Seafood Towers Are The Latest Ridiculous Food Trend

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It’s pretty much undeniable that people who eat seafood are way better than the rest of us. They live in swanky coastal locales, drive trendy cars, wear designer clothing, and make way more money than you. As a result, they can afford extravagant meals consisting of the world’s finest finned and shelled fare. But what happens when the food ennui sets in? What is one to do when lobster hand-roasted over baobab and sequoia chips loses its novelty and charm? Is there no culinary mystery left that might thrill the oh-so-worldly palette?

A Challenge Fit For A Chef

After the revolutionary invention of sushi cake, seafood had nowhere to go but up—and so it did. Taking their cue from the ingenious layering of raw fish, chefs began experimenting with the delicate process of elevating aquatic tidbits that normally have no business at such an altitude. They didn’t just pile it up, though. This is no freestanding jambalaya we’re taking about, this is upscale dining. This isn’t just food, it’s a food experience. To help people cope with the trauma of that which is unrecognizably new and novel, chefs needed to present their postmodern masterpiece in a familiar way. And what’s more familiar to everyone in the entire world than a tri-dimensional chess board, as seen on Star Trek? If your answer was “nothing, duh,” you’re inarguably correct, and pioneering seafood chefs everywhere applaud you.

Seafood Rising

In a feat of culinary engineering, modern technology has enabled chefs to stack expensive aquatic food in tiers, utterly defying not only seafood’s naturally occurring elevation but also the Earth’s gravity. But what makes this any different or more desirable than a regular seafood plate? Well, first of all, it’s a more efficient use of space, as anyone in from Hong Kong or New York City will tell you. But much more importantly, it’s a scientifically proven fact that that lobster, crab, shrimp, and every other edible thing that comes from the ocean taste better when stacked on top of each other. And so, the seafood tower was born. Their looming, monolithic profiles have risen across the United States, proliferating faster than radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and with a comparable price tag. And, as with all food, mutation was inevitable.

A Seafood Tower For All Diets

Are you way too earthy and multicultural to eat something as gauche as run-of-the-mill shrimp and lobster? Well, allow me to introduce you to ROKU in West Hollywood, where seafood towers get a Japanese treatment on their sashimi tower. Much like regular seafood, sashimi tastes better when left to sit for a few moments a foot or two above the table, so even if you’re sick of sushi, this is still an improvement. Or maybe you’re into more southerly flavors than Eastern. Don’t worry, there are extra-special seafood platters for you, too. Take, for example, Brennan’s of Houston, which offers a Creole-inspired seafood platter, right down to the smoked catfish dip. If that doesn’t go far enough for you, perhaps your destination is Peru by way of Crossroads in Los Angeles, which offers a cebiche-inspired plethora of seafood. Be warned that the chefs here are true rebels; since Peru is known for its mountains, Crossroads’ culinary renegades decided to buck the norm and present their seafood tower as a platter. Don’t let the disguise fool you, though; this is a seafood tower in its most daring and edgy form. Not into meat? Not a problem