Category Archives: Le Rat Mort

Food &c.

Moshi Moshi Sushi and the Birth of Electric Fur

I have been putting off the telling of the tale for far too long now. It is time I revealed the sultry sushi origins behind Electric Fur.

It all began, you’ll see, at Moshi Moshi Sushi.

It’s true: Ballard has yet another sushi shack.  We are up to four.  There are apparently more coming.  Fortunately these crazy cats, fanatical in there various dedications, have assembled something to behold.

Aesthetics—both in presentation and in space—are seen as equal import to the prepared foods and beverages.  The designing and building of the space is, hopefully, only done once.  Attention to this is critical in that it will speak to everything which follows.  Moshi Moshi may be regarded as a work to be savoured at any distance at which your eyes might see.

What will speak to you first is the cherry blossoms.  The first of its kind in the United States the cherry tree consists of hundreds of pink LED’s, each representing a single cherry bloom reaching out from the two-story metalwork trunk and branches.  (I am told these are popular in Japan.)  Well, the blossoms may not come directly from the trunk but you get the picture.

It is this tree which was the subject for my photograph Electric Fur.

I know; I know: “I don’t go out to a restaurant to be inspired to create art”.

But, the food, man, the food.

They make great sushi, there is no doubt about that.  In addition to the usual fare you will also find some peculiar and compelling gems.  Like what?  They make their own tofu, in-house, which is a treat not to be missed (this item is featured on their Happy Menu and is called Agedashi Tofu—be forewarned: it’s different).  All of their menus contain similar unexpected jewels.

I have also found the staff very knowledgeable about terms with which I was understandably unfamiliar, which in itself can be a great relief when navigating a menu peppered with foreign terms.

You may be tempted to think with all this going for them they might be hawking cheap sake in fancy glasses to help pad their margins.  Be not led into this temptation for the barkeep suffers the same fanatical devotion to his craft that produced the tofu and the cherry tree.  Armed with a host of special infusions and a select array of unique liquors Eric and his merry minions mix a medley of mellifluous libations.

Slur that five times fast.

I live close enough to walk so I’ve been able to sample many of these wonderful concoctions.  If it should come to pass—and I’m just not sure how that might come to be—that none of the specialty cocktails on the menu inspire your inner W C Fields, Eric assures me that he has many more candidates in his head which will eventually rotate through the roster.

It’s a pleasure to watch master craftsmin at work, so feel free to pick his brain.

(I actually delayed my writing of this post because the Seattle Times did a write-up on them, a write-up which talked about exactly this subject.  You can read that article here.)

I’m kind of done writing at this point.  Seriously.  This is the part where you turn off your computer and head out the door.  They’re on old Ballard Avenue.

PETA Gets Two Teats Down

Oh, man.  I don’t know how these things happen but happen they do.

So PETA writes this letter to Ben & Jerry (specifically to them) asking that they make a specific maneuver to lessen human and animal suffering.  All sounds good on the surface.  Wait until you get to the meat of the article.

In the letter, PETA VP Tracy Reiman urges Ben & Jerry’s to use human breast milk instead of cow’s milk in their ice cream.  Where do they get these ideas?  Well in this case apparently there is a Swedish restaurant which will be serving dishes containing a mixture using 75% breast milk—or there would be if they had not been barred from doing so.

I really have to wonder if Ms. Reiman (or so many others) ever think these things through before they start acting.  This is the horror we might imagine: an economy for breast milk that puts drug-addicted mothers in a position to get paid by starving their babies.

You can call me a specieist if you’d like, but given the choice between contributing to the suffering of cows and contributing to the suffering of humans I will invariably choose the cows.  Yum yum, little moo.

The complaints that PETA cites in their letter (which appears at the bottom of the above linked article) all surround certain practices of factory farming.  As is so often the case in animal rights claims, they have chosen too far an extreme path for their honorable goals—making those paths dishonorable.

I would like to see a great reform in farming practices, globally.  I think we can improve the health of livestock and humans by making some valuable changes in how we view our relationships with food and food producing animals.  This is something we have begun to address with our pocket books already: prefer buying organic and free-range styled foods, help to define these terms in legal documents, and keep track of where your money is going.

But please don’t fuck with my ice cream by using human breast milk.