It was twenty-five years ago when I was first introduced tosushi, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been a sushi addict ever since. Back in 1981, I was in grade 11 living with my parents in Vancouver, Canada. That Christmas for the holidays, I went out to Irvine, California, to visit with my cousin and his wife, who were studying at UC-Irvine. I recall my cousin asking if I had ever tried sushi. I had no idea what on earth he was referring to. He explained that it was a Japanese delicacy, whereby raw fish was beautifully prepared usually on beds of rice, and presented by sushi chefs in what could best be referred to as a culinary art. Having grown up in Vancouver, that was back then more of a colonial outpost than an international cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the word sushi. Having Said That I was keen to use. So for lunch, my cousin took me to a local Irvine sushi bar (whose name I no more recall), and I’ve been Best Sushi Near Me fan from the time.
I recall it becoming a completely new experience, although one today that everyone accepts as common place. You enter the sushi bar, as well as the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, plus it seems like the individual you’re with is actually a regular and knows the chefs as well as the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, and today, most people has heard of sushi and used it, and millions have become sushi addicts like me. Obviously there are people who can’t bring themselves to accepting the thought of eating raw fish, possibly away from anxiety about catching a condition from the un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as millions of people consume sushi every year in North America, and the incidents of sushi-related food-poisoning are negligible.
Sushi has become wildly popular in metropolitan centers with diverse cultural interests, specially those with sizeable Asian communities, and those that are well-liked by Asian tourists. As such, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being easy to find on most street corners in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vegas, and Vancouver. In the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience has created a significant change in a number of key markets, which has broadened its appeal. The development of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has changed the way many people have come to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was just for the well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that comprise the fundamentals of the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It is actually imperative the raw seafood be properly cleaned, stored and prepared, as well as in most markets (even on the west coast) these raw ingredients are costly in comparison to other foods. Therefore, the expense of eating sushi has historically been expensive. Sushi bar eating is usually marketed in an a la carte fashion whereby the diner pays for each piece of sushi individually. Although a simple tuna roll chopped into 3 or 4 pieces might costs 2 or 3 dollars, a far more extravagant serving such some eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or even more, depending on the restaurant. It is possible to spend $100 for a nice sushi dinner for 2 at an a la carte sushi bar, which is well out of reach for many diners.
The sushi dining business structure changed within the last decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a brand new possibility to create the sushi dining experience much more of a mass-market business opportunity, as opposed to a dining experience just for the rich. They devised a way to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in bulk, training and employing sushi chefs in high-volume sushi kitchens, when a team of 5 to 15 skilled sushi chefs work non-stop creating sushi dishes in large capacity settings, where such restaurants can typically serve several hundred diners per night. It was this business model that devised the rotating conveyor belt, in which the sushi plates are placed on the belt and cycled through the restaurant so diners can hand-pick their desired sushi right from the belt at their table side. However, the key marketing concept borne out of this model was the single price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, where the diner pays a flat price for all the sushi they can consume in a single seating, typically capped at a couple of hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America will have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, although they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Outside of Japan, undoubtedly, the town of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than any other city. Area of the explanation might be the fact that Vancouver has got the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, and it is a hugely popular tourist destination for tourists coming from all over Asia. Most of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, a few of which focus on the sushi market which is ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond includes a population exceeding 100,000, and nearly all its residents are made up of Asian immigrants that came to Canada over the past two decades. Richmond probably has got the greatest density of Asian restaurants to get found anywhere away from Asia, with every strip mall and mall sporting several competing eating establishments. Needless to say sushi is an important part of the Richmond restaurant business, and diners can find anything from $5 lunch stops, to $20 sushi buffet dinner mega-restaurants.
Vancouver’s lower mainland (that has a population of some 2 million) is additionally the world’s undisputed capital for those-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Given Vancouver’s fame for its abundance of fresh seafood due to the Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants have grown to be world renowned for trying to outdo each other by giving superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, in the best prices to get found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a small part of what one could pay in Japan, and several Japanese tourists marvel at Vancouver’s large variety of quality sushi restaurants. Some say Vancouver’s sushi offering meets and exceeds that lvugwn in Japan, certainly in terms of price! Not many people in Japan can afford to eat sushi apart from for a special occasion. However, All You Can Eat Sushi Near Me is so affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it frequently, without having to break the bank! Before decade, the buying price of eating sushi in Vancouver has tumbled, with sushi restaurants literally on every street corner, as well as the fierce competition has driven the price of an excellent all-you-can-eat sushi dinner down towards the $CAD 15-20 range. An all-you-can-eat sushi dinner for 2, with alcoholic drinks can be had for less than $CAD 50, which is half what one would pay at a North American a la carte sushi bar, and probably one quarter what one would buy an equivalent meal in Japan!