts.

                                                                                                                                                                    Here's a link to a takeout menu for Itacho in Hong Kong


                                                                                                                                                                    So yeah, delivery sushi is everywhere...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: K K

                                                                                                                                                                      How much does one tip for sushi delivery to ISS?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                        Dunno, but I bet they don't prefer rubles ......

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: K K

                                                                                                                                                                    I've had battera (box pressed) sushi many times. It is one of the types of sushi that is made to be eaten later, especially the type sealed with aspic/gelatin.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                      This stuff looks dang fresh and lasts like, forever:



                                                                                                                                                                      But resist the temptation to bite in to them, ok ? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                  3. I grew up in Tokyo and when we were young, my grandmother would have big family get togethers for birthdays and what not. We'd order sushi from the place down the street. And the later on the guy would show up with sushi trays strapped to the back of his moped. we'd eat the sushi and then leave the trays for him to come pick up later. Sushi in the 70's and 80's was just party food kind of like pizza. Of course, sushi grew up into more of a sophisticated delicacy, both in Japan and the US. Perhaps, (assuming you're american) that bc you're exposed to the grown up version that it's difficult to equate sushi to something that's casually delivered like Dominos. I had sushi delivered a couple of nights from Asakuma in west hollywood and it really wasn't bad at all. Get over it!