En Sushi – It’s Over. I have Closure. And Closure. And Closure.

en sushi, west los angeles, los angeles, ca - saba sushi
Kittens, it’s over. I can’t say exactly what the nature of “it” is – it could be as recent as today, it could be in the not too distant past, it could be in my long-ago history, it could be an anonymous crush, it could be a lover, it could be an ex- – whatever “it” is, it is over.

I know why it’s over. In fact, I am quite sure I have always known, but I just never actually said it out loud. Saying it out loud, or writing it down, or blogging it out loud, is like…confirmation. Saying it out loud means you are accountable. I couldn’t even say it out loud in an empty room because that means it would have hit the airwaves, and that would make it official and correct and true and validated and confirmed, even if it were confirmed to no one else but…myself.

Confirmed, that is, that I think too much before I write.

Some would say that my having always known and not doing anything about it is weak. I am weak. Passiveness is weakness. I have known it for months and months (and months) and just watched myself become miserable. The answer has been there, all of it, but it was in pieces. They were just random bullet points all over a hundred different slides and I read them in my mind every day, in every which way, but since they weren’t put together in one tight neat little outline with an introductory executive summary package of a power point presentation “deck,” I just kept it in the Drafts folder of my psyche.

Now I have finally put them all together. Or altogether (one word). Copy edited. Spell checked. Even onced over with Shift+F7. Printed, collated, and spiral bound with vinyl covers on front and back. It is over. It is done.

The weird thing is, like so many other things, the answer came together in one gloriously miserable big bang of a 30-second “Aha!” epiphany.

Agonizing over it for months and months, it was a cloud the whole time, without even some semblance of sense, but in a split second it came together. And that was it. It was completely over and done in 30 seconds. Like an explosion.

Or an implosion.

Or something drastically melodramatic like that.

I am not in love.

I love.

But I am not in love.

And even though it’s been over for months.

And even though it’s been known for months.

I never expressed it out loud because of fear.

I held on because I was afraid that maybe I was wrong in maybe, perhaps, even thinking that I think I might perhaps may not be in love.

Because if I made that mistake, it would be over.

Because I am too old to go back and fix things like that.

We can’t break up.

Then make up.

Then break up.

Then make up.

You can do that – make the mistake of breaking up, then spend the time working it out, wooing them back, “making up” – when you’re 21 or 25. Maybe even 29. Not when you’re old. Not when you’re 32. If you make a mistake, you have very little time to make up for it. That’s why they say invest riskily when you’re young because you have time to make up for your losses. But when you’re 32, you have to invest in….mutual funds. Mutual funds are safe. Assured growth. No risk. No mistakes.

en sushi, west los angeles, los angeles, ca - sushi
closure. raw.

It’s over with…Him. (It’s been over since last summer.)

It’s over with…my job. (It all shook down in one conversation.)

It’s over with…En Sushi. (Not even their Suntory Time can save them now.)

I never went to En Sushi because I particularly liked their sushi. It just happened that En Sushi was the closest, most convenient sushi restaurant that was slightly edible, still had enough of an atmosphere with it’s dark interior and wall of waterfall to feel like a restaurant rather than a cafeteria or a factory, and served sushi late into the night. The last phrase is the most important because the reality is, there are other sushi restaurants with suitable atmospheres that are closer to my house, but they don’t have Suntory Time.

On Thursday nights, I would go to En Sushi after 9:30, sit in the bar, and order dirt cheap maki sushi and other halfway decent Japanese bar foods like chicken karaage and sauteed shishito peppers to keep my sobriety in check. When the objective of the Hour is less to eat well and more to marinate the misery of the work day in a large sake and a couple of glasses of wine, going back on everything you ever said about half-price sushi and American Gladiator rolls is okay. That’s what you do, you know, when you love, but you’re not in love. You make excuses. You try not to feel too badly about “settling.”

