Kimiyo's Sushi - Potlucks at Sierra Designs and Mountain Hardwear
[Note from AT: this is audio from a restaurant lunch with Kimiyo on 2/20/13 and an amazing lunch hosted by Martin Zemitis and Susan Smith on 9/8/2013. The Persons listed were at one or both events.]
Martin Zemitis: So the other thing that was special about Sierra Designs, I thought, was whenever there was a potluck, there was the most amazing food put out on the cutting table. The cutting table had numerous uses, but among the best uses was the amazing food spreads including your sushi.
Kimiyo Galyen: Yeah, I never make enough, huh?
Alan Tabor: That was like the highlight.
Victor Ichoika: I have a story on the site about the first time I came to Mountain Hardwear I was doing some independent work, just doing drawings of Martin's tents..just showing the dimensions and everything...and Paige invited me over for the second anniversary, I think the it was, and I got there and I saw that food spread and there was a band! And then I met Theresa and she pulled me out on the dance floor and I thought, this is a pretty cool company. I distinctly remember that huge spread of sushi. Holy mackeral!
Kimiyo: She did, she ordered a spread of that.
Chris Clark: [we helped make it] Under the direction of Kimiyo and it had to look appetizing, the colors had to be especially separated and, if you didn’t, then you were in trouble. And she always asked, “Did you wash your hands?” Before we started.
AT: So it had to be just right.
CC : It had to be just right. You could not have your cucumbers next to your avocado. You had to make sure you had your cucumber, your egg…
Kimiyo: Egg, yeah. Colors organized!
CC: Yeah, the colors had to be organized because Kimiyo says that you eat with your eyes first.
Kimiyo: Right. That’s what the Japanese say, ”Eat with the eye.” So this young Chinese lady I told her – Huey’s sister she tell me...ask me...to make sushi. We take it to Children's Hospital... they had some kind of party. And I tell her, “Lin, when you’re making Japanese food like this you have to color. You have to be careful, don’t put shrimp next to the tuna. You had to put something yellow or green first...this is very important!” She said, “Kimiyo, I can’t eat...eyes.” She takes so serious. I thought she’s going to cry.
AT: So she thought I was giving like a bowl of eyes or something?
CC: How am I going to get this in my eye!?
Kimiyo: She saw and then she...I said, no. I wanted to make sushi and I can see everybody’s face. Somebody the other day... the last time I went to Sierra Designs...this young man...I can't think of his name...and before he said, “hi”, he said to me, “I miss your sushi.”
MZ: I didn’t miss you, I miss your sushi.
Al to Martin: Didn’t you occasionally fund the sushi, Martin?
MZ : I'd occasionally give Kimiyo a little bit of money but...
Kimiyo: He does.
MZ: A little bit.
Kimiyo: He a Sneaky Pete, a Sneaky Pete.
MZ: Kimiyo really did carry the heavy load and occasionally that I tried...
Kimiyo: One time him and I went to Tokyo Fish to buy the tuna...Martin he got kind of...when he come to buy the tuna...people buy the show-window tuna, right? When I go there I ask owner for tuna, he goes to the back room.
CC: Yeah, Kimiyo gets the back room tuna.
MZ: I was so impressed. They want to give me the tourist tuna and with Kimiyo they go to the back vault for the special stuff. I was so impressed.
Kimiyo: I haven't been there in so long I wonder he’s still there.
MZ: Yeah, he’s still there. And he expanded...the muffler shop.
Kimiyo: Oh, they move out?
MZ: They moved into the muffler shop behind so the little store at the front is now a retail store for products.
VI: Dishes and teapots and....
MZ: And the back is now a store and it’s like a supermarket now. It’s like they’ve expanded like three or four times. The big long the fish counter.
VI: Big huge fish counter.
Kimiyo: It used to be a store [inaudible]...like the first time I went there, I remember that.
VI: I went there once for Shogatsu and the line went totally around the store and it was like 45 minutes to get to the counter.
Kimiyo: I was so happy when I saw the store.
VI: Aha, I bet.
Kimiyo: I worked at Sierra Designs at 4th & Addison and somebody told me or somebody took me there. I was so happy. And the people: so nice, all nice.
VI : Right, he’s a very sweet guy. Lee. Everybody calls him Cubby.
VI: Yeah, when he was a little kid he was a big Mickey Mouse Club fan. And the guy, the kid he focused on was Cubby so they started calling him Cubby.
AT: What is the name of the place?
CC: Tokyo Fish.
AT: Okay, yeah right. And it’s just right around the corner there.
MZ: We used to go there occasionally for lunch...
[The bill arrives. Various folks try to pay it.]
Kimiyo: I'm the queen.
MZ: Kimiyo, no, no, no, Kimiyo..
AT: Yeah, I think I have to pay.
MZ: This would be the biggest [inaudible]...our whole careers you provided sushi now you want to take us out to sushi. That's not right.
AT: So you hold onto her hands and I’ll put put a credit card out there .
CC: Got it.
Kimiyo: You know something I don’t know.
VI: What’s the damage?
AT : $58.90 but I’m happy to pay for any portion of it.
[Folk pass in some money...one too much.]
AT: You’ll get a rebate.
CC: Get a rebate. I’ll put the tip down, how about that?
AT: Okay, that sounds good.
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