That's a lot of sushi.
Ordering sushi at most legit sushi restaurants isn't difficult since you usually just mark how many of each type you want. Once the food arrives the activity of actually eating sushi is pretty solid. From someone like myself who cuts food like a caveman, chopsticks present a hilariously awkward challenge. The food is presented nicely on a platter or wooden block and stuffing your face begins. Of course I tend to put a bit too much wasabi on my sushi (partly because I can't portion control it well with two large toothpicks as utensils).
He's laughing all the way to the bank.
A typical sushi meal will consist of three things: food wrapped in seaweed or rice, food that has been fried, and food placed on a cube of white rice. The food is (thankfully for my intestinal tract) quite fresh (still being raw afterall) and easy to eat since you don't really have to chew too much. It's a good thing you don't need much chewing because when you order "that fish I've never had before," you usually realize you will never order it again either. Perhaps it's an "acquired taste" like coffee, beer, wine, chopped liver, and gefilte fish, but I don't have it.
Is the sushi experience a scam?
I've gone to sushi restaurants and do know the difference between just-prepared sushi a few feet from my table and sushi prepared within the last (few?) days available at the local supermarket. However, even when I eat restaurant-grade sushi, it just doesn't leave me eager to figure out how soon I could eat there again. The food is so simple that I'm completely underwhelmed.
A typical sushi roll of 4-6 pieces consists of: 1 tablespoon of rice, 2/3 slice of cucumber, a teaspoon of raw tuna, and 1 teaspoon of some avocado-like vegetable. Wow, all that for $5! What a bargain! I sure hope I have room for seconds! Sushi restaurant owners must laugh that they can charge what they do for such little food that doesn't even have to be cooked. Fine, throw in some labor consideration, but if Alton Brown on Good Eats can teach you how to roll like a pro, some of the price has yet to be explained.
While anything fried tastes good, this isn't so "exotic".
Besides your typical sushi roll, there's also tempura which is nothing more than seafood or vegetable fried in some luscious oil. Please. Fried food is everywhere from fried chicken to friend twinkies. At least rolled sushi is something you can't find at Wendy's. Speaking of which, they're changing to a new oil in August that will cut the amount of trans fat by 95%. All the more reason to get the best combo meal - a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, and of course a frostie (just ask them to switch). That has always been one of the most reliable meals out there. If only I were to combine the sandwich and frostie with McD's fries and sweet and sour sauce...now that's a dream meal, but I digress. Simply frying some vegetable is not worth the cost nor artery clogging. (Of course a spicy chicken sandwich is clearly worth both.)
And this is impressive how?
The last sushi category is the piece of seafood or vegetable on a pack of gum-sized cube of white rice. Is this really that great tasting or special? I always steer clear of this menu offer since it is such a waste of my money and the cook's time to make it (which of course is all of 5 seconds). Even if you put high quality raw fish on the rice, this dish wouldn't be worth ordering. My dad always tries ordering things he (or my mom) couldn't make himself or at least would challenge the kitchen's chef and a piece of shrimp on boil-in-a-bag rice doesn't make the cut.
Sushi tastes good, but just realize what you're really paying for.
I've gone to Cafe Asia (before and after the management change) and plenty of other sushi joints around the country, including Ebisu in San Francisco, but I can't tell which one offered good sushi. Fresh sushi tastes the same at every restaurant. All I know is if it's not from a supermarket, then it will taste fresh, but will definitely cost more for less food.
If you're unsure of my feelings, know that I don't hate sushi, but I also don't go out of my way to eat it more than twice a year. I think the whole sushi craze is way overblown, overrated, and certainly overpriced. The only difference between restaurant sushi and visiting the beach to stuff some seaweed in your mouth and then bite into the side of a freshly-caught salmon is one offers tables, chairs, and a toilet, while the other is free, offers plenty of salt water, and always gets sand in all the wrong places. Maybe because of the sand I should stick with the restaurant.