Bottomfeeder: Catch & Release Dollar Sushi

Not worth it, even on a dare.

There are certain things you should never attempt in life. You should never walk barefoot across a field of razor blades. You should never jump out of an airplane without a parachute. You should never garnish grilled salmon with pureed raccoon dung. You should never stand beneath an ex-girlfriend's bedroom window with a ghetto blaster in your hands, raised to the air Say Anything–style, bumping LL Cool J's "I Need Love." (And you should definitely never do this while licking your lips.)You should never watch Iron Chef after eating dinner, because then you'll want to eat a second dinner. You should never wear beach sandals to a 4H competition. You should never drink white wine at a stock-car race. You should never request 4 Non Blondes at a karaoke bar. You should never impersonate Bradley Whitford in order to gain entry to a VIP party after the red-carpet premiere of a movie starring Bradley Whitford (albeit in a minor but significant role, because Bradley Whitford, while a fine character actor, is no headliner).And you should never, ever, order one-dollar sushi.Truth be told, I didn't truly believe in dollar-sushi prohibition until I visited Gambas, a Japanese-French fusion restaurant located next to Kelly's, Belltown's least flashy bar on Belltown's least flashy street, Third Avenue. Gambas would be unassuming if it weren't: a) located right next door to Kelly's, which is not for the meek, and b) festooned with a large banner advertising $1 sushi during happy hour.For sushi aficionados, such a banner would be a signal never to pass through Gambas' doors. For me, it was an invitation. I like sushi well enough, but have long considered it egregiously overpriced and under-portioned. I've typically found it best enjoyed at a restaurant located near a Dick's Drive-In, so my sushi "dinner" can be chased down by a couple Specials. My raw-fish palate is also, admittedly, shit; Shiro's might as well be Sam's, or vice versa.So if anyone can stomach the presumptive mediocrity of a piece of sushi that costs a mere dollar, I'm the guy. But Gambas, which was virtually empty during its one-of-a-kind happy hour, serves the worst sushi I've ever tasted—and it's not even close. On my two visits, it ranged from rancid to rubber, the slice of salmon more suited for one of those toy sushi shops in Tokyo than a human's mouth.Indeed, you should never, ever order one-dollar sushi. Believe it.

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