But the last few times I have gone to En Sushi, it has gotten progressively worse. Though it was never top-notch, the fish on the sushi seems to have gone down in freshness. The staff isn’t as bright. The other foods come out sloppy, cold, old, tired. Perhaps it was always like that and I didn’t see it because I wanted to fool myself because I thought this was the best I was going to get. TVs in the bar never bothered too much before, but now they seem brighter, louder, and more distracting. Not that I ever ordered them, but the cocktails with creatively cute names on the menu sounded like circus clowns. En Sushi feels cheap, and I don’t mean “inexpensive.”

My last time sealed the deal. Last time was the 30 second “Aha!” epiphany. As I sat at the far end of the bar, on the corner, drinking a too-cold glass of happy hour brand pinot grigio and picking at loosely wrapped rolls of r
aw fish combined with decidedly un-Japanese ingredients,
I watched a pair of early twenty-something girls whom I shall call Candy and Mandy, flirt shamelessly with the bartender for drinks “on the house.” They were successful, as it was clear from their progressively more obnoxious behavior. Candy decided to show off her tattoo, and while the tattoo itself is not a bad thing, the fact that she lifted up her shirt to show off her full-body tattoo is. I was at once impressed, and disgusted. Three quarters of the way through my late night meal, Mandy decided to leave. Candy was not ready to leave. Mandy left anyway, making the bartender promise to “take Candy home.” I am sure he did.

And that is why I am done. I saw a full body tattoo during Suntory Time at En Sushi.

I have closure.

En Sushi
11651 Santa Monica Boulevard (@ Barry Avenue)
West Los Angeles, CA 90025


Who Else Fell Out of Love at En Sushi?
~ Me! Suntory Time – Late Night Happy Hour at En Sushi (Aug 2005)
~ 38 (misguided) Citysearchers give it 4½ stars
~ 23 Yelpers give it 4 out of 5 stars

** a year ago today, musha izakaya was a kaya **
** two years ago today, amandine was added to the egg roll **

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  • U

    I used to love this sushi place on State Street in Chicago, just north of Chicago Avenue, back in the mid nineties… until I had some bad uni there. That relationship died on the table…

  • U

    I used to love this sushi place on State Street in Chicago, just north of Chicago Avenue, back in the mid nineties… until I had some bad uni there. That relationship died on the table…

  • ortholomeux

    see? this is what i’ve been telling my friends for some time now. the food at en is just not of quality.

    it’s floating by on exactly what you said: proximity and decent letter grade (imo). the fish is frequently tough and sometimes dry and the unagi is among the worst. it always tastes burnt and frequently comes with a side of brush remnants.

    i used to have a regualr weekly dinner there with friends, but after a while, it just became problematic between the sushi and the service.

    it was better before it became en…

  • Baisy Mama

    how do you feel about akwa? i’ve had their sushi but only before finding out they had a rat problem (from the health department website).

  • ortholomeux

    i know you aren’t asking me, but i think akwa is pretty overrated food-wise. you are basically paying for location and experience there.it’s not terrible, but the bill always seems more expensive than it should for the food you ate.

    rats? yikes!

  • ortholomeux

    i know you aren’t asking me, but i think akwa is pretty overrated food-wise. you are basically paying for location and experience there.it’s not terrible, but the bill always seems more expensive than it should for the food you ate.

    rats? yikes!

  • foodette

    I have never been to EN – if you ever read my blog, you know that I have three other sushi restaurants within walking distance, so the two minute drive seemed like too far away. I am glad I read this, now, along with the comments, before it was too late. Thanks for the advice and the poetic phrasing – it was a pleasure to read.

  • hermz

    I agree… when things are displayed in a well-organized powerpoint presentation, with images, bullet points, and even Harvey balls, the information is so much easier to understand. :-P hahaha!

  • thatgirl

    I used to live right by that place. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I went in there many years ago THE DAY before they closed to remodel it into the hipster sushi joint it is today. That night was absolutely the best sushi I’ve had in my life… absolutely awesome. We waited with bated breath for it to reopen and when they did… meh. The atmosphere was nice at first (apparently the Candys and Mandys of the world took it downhill), but like you said, the fish is not top notch.

    I wish I knew where their chef had taken off to though… that one night was just beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Come on! what’s the matter with you? you keep rambling on? what is over? just spit it out

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