Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
February 12, 2015 10:32 AM - Subscribe

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. IMDB (7.9/10); Rotten Tomatoes (99% fresh).
posted by gemutlichkeit (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I saw this a couple of years ago and was really impressed by it. It's a great small-scale documentary.
posted by immlass at 11:07 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a fantastic movie. If you haven't seen it, do so.
I saw it a couple of years ago (I think it was on PBS) and was mesmerized. I'll have to take a look at it again soon.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:39 PM on February 12, 2015


I watched a couple of years ago and enjoyed it; my husband was made unaccountably depressed by the singular focus of Jiro and his reluctance to retire. (Though I think he finally did? Or else what was the point of training his children?)
posted by Kitteh at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is one of those movies where I have a surprisingly difficult time articulating why I liked it so much, but I really, really liked it.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:46 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


my husband was made unaccountably depressed by the singular focus of Jiro and his reluctance to retire.

I kind of get that. For me it was more the POV of Jiro's son who had trained alongside his father for decades and--it was just acknowledged as a matter of course--was never going to be as good as him.
posted by psoas at 1:19 PM on February 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


The eggs, my God, the eggs.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I remember watching this with my girlfriend at the time and once it was over saying "I had no idea we were one of those couples that watches porn together". The shots of the sushi are langorous and loving.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:49 PM on February 12, 2015


Love the Philip Glass soundtrack.
posted by St. Hubbins at 6:07 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had no idea how big tuna were until I saw this movie. They're huge!
posted by donajo at 6:10 PM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I read Roy Choi's biography last year, L.A. Son: My life, my city, my food, and I'm convinced that the chef in this anecdote is Jiro. I've read other accounts of meals being extremely rushed at Jiro's.

In this chapter, Roy Choi has gone to Tokyo to work under the original Iron Chef, Rokusaburo Michiba.
The sushi bar was essentially a the size of a shoebox, with a small counter barely big enough for fourteen people. There were no plates. No soy sauce. No wasabi. No pickled ginger. No chopsticks. You sat at the counter, you ate with your hands, you drank a cup of hot tea, you got the fuck out.

Our chef that day was the master of the house, about 68 years old. The whole time we were there, he talked with Michiba while setting piece after piece of sushi on the counter. Toro that melted in my mouth. Shiso that was beautiful and pungent. Absolutely amazing seafood, caught just hours before. And all throughout the meal, the old master kept one eye on me. Watching me, scratching his head, then occasionally unleashing a stream of questions in Japanese, which Max translated: "Who are you? Why are you Asian? They said you were American."

I just smiled and nodded, smiled and nodded. Evidently, that didn't impress him. He went back to talking to Michiba, shaking his head, looking at me. He couldn't believe that this Korean dude was the "American" chef everyone was telling him about. I stayed out of it, kept my head down, and ate and ate, one piece at a time, enthralled by the fact that any of this was even happening. Sushi served by a master in the company of Michiba, with food as our only language in common. Who was I indeed?
posted by donajo at 6:20 PM on February 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


My favorite part is the rhythm of the tuna auction!
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:44 PM on February 12, 2015


I found the family dynamics really intense, a little hard to watch, and the most culturally distant from my personal life experience. I think if I go to Tokyo, maybe I'll try for the son's restaurant instead? I mean, if Jiro makes sushi that is like, 100, on a scale of 1-100, and the son makes sushi that is like, 97, I think I will be happy with a 97.

But I did enjoy the sheer lunacy of the insane prices, unsexy location, impossible reservations, rude and rushed host with the literal best sushi in the world. It reminds me of something out of Daniel Pinkwater.
posted by latkes at 7:54 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really enjoyed this film, and it made me both desperate to go to Jiro's restaurant, and deeply intimidated by the concept (though I wouldn't want smaller portions just because I'm a woman!)

I was amazed at Jiro's work ethic and single-minded dedication to his craft, in a way that made me both regret that I do not have that in me, and relieved at the same concept. I admire Jiro, but I don't think I'd want to be him, in any field.

The story of how his son saw him as a stranger when he stayed home on the weekend was kind of funny until the heartbreaking aspect of it hits you.
posted by ilana at 7:57 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I found the family dynamics really intense, a little hard to watch

Yeah, the part about the kids not recognizing their father since he worked so hard was distressing and didn't play off like a funny little anecdote to me. It seemed Jiro even to this day had no regrets about his dedication to the craft having any effect on his family life.

I think if I go to Tokyo, maybe I'll try for the son's restaurant instead? I mean, if Jiro makes sushi that is like, 100, on a scale of 1-100, and the son makes sushi that is like, 97, I think I will be happy with a 97.

I've heard from a friend that went to Japan recently say that's the approach. The son's place is like a 98/100 and barely different from Jiro's place in terms of fish quality. A meal at Jiro's sushi bar runs about $300-400, takes only about 15-30min to eat before you're kicked out, and a friend said there was a limit of two gaijin (outsiders, non-Japanese) allowed in any party and I think the max limit was only 4 people in a group. It's a lot easier to get into the son's restaurant and half the price.
posted by mathowie at 8:20 PM on February 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


A couple years ago, both Jiro... and Cooking In Progress were on Bell On-Demand, so I settled down for a nice double-bill after work one night. The juxtaposition of the two turned out to be pretty awesome, actually: two people utterly dedicated to their craft, one invested in honing a tradition more or less solo, the other breaking new ground with a team, both in search of perfection.

I would give a kidney to eat at Jiro's restaurant.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:21 AM on February 13, 2015


You should give that kidney to Jiro and he'll turn it into an edible work of art: win/win!
posted by MoonOrb at 7:03 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


A meal at Jiro's sushi bar runs about $300-400, takes only about 15-30min to eat before you're kicked out, and a friend said there was a limit of two gaijin (outsiders, non-Japanese) allowed in any party and I think the max limit was only 4 people in a group. It's a lot easier to get into the son's restaurant and half the price.

I've been to Shopsin's already, so I guess I could skip this.

(Also, LOVED this movie)
posted by briank at 7:10 AM on February 13, 2015


« Older Arrow: Canaries...   |  Empire: Out, Damned Spot... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster