There used to be a restaurant called Kira Kira on Broad Street in Bloomfield. But it wasn’t just any restaurant. It was a sushi mecca, and I will even go as far as to say it was the greatest sushi restaurant in New Jersey. Maybe the country. Maybe the world. Not only was the food always fresh, delicious, and meticulously prepared by the talented sushi chefs, but the staff was very likeable as well. The service was great, everyone was friendly, and once Michael and I eventually established ourselves as regulars, we would rarely get dinner (dine-in or take-out) without receiving some sort of freebie—be it edamame, ice cream, or an extra roll here and there.
The restaurant itself even had its own little charm. Dim lighting, a samurai sword display, small paper cranes adorning a section of one wall. In earlier days, we’d hear what sounded like traditional Japanese string music playing over the sound system. But, upon further scrutiny, we discovered that the music was mostly instrumental covers of contemporary songs, including a few songs by The Beatles that were pretty heavy in the rotation. It was cute. They later switched to a regular radio station, which was kind of a bummer, but I forgave them.
Why am I spending so much time singing Kira Kira’s praises? Well, because Kira Kira is no more. About a month ago, the establishment came under new management. Michael and I called in an order last weekend, and when I went to pick it up, it was like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it. Gone was the intimate lighting, which has been replaced by much brighter fixtures (almost unpleasantly bright, I’d say). Gone were the samurai swords, gone were our friends, gone were the freebies. The new staff tried to be nice, but I could tell they were different. The food was still decent, but was missing something. Love? Yes, maybe love, but they also forgot to include a soup or salad, one of which was supposed to come with the meal (not to mention, soup AND salad were always included in a Kira Kira meal).
Needless to say, we are done with Kira Kira. Or whatever the new name of the place is. I suppose nothing lasts forever, but why mess with perfection? Why? I keep thinking about the following quote:
People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all…has happened.
—You’ve Got Mail
Oh Nora Ephron, you get me.