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Photo courtesy of Yelp

Photo courtesy of Yelp

We’ve all heard the rumors about Chinese massage parlors. I’m sure you, yourself, have even contributed to the stereotypes. I’m not above the occasional (and obvious) “happy ending” joke. But after last night I may have to place a moratorium on all off-color massage parlor jokes. Why? Keisy.

Okay. Why Keisy? Keisy Oriental Nature Center sits on E 9th Street between Second and Third avenues, on that little strip that is dotted with shabu-shabu and sushi restaurants. A fluorescent sign with red lettering and a sandwich board out front advertising $45 for a one-hour massage is all the pomp that this place affords itself.

Let me get this out of the way: this is not a spa. The massage parlor is up a flight of stairs in a sparsely decorated space that looks more like a row of office cubicles than a place for deep relaxation. But do not be fooled. What you are about to experience is transcendental.

One of the masseurs takes you to a room and leaves to you strip down to your skivvies and lie face down on the massage table under a (very clean) sheet. Then, without ceremony, a stereotypical soothing voice or a hint of aromatherapy, he or she essentially goes to town on your muscles. I had muscles worked that I didn’t even know I had.

I’m not going to lie to you. Parts of this experience were some of the most excruciating pain I have ever felt (you should also know that I have the back of a 90-year-old cripple), but afterward I felt like an overly tenderized piece of meat…but in a good way! These people know what they are doing and they leave no stone unturned. Forehead, ears, shoulders, back, legs, arms, feet, hands and even your nose. It’s all rubbed, massaged, unclenched and stretched out.

You will leave Keisy in a dopey state of bliss, and for just $45 your wallet won’t feel any lighter. It’s a win-win.

Want to make it a win-win-win and keep the health flowing? Head just across the street to Hasaki for a light sushi dinner. The quality is unbelievably fresh and with the green tea flowing, this is just the meal to keep your organs and muscles smiling all night long.

Photo courtesy of Jezebel

I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret of mine. (Perhaps it’s best to send the kiddies out of the room.) I have always had the fantasy of eating sushi off the naked body of a lover. I know! It’s f*cking weird! Food and sex. I can’t say this fantasy to many people without getting the standard “OH like George Costanza!” comment. NO! Not like freaking George Costanza. I don’t want to eat a sandwich while in the act. That’s just gross. I just want to cover a very attractive man with sushi and eat it off of him. Is that so wrong?

Turns out…it’s really not. In fact, it’s actually a thing! Be still my beating heart. My lovely friend Jenna found this article on Jezebel about the art of Nyotaimori, the practice of serving sashimi or sushi on naked bodies. Wow. That’s awesome. The article on Jezebel was nothing short of pure mockery on the subject (are you surprised?) but it turns out this restaurant in Miami, Kung Fu Kitchen & Sushi is offering a nyotaimori special through September 30. I’m going to Miami tomorrow. For real. Just saying.

I probably won’t partake, seeing as the special is $500 and you need about 15 people to actually do it…and it would look a little weird if I showed up to a restaurant for naked sushi by myself (although I’m really not above that).

Anyway, oh culture! Turns out if you have a desire, there’s probably a country that will allow you to fulfill it without judgment. God Bless Japan.

America is known for bastardizing foreign cuisine and making it our own. (I’m not judging, by the way. Chinese General Tso’s chicken that glows electric orange is freaking good, as is avocado in my sushi.)

So what happens when you go to the homeland of these cuisines to sample the original and you have no idea how to do it properly because you are so used to your shrimp tempura roll topped with avocado, or your lobster sweet potato roll? Fortunately, Lonely Planet came out with this helpful little article on how to order sushi in Japan.

Happy sushing!