Naked Sushi?


SUSHI ON A PLATE | Some serve it up…well…differently

A friend who knows I love sushi sent me a story this morning from The Pioneer Press newspaper in St. Paul, Minn., about a trend that has finally made its way to Minneapolis from Japan (by way of London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles): naked sushi.

“Naked sushi” isn’t sushi without the soy sauce or the seaweed. Rather, it’s eating sushi – I’m not making this up – off a naked (or nearly-naked) person.

“It was only a matter of time,” the story said, adding that the fad was highlighted in a recent episode of “CSI: New York.”

I like to think I know a thing or two, but obviously, given that I’ve never seen a single episode of any of the CSI shows – not to mention the fact that I’ve never heard of naked sushi until today – confirms to me that there’s still a lot of midwesterner in me.

And to think this is happening in the midwest…

According to the story, Tom Pham, who owns the restaurant “Temple,” has scheduled a naked sushi night at his Minneapolis establishment on March 8.

From the story: “We have everything in Minneapolis except one thing and that’s naked sushi,” says Phan, who booked eight models – six women and two men – for the event. These models have everything to do with whether naked sushi (aka body sushi) is viewed as sexy, tacky or just plain gross. “They have to be flawless…” says Phan. “That’s why we need to book more than we’ll need – just in case one of them gets a pimple.”

Anyone for gross? Appetizing, huh?

I guess because I grew up in the Kansas prairie and am at heart, despite being a Sanford native, a midwesterner, this really strikes me as…unusual, to say the least. I thought that perhaps because I’d acquired a taste for sushi over the last few years, my “culture” quotient had increased, but maybe not. Some tastes I guess I’d rather not acquire.

It reminds me of a trip I took with my grandfather just before my senior year of high school. He took each of us grandkids somewhere outside the United States to expose us to the world; my journey was a freighter excursion with him from New York to Brazil that summer. (Yes, a freighter…not the “Love Boat,” but a real live freighter with a single level with enough room for a dozen passengers, 10 of whom had a combined age of more than 700. My sister? She got to go to Italy.)

That trip was full of lessons, but one memory that stands out was at breakfast each morning, the first thing we’d be served was a grapefruit half. I can’t stand grapefruit. So each morning I’d leave it untouched. And every single morning, without fail, my grandfather – who visited more than 100 countries during his lifetime – would say the same thing: “Son, you better eat that…they don’t have grapefruit in Kansas.”

We did, of course, and he knew it…he was just trying to broaden my horizons.

But naked sushi? Some horizons need to stay out of reach.

I guess barriers, or standards, are falling everywhere. I was saddened to read in this morning’s Herald about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against Yamato – Sanford’s original home to great sushi – related to alleged sexual harassment taking place there. The story points out that sexual harassment violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination and allowing for punitive action against a company allowing a sexually-hostile work environment.

I wonder what the drafters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would say about naked sushi.

One Response to Naked Sushi?

  1. alroethlisberger says:

    I am certainly no prude… but…….. good grief. Some folks just “try too hard” 🙂

    I think the first time I saw this was a few years ago on the first or second season of “The Surreal Life”, and although the attractive young woman used was indeed likely described by most as “a perfect specimen”, the whole affair just seemed silly.

    Honestly, what’s the point? I guess the point like many activities of this sort is to be provocative or perhaps even titillating. But I just don’t think it succeeds for anyone of any real intellectual complexity.

    I can and do appreciate the beauty of the human body, but I fail to see how eating food from someone’s flesh is entertaining. I suppose I’d be game if I were already there and the sushi was enticing, but I definitely wouldn’t plan my night around “Naked Sushi”.

    Plus, I think I’d just feel embarrassed for the model, even if they aren’t *laugh*

    As an aside, another big sushi fan here. I couldn’t eat it every day, but miss the oddball bars and small family run shops back in CA.

    I could go for some Dim Sum too…. but not on someones abdomen please. I’d probably die laughing before I could even eat 🙂


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