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"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" Review

In a Tokyo subway station is a tiny 10-seat sushi bar that is run by an 85-year-old ninja (euphemistically speaking) who has dedicated his life to mastering preparing the world's best sushi and as a result it is the only sushi-only restaurant to receive Michelin's top three-star rating. The story of Jiro Ono, his two sons, and the restaurant (Sukiyabashi Jiro) is the subject of the whimsical documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Despite the inauspicious location, reservations are taken a month in advance and customers pay in the neighborhood of $400 for dinner, with Jiro serving up approximately 20 pieces of sushi of his choosing. There are no drinks or appetizers or fancy-shmancy rolls - just sushi. (I'd have to win the lottery to be able to eat there and, even if I had the means, I don't see how I could possibly enjoy a piece of fish, no matter how wonderful, that cost more than I'd pay for a Blu-ray or some games. It's not as if you get a souvenir waitress to take home.)

Jiro seems driven by a combination of strict Japanese work ethics and a touch of OCD - he takes the same turnstile on the subway every day - but the results speak for themselves. His relationship with his two sons, one of whom started his own place that's literally the mirror of the father's, is interesting and there's a fascinating twist towards the end about who served the Michelin's inspectors. However, for all the discussion about the process of purchasing and preparing the fish, some basic details aren't addressed, starting with how did he manage to gain such notoriety in such a pedestrian location and what of the mother of his sons who obviously raised them as Jiro admits not being around much while he worked.

If you like sushi and want to see how the stuff you'll never be able to try is made, check out Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but prepare to be very hungry for some sushi before it's over.

Score: 8/10. Rent it.


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