Last night’s event at RA Sushi in Tustin, benefiting the Anaheim Ducks Foundation was very well attended by Ducks fans. Though I heard many of the fans complain that they wish they’d known it was a standing room only event (there were some chairs, but very few and far between), everyone seemed happy to see the Ducks players. Sadly, one couple at my table had gone to the event mainly to see Getzlaf, who was a no show.
Two dollars of each of the $11 rolls went to the Anaheim Ducks Foundation. There was no fee to get into the event (which really surprised me given the amount of sample sushi they went through), and the players were very accessible to fans. One fan commented that the Ducks need more events like the Ducks in a Roll event that aren’t as expensive and where they can interact with players, but I know they have many free signings and meet and greets, so perhaps those fans just don’t pay close attention to the website.
I didn’t attend last year’s event, so I don’t know how the Tustin RA Sushi did compared to Huntington Beach, which I believe hosted the first event last year. However, I can definitely say that RA didn’t do a very good job with distributing the rolls. The way the event was described at the beginning, there would be wait staff walking around in the players’ jersey numbers and they would have that players’ roll. (Perry’s waitress was wearing 10, etc.) However, every time anyone came out with the sample rolls, they took the same path towards the bar. They never came to the very large section of the restaurant where my table (and many others) stood. Thankfully, my table was lucky enough to have a wonderful waiter (Ryan) who did his best to get us some samples personally delivered to our table for a bit. Also, the one group at my table ordered all the rolls to try them and were nice enough to let me try their “Bank” roll.
The menu (below) included Troy Bodie’s winning “Bodie” Licious Roll, Sheldon Brookbank’s “Bank” Roll (2nd in the fan vote), Corey Perry’s “Perry” Dise Roll (3rd in fan vote), & Ryan Getzlaf’s Great “Getz”-by (which didn’t get half the votes of Perry’s roll).
Todd Marchant was nice enough to stand in for Ryan Getzlaf, though he did throw in a comment that the fans couldn’t let Getzlaf’s roll win when he didn’t even show up. It was surprising that everyone was ripping on Getzlaf for missing the event. Normally, teams seem to make excuses for star players that cancel at the last minute.
It was nice to see so many Ducks fans at RA Sushi supporting their team and the charity. When I got my bill, I was pretty stunned to find out that the couple next to me had skipped out on their bill. Though I didn’t know them, I was willing to pay for it if it would affect our server, but he removed the drinks from my bill. The couple had only ordered drinks and had the free sushi they could get, but I thought it was really bad form. Skipping out on a bill at any restaurant is in poor taste, but when the restaurant is throwing an event for charity it’s even lower. Naturally, when they found out what the other couple had done, the two other couples at my table joked that they were heading out, too.
If you like sushi, I’d definitely recommend checking out next year’s event at RA Sushi if it’s near you. The sushi was all very good (my personal favorite was the “Perry” Dise) and if you stand close enough to the sushi bar, perhaps you’d be able to sample all the rolls before you order any and really make your vote count for the fan vote. I honestly think that the “Bodie” Licious might have won just as much because it was next to impossible to try it without ordering it as for the taste/presentation.
Overall, I think the Ducks did a very good job, but the restaurant could have been more organized and not always taken exactly the same path with the sushi we were supposed to be able to try. If you go to RA Sushi in Tustin, ask for Ryan. He was amazing. In spite of the huge crowds, my glass was never empty and he made sure we got some of the sample sushi, so we could decide how to vote.