Dinner Monday at Three Seasons, random conversation with the staff (Monday is a slow night), during which the server Francisco got on to people who look at the (extensive) menu and then ask for something not on it that they have a yen for, often something wildly unlikely in a place like Three Seasons (fusion Vietnamese, plus a limited sushi menu), like a cheeseburger, mac and cheese, or a chicken salad sandwich. Francisco said that he’d recently been asked if they had special hand rolls, and he had to say no, though he admitted to us that he had no idea what they were. The bartender, the sushi chef, and I explained the concept of te-maki (as opposed to hosomaki, which the restaurant offers under the name sushi rolls, in addition to Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, which are wrapped in rice paper rather than seaweed of Japanese maki). Illustrated:
I then entertained the staff by imitating a customer leeringly asking for “special hand rolls” in a wink-wink nudge-nudge voice, complete with facial expressions. Sexually suggestive, instantly “dirty”: evoking hand job, special massage (a common euphemism for sexual massage, sometimes specifically for prostate massage), and the phallic imagery of rolls.
Then I said that I really liked te-maki, and the sushi chef said he actually liked to make them, so he made me two (tuna and salmon), and then on Tuesday two more (yellowtail and a spider roll, with fried soft shell crab). Yum.