I had a wonderful idea last weekend when my brother Billy and I went out for sushi and a movie: we should make this a regular thing! With the abundance of sushi places offering 50% off of the rolls which they sell, I figured there would be plenty of opportunity for us to find a new sushi place each week, try it out, and give a critique. Throw in a movie each week and it’s a total bro date every week, making up for all that lost time from when I lived in Connecticut.
I haven’t developed a formal criteria for judging both the sushi and the movie, so it will be developed gradually for as long as I keep doing this. After debating where to go and what to see on Saturday, we decided on our sushi destination and our film of choice, so I present to you Banzai Expendables!
The sushi place we went to was Banzai Teppan Yaki, the closest sushi place to our house but also our “regular” place. On this visit, the usual sushi chef Ozzy wasn’t there when we got there, plus all the spots at the sushi bar were taken, so we sat at a table. This, in my opinion, ruined the experience. And without Ozzy making our rolls, they weren’t the same as they typically are.
It is not to say that they weren’t delicious. At Banzai, any roll under $10 is half off, and the choices at $10 and under are many. My favorite roll has to be the Nevada, which has blue marlin and cream cheese on the inside, is lightly breaded in tempura and topped with jalapenos and eel sauce. The combination of all the ingredients is just enough sweet and spicy, except when you have over ripe peppers, in which case your mouth will be on fire. By cooking the roll slightly after breading it (tempura style), the cream cheese is slightly melted, mingling with the blue marlin and pumping up the flavors.
I also had another roll with jalapenos, cream cheese, and eel, which is also very good, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it is called. It has the same thing going for it as the Nevada roll, but I have always been a fan of eel when it comes to sushi, and this roll allows me to enjoy it with the added textures of cream cheese and tempura.
The third roll I ordered was what Banzai calls a “Wasatch” roll, most likely named after the Wasatch Valley in which we live. While the roll itself is a good thought, the execution on my recent visit left a little to be desired. I decided on this roll because of the presence of salmon and yellow tail, plus I wanted to get a roll that wasn’t fried. Though the menu stated that there was tobiko, which is little fish eggs, I did not expect it to be rolled in the tobiko, so there was a little much for my personal taste. Nevertheless, there is a reason why this place is our favorite sushi restaurant, so we will probably be back after trying some other places.
After sushi, we went to the local multiplex to catch a movie. I wanted to see either “Premium Rush” or “Bourne Legacy,” but my brother is a man of simpler tastes, so we went and watched “The Expendables 2.” Not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enjoyable enough when people were fighting or shooting each other. Dialogue parts… not so much. There were many parts where people were talking to each other and I just wanted them to get back to fighting each other. It was very boring for about a third of the movie, and some of the dialogue exchanges were cringe worthy.
Then again, I don’t think either of us went into the movie expecting Shakespeare, and the action sequences didn’t disappoint. One quibble I have is the obvious use of a Sylvester Stallone stunt double in some of the scenes, but when you are 80 years old in an action movie, I guess it’s alright on some level. The movie was just campy enough, with enough one liners, to actually make me enjoy it. Not that I will ever see it again, but that doesn’t make it a horrible movie.
Overall, I’d score the few hours spent with my brother on a Saturday about an 4 out of 5. Could have been better had we seen one of the movies I wanted to see, as well as eating a bit too much tobiko, but given my other options at the time, it was a good day. Spending time with my brother can be an enjoyable experience. Whether or not it is something we’ll keep doing should one of us get a girlfriend (ha!) remains to be seen.
Until next time…