The thing you gotta love about LA is that you should be able to find anything here. That includes, I guess, nyotaimori, which is a known by other names: hadaka sushi, naked sushi, body sushi, or — my favorite — “live nude sushi”.
Word is that this Japanese “tradition” got it’s start among the members of the Japanese organized crime families (yakuza) during the bubble economy of the 80s, when they had more money then they knew what to do with. So, they hired a clean, beautiful woman to lay down naked in front of them while they ate sushi and sashimi off her body.
You can find this in LA, at a restaurant called Hadaka Sushi on Sunset in West Hollywood. Of course, health code standards vary from country to country; in LA county, there are banana leaves placed between the sushi and the skin, so no food ever really touches bare skin. And flowers are used to cover the boobies and other strategic areas. The menu, designed by Executive Chef Eddie Brik, seems about as authentic as everything else you’ll find on Sunset in West Hollywood, with sushi rolls with time-honored traditional Japanese names like “Glory Hole,” “Motorboat” and “Pearl Necklace”. (I wish I were making this shit up.) Deep End Dining blogger Eddie Lin was nice enough to make available a video of his experience at a party there.
It looks like you can get “Miso-Horny Soup” for only four dollars or a dessert called “Chocolate Starfish” for seven, but you really gotta be “livin’ large” to afford the complete dog and pony show: word has it that the models and private room start at $11,000.00, and that’s before the sushi and drinks. Since my lifestyle can more accurately be described as “livin’ small-to-medium,” some sick little corner of my mind is kind of contemplating a bootleg version for a personal house-party, where I get the sushi from Trader Joe’s and the model from craigslist. But I’ve found that you never can completely trust the hygiene of those people you find on craigslist. Then again my sick little mind is not stopped so easily from coming up with down-market versions, bringing naked sushi to the masses. Stay tuned for our report on the “LA TACO: Cheap Eats” version below — the nyotaimori bentō.