With that being said, I'm game for trying new things and for a fun girl's night out. So, I ventured off to a Sushi Smackdown with four other ladies. What is Sushi Smackdown? It's more of an event than a dinner, but you get plenty to eat. The concept is pretty fantastic. Gino, a friendly guy, sets up 17-course sushi tastings at local sushi bars around different cities. Right now, they are in Arizona, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
How it worked:
The event location I attended was at Sushi 101 in Tempe, Arizona. We got there fifteen minutes before "showtime" and were seated promptly. The event started on time. That was impressive! First course was served right at the 7 p.m mark. We were given pre-printed paper with the names of the sushi we would be trying, with stars next to each item, and blank space to write any comments. Our job was to rate the sushi, which was served one piece at a time. 17 pieces of sushi. They threw in a few sake bomber games to liven the crowd while Gino and his very attentive assistant, Nicole, perused the crowd asking what we liked and did not like.
While some might ask "why would a sushi place let an outside group sell tickets to eat their food," assuming they are probably losing money. Though I am sure the venue did well in selling the drinks, from a business stand point, it's a smart move. They get a well-run event that introduces people to their sushi bars, and they get real feedback on what dishes are working and not working. Research in action. The smackdown group helps them over the course of five nights or so to bring all their stars up to perfect fives. Every night they drop the one stars and add on something else until they have a rockstar menu. Besides, I would return to this restaurant now and know exactly what I wanted to order by way of sampling their best, and worst.
I am planning on attending the final showdown event in November that pits the top two chefs against each other for the win. I will let you know how it goes.
So, if your looking for something different to do with your group, I would recommend this as a "in a day activity".
They sell tickets online for different events and locations. Check them out at: