Today, Akemi and I took drive down to Steveston Village. For those of you who don’t know (and, really, given what loyal fans you are, I imagine that number is very small), Steveston was the location we used to for the SG-1 episode Nightwalkers. And I’m sure we weren’t the first production to make use of its small town look. The place has a quaintness about it that suggests downhome comfort, old time values and, of course, alien invasion.
Anyway, on this day, no alien invasion. And sadly, no fish taco for me either. I had a hankering for a snack (to fill that post-lunch, pre-dinner stretch) so I walked down to Pajo’s, a little shack on the water that serves fish ‘n chip, burgers, and various seafood treats. I stepped up to the counter and waited while the young lady across the way oversaw the assembly of a large take-out order. The kitchen was buzzing with youthful energy as the staff floured, deep-fried, and served up the orders. I waited. “Seventy-three!”she shouted, handing off the order and then, before I could place an order for a fish taco (I’d decided to go with the halibut), turned her back to me and continued to oversee the action in the kitchen. I waited. She watched. I waited. She watched. Then, she received another order, set it down on the counter and shouted “Seventy-two!”. Customer #72 picked up his food and, as I prepared to order my fish taco, the young lady again turned her back to me. But rather than oversee the action in the kitchen, she had far more pressing concerns. Namely, she had to chat with another young lady who was casually spooning mayonnaise out of an enormous plastic container. I pulled out a twenty (money talks, I figured), leaned forward, and waited. She turned – “Seventy-one!” – and, before I could utter a word, she’d turned her back to me and was overseeing the action in the kitchen once again.
Ah, the luxury of being so busy you can’t be bothered to provide fair to middling customer service. Good for them.
By this point, I’d lost my appetite for Pajo’s fish tacos, and Pajos in general, and so we headed over the the wharf to check out the fresh fish the boats had brought in that day.
We were walking around, perusing the fresh fish and seafood, when we came upon these delectable little treasures:
If you’ve ever had them before, you can be excused for considering them – well, mighty disgusting. The fact is, the sea urchin that is served at most Japanese restaurants is often packaged and tastes very different from its fresh, live counterpart. Most restaurant uni tends to possess a funkiness that my writing partner once described as “redolent of the sea…right by an open sewer main”. Fresh, live uni, on the other hand, is sweet, creamy, and utterly delicious. Occasionally, one of Vancouver’s top Japanese restaurants serves up the latter version – at $35 a pop. Or, if you’re lucky, you can snag one at your local fish market for $10 a pop. OR, you can go to Steveston and pick up three for $10. Which is exactly what we did.
One of the drawbacks of purchasing your own sea urchin is having to clean them yourself. Fortunately, it’s not an overly complicated process. Consult the handy chart –
When we arrived home, I got to work –
I’ve had sea urchin a number of different ways – sauteed, tempura-style, with pasta – but my favorite is by far the simplest.
Sashimi-style is still the best.
Need I remind everyone that our Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes on Monday. Up for discussion: The Phantom (1996). As always, I’m sure our resident film critic, Cookie Monster, will have plenty to say on the subject.
Hey, PBMom! Great to hear Patrick is on the mend.
And welcome back Adam (aka Major D. Davis). Congrats and best of luck at USC!