Two terribly misguided friends took me to Avenue A Sushi last night.
Outside on bad speakers, the place was blasting house music into the Alphabet City night. This was the type of house music similar to that which is played only in the city's largest and most dazzling gay megaclubs - the ones filled to the brim with middle aged Brazilians in stonewashed jeans and armani exchange mini-T's. Once inside, AA Sushi gave the impression of a sleazy late 90's campus bar, with its mirror tiles, vinyl stools, dim lighting and faux eclectic decor. The music was even louder, and I spotted the source: an Asian DJ in some bamboo hut with a North Face cap on. I don't care much for music at all while I dine, but I realize many people do. I also know that this can be a major draw in the restaurant business, especially when live acts are booked. A restaurant, however, is no place for the kind of sub-woofed, booty-shaking beats played at Splash circa 1999. It's just not the kind of music one should be forced to endure while consuming - and watching 19-year-old college students consume - dragon rolls. It just isn't appetizing. There is an artful way to negotiate the dining/musical experience, and needless to say, AA Sushi doesn't have the skillz. Augment this sacrilege with an unattractive clientele, a faint but offensive bathroom-like odor, and a poorly stocked florescent sushi bar, and my first impressions were secured, my appetite fully primed for a meal of raw fish and vegetables!
I've nearly reached the character limit for this review, but I wouldn't trade the above for more space to talk about the food, which was mediocre and hardly worth a sentence. I've enjoyed what was put in front of me at many a small uncomfortable cafe playing very questionable music, but those cafes didn't aspire to do anything but serve good food. AA Sushi tries to be THE downtown hangout pre-clubbing for california rolls and subsequent purges. Hideously, it succeeds.