Monday, May 22, 2006

Sekisui Midtown (Extreme Edition)

25 S. Belvedere

So after being forced to leave Pei Wei, I took the monkeys (Satchel, 4, and Jiro, 2) next door to Sekisui. Warren and I have taken them there before, but I’ve never done it alone. I briefly considered sitting on the patio, since it is fenced in and pretty secluded, but for some reason I asked for a booth when the hostess approached us.

It only took me about 3 seconds to regret that decision.

Booths are normally a very good seating option because the monkeys can be “pinned in” by the adults. However, in this case, I was outnumbered and only able to block one monkey. Of course, I chose Jiro, but I was no match for him.

We were in the very first booth adjacent to the sushi bar and the sushi boats traveled right past our heads. The boats were only accessible from Satchel’s side of the booth and I felt confident that I could keep him from touching them. Happy hour was over and the boats were empty and motionless, so I (wrongly) thought they wouldn’t be very interesting for very long.

Jiro immediately climbed under the table and joined his brother in poking the boats and dipping his fingers in the water. Feeling the waitress’ eyes on my back, I said in my stern, yet publicly acceptable mommy voice, “Come on guys, don’t touch those. Come sit down.”

They ignored me. I looked at the waitress. She mouthed, “They can’t touch those.”

Fuck I screamed in my head.

This wasn’t one of the young, carefree waitresses. This was the surly and surely childless waitress who didn’t take any shit. In my six years of eating at Sekisui, I had never seen her smile. Once when I bought a gift certificate for my sister, I remember she signed it with the most elaborate signature I had ever seen. One so elaborate that a thief wouldn’t dare try to replicate it.

I did what I had to do. I got up from my side of the booth, grabbed Jiro, and said in my meanest Marlin (that’s Nemo’s daddy) voice, “Don’t.Touch.The.Boat.”

Jiro immediately started to scream at the top of his lungs and use every muscle in his body to escape my tight grip. “Bring us some edamame!” I exclaimed over Jiro’s wails.

I desperately tried to calm Jiro down while keeping him contained, but nothing I did made a dent. I saw a man lean back off his stool at the sushi bar for the specific purpose of giving me a dirty look. Several other patrons averted their eyes and tried to pretend that my awful children didn’t exist.

The waitress hovered behind me and finally asked, “Is he going to be okay?” But she didn’t say it in a helpful “Does he need a juicebox or a toy to distract him?” kind of way. It was more of a menacing “Do you need to leave?” kind of way.

“He’s fine,” I said. “He just really wants to touch the boats.”

After what seemed like a million years, she finally brought the edamame. Jiro immediately stopped wailing and started stuffing his face. I was so frazzled I couldn’t think straight. I ordered some miso soup for the boys, some udon for them to share, and two measley sushi rolls for myself. I had completely lost my appetite and could only think how horrified Warren would be if he knew what a scene we just caused.

Unfortunately the edamame only kept the monkeys distracted for about a minute. I started chanting in my head bring the miso soup, bring the miso soup, bring the miso soup but it had little effect. Satchel started standing up on his side and was pretending to touch the boats. Jiro, in a gymnastic feat, stood up, did a seat drop, and then slid under the table and joined his brother on the other side before I could stop him. They both stood there laughing and taunting me with their little outstretched fingers.

I took a little mental vacation to a padded cell. My straight jacket felt nice and cozy. As I beat my head against the wall, the reverberations felt incredibly soothing.

My mental vacation ended abrubtly as the waitress came over to give me some more dirty looks. “We need the miso soup,” I droned.

She practically sprinted to the kitchen.

Soon we had everything we ordered and looked like the happiest family in the world. Satchel and Jiro ate all of the tofu and seaweed in their miso soup (once I removed the green onions floating on top) and then joyously slurped their giant udon noodles. They alternated noodle bites with mushrooms and fishcakes. Then they both attacked my sushi.

I had forgotten that they were both eating sushi now! I should have requested a seat at the sushi bar! Watching the chefs at work might have kept them occupied and prevented all of the drama.

Or it might have caused them to create an even bigger ruckus.

Hmmm…There’s only one way to find out.

Ed. Note: The sushi boats are no longer there to taunt small children, nor is the surly waitress I mentioned. The new manager is a sweet heart. Also Sekisui now has a children's menu that doubles as an activity sheet.

Sekisui (Midtown) on Urbanspoon


RJA said...

Regarding your waitress, it would have been the perfect time to teach the monkeys the proper use of the word 'bitch'. I wish a trio of kids upon her.

Papasan said...

Next time they will surely know to speed up the service when Jiro walks in...perhaps he has a future in Sumo?

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