A poignant Japanese meal

Since we started dating in 2001, my husband and I have been going out to eat at a wonderful Japanese restaurant located in a shopping center near his old apartment.  We could walk there from his place, and we had many happy meals at Izumi, including on our wedding night in 2003.  This week, we went out to eat there, for perhaps the last time for the next few months.  Why was it the last time?  The reason is the new mandate by King County (where it is located-we live in a different county) that all bars, restaurants, and nightclubs must require all patrons to present proof that they have been vaccinated against the CCP Virus.  The restaurant must be the enforcer of the mandate which is, to them, 100% non-value-added effort.  All such businesses must devote the continuous time of an employee who would otherwise be serving customers, to checking their “papers”.

My husband is not vaccinated, and will not get the shots, and in this decision I support his choice.  I have been vaccinated myself, but we are a couple in this, and we will no longer be eating at our favorite place.  I wonder how many other long-time customers this small business will lose, due to the county’s requirement.  I wonder if they will be able to stay in business while losing up to 20% of their customers.  To my husband, the risks of getting vaccinated outweigh the benefits of going to a restaurant.  In the past few weeks, we have been going to all of our favorite places in King County, knowing that we may not be going again for a long time (the county has said that they will re-evaluate their policy in six months).

So, I decided to document our meal.  Normally, I don’t take pictures of restaurant food, but the Japanese pride themselves not only on the quality and variety of their food, but on its presentation to the diner.  Each plate is artfully arranged, designed to be pleasing to the eye as well as the palate.  We started the meal with our favorite appetizer, Sunomono, which is a salad made with cucumbers in a rice vinegar.  Izumi adds a tiny piece of surimi, and some flat seaweed to their bowl.  This is almost my favorite part of the meal!

Sunomono

Next came a plate of tempura vegetables.  Izumi’s tempura batter is light as a cloud, and I will even eat vegetables I don’t normally like, like squash, zucchini, and sweet potato, if they are tempura.  The plate contained pieces of carrot, potato, mushroom, green bean, broccoli, zucchini, and yellow squash.  Yum!  Parents, if you want to get your kids to eat vegetables, serve them tempura veggies!

Vegetable tempura

Next came the main courses.  Now, I don’t eat sushi, but Hubby does, and he ordered this gorgeous platter of various kinds.  It’s almost to pretty to eat!

Sushi platter

We both ordered Salmon Teriyaki, and Izumi does it beautifully.  I’m not as good with chopsticks as he is, but I managed to pick up every bite of this delicious fish, as well as the carrots, snow peas, and orange slices that garnished the plate.

Salmon Teriyaki

Doesn’t that just look scrumptious?  Well, it certainly was.

For dessert, we tried a new item on their menu, mango ice cream, and it was delicious, but no picture.

That was one of the best Japanese meals we have ever had.  Oh, and I should explain the picture at the head of this post.  I mentioned that we went there for dinner after our afternoon wedding in 2003.  The restaurant gave us two beautiful teacups, with the restaurant name on them.  The name is surrounded by white space, and all the other characters on the cups are names of various kinds of fish (ingredients in their sushi).

I’m glad I thought to take these pictures, so we will always have our memories, even if we can’t go back there for a long time.  It would be a shame if the Health Nazis of King County end up destroying small restaurants like Izumi with their stupid, controlling policies that have no effect on the spread of the CCP virus.

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