Kifune You Up
They say Kifune, on Washington Blvd. in Venice, was much more fun before sushi chef Hide (Hee-day) stopped drinking Jack Daniels, but after a few of what he calls "Japanese mineral waters" (Sapporo)and some hot sake, a show starts none-the-less. Hide starts off with a little Elvis, I hear it's always the same, "Wise men say, onry fools rush in..." Hide's partner is Shoe who smiles and his eyes become two half moons. Though Shoe's side of the bar is quieter just like him, every now and then he pipes in with something that takes you by surprise. He points his sushi knife at my friend Mark. "Oh, Mark is here all the time. He come like two times a week." Mark shakes his head proudly. "OH yeah," says Shoe, "he come two times a week and always alone." Mark stops him, "Wait a minute. I'm not always alone." Shoe interupts, "oh yeah. two times a week, always alone, because he's a homosexual." Mark, who is not a homosexual (not that there's anything wrong with that) takes it in stride as Shoe and Hide, and me, laugh at him. Together, they're like this Japanese Laurel and Hardy, some kind of sushi vaudeville team.
And soon the sushi bar fills up with people, all regulars. A guy with a diamond as big as The Ritz in his ear sits on the other side of me and orders a GIANT platter of albacore with spicy tuna sushi, there's like 50 pounds of raw fish on his plate, and he takes his silver skull bedecked fingers and shoves each slice in his mouth- sans chopsticks. Hide points to him, "This guy is Cochran. He's Shapiro" I tell the tatooed dude he doesn't look like a lawyer. "Criminal defense, my clients are mostly gang members," he says as he chews his kingly meal. Ah, I see. He comes here every night. I even run into my lovely co-worker and car-pooler, and her bofriend. They come in all the time too. But unfortnately they have to sit next the crazy French lady, with a plasticy face, who laughs at all of her own jokes. Then in walks two lesbians, one's a facialist, one just got a facal. and believe me I wish I was making that up. The facialist kept yelling, "I want a tuna taco." She smiled at me, leaned in and asked, "have you ever had a tuna taco?" I replied I wasn't quite sure she was talking about the special dish. She thought "tuna taco" was so funny, she repeated it until finally the words had no meaning at all.
Toward the end of the night, it's common for free bits of raw fish to fall from heaven onto your plate, and Hide usually ends his show with a grand finale, his "Bad Ass Mutherfucker Huge Dick Roll." He loves saying this as much as the "tuna taco" lady. And if you're really lucky, really lucky, Hide might flash his "shocking pink" (his nipples) at you.
If you go to Kifune, sit at the sushi bar, as much for Hide and Shoe as for the regulars that populate the ringside seats, and please tell the crazy French lady I said hello.
Posted by Linda Immediato