Last night, I met up with some friends of mine in Santa Monica — BrianAM, who I’ve known for about 10 years was in town, so he invited a few people for a get-together since we don’t get a chance to see each other very often (well, at least I don’t). I suggested a sushi place on 2nd St called Taka Sushi — one of my favorites. Taka Sushi is the first sushi restaurant in Santa Monica — open for 20 years. All the previous times I’ve been there, it was packed, but last night was rather empty — perhaps people were still recovering from the New Year’s celebration.
To make it easier to choose, we decided to get the Sushi Moriawase, which is basically 23 pieces of sushi and 2 rolls, plus some agedashi tofu, and some tempura — the fish included tuna, yellowtail, unagi, shrimp, albacore, halibut, salmon, and roe. They were all excellent, although I noticed that the pieces were rather small — don’t recall them being that way before, but maybe it was because of it was part of the moriawase. Even between the four of us (me + Paul, Greg, and Brian), I was rather full — and of course, no left-overs in sight. With beer, I believe the bill turned out to be about $35/person, which is pretty reasonable for good sushi.
Afterwards, we walked down Ocean and grabbed some dessert — basically just more drinks at Chez Jay, which was another Santa Monica institution, having been around for almost 50 years. It felt out of place, being on prime real estate, only steps away from nice hotels like the Viceroy — this place was your typical dive bar, including sawdust on the floors and genuine naugahyde upholstered booths.
Jared and Alice managed to join us there, and most of the conversation for the rest of the evening involved a topic that was the common link for all of us, and the way we all met — the LA underground music and dance scene in the early 90’s. It was fun to reminisce, but at the same time, it was a reminder that we were getting old, since most of what we chatted about happened over 10 years ago. Nevertheless, it was nice that what we all experienced was so memorable, not to mention how we all stayed in touch.
I’m just hoping that our gathering will not be just an annual event, and we’ll be able to see each other more frequently.