There is something incredibly sad about this underground maze of takeout restaurants under 30 Rock. You could picture it during darker times — aka COVID — with some flickering fluorescents, nary a person anywhere and some mouldering sushi sitting in cold storage just waiting to re-open after the plague subsides. The stuff of nightmares. In fact, this outlet of fancy-pants sushi joint, Blue Ribbon, did shut down for a while, presumably waiting for the working stiffs desperate for something not sandwich or salad-y to come back to the office.
And I know this is just a perception thing, but getting food in a windowless box is kind of weird. Even if it’s takeout. Like all the vermin we absolutely know are crawling around NYC are… trapped, I guess? And though I know that the freshness of the fish and the preparation of it are not affected by the surroundings — and that any joint above ground doesn’t necessarily have it over this one when it comes to keeping their fish from poisoning us. And, yes, it’s not as if I ordered fugu or anything, but you always have to be careful with seafood. Or skeptical, at least.
None of this really has anything to do with Blue Ribbon, of course, but I don’t have a ton to say in terms of the food I actually had here. It was a couple sushi rolls. One salmon. One tuna. They were totally fine. Nothing to write home about. Though it’s tough for sushi to really elevate itself unless you’re getting something unique. Or if it’s Nobu. But any of these mid, fast-sushi joints are pretty on par with each other. Unless they’re not. Because there is certainly such a thing as bad sushi. Badly cut. Chewy and/or fishy. Mushy rice. Lukewarm. This is not that. It’s pro sushi that is completely serviceable and solid. This ain’t no supermarket sushi.
The only downside here is price. I’m not about to spend $30 – $40 on two sushi rolls for lunch. I got some weirdo special when I ordered, which lowered the cost immensely. And I’m a cheapskate. I could get like 12 soups for that price. Or two of those dumb chopped salads from the joint in my building and still have change to buy a pack of gum or three. And not have to subsidize later on because two sushi rolls is barely enough to sustain my adult self. I don’t want to paint this as millionaire fish or anything, but it’s like underground mall millionaire fish. Because even humanoid underground dwellers deserve to feel rich in their sunless existences.