Monday, July 10, 2006

Diary of a Bad Idea Rethought

For a few years there, we loved the occasional visit to Sushi of Naples in Pasadena: A pleasant and reliable place to meet after work for some sushi, sake and Kirin Ichiban on tap--mostly sake and Kirin. Then...a new owner took over. After a slapdash remodel that blanketed the floors with casino-style carpeting and some radical menu changes, it was painful to watch our favorite servers force a smile as they waited on fewer and fewer tables when the regulars just stopped stopping by. In fact, the only one left smiling was their iconic etched fish.

But we missed their Mardi Gras rolls, a delectable combination of crab, rock shrimp, albacore, avocado, chili sauce and deep fried onions, so we'd keep stopping in for a fix. The menu had gone "gourmet" and not in a good way--but the sushi chefs were still there, so our beloved concoction was safe--even if we did have to look at that hideous carpet.

With the polish off the remodel and the vulgar carpet fading, we're glad to report tables are filling up again-with regulars. The menu is slowly eeking back to its former, and better, self and the staff is smiling again. Guess the customers are sometimes right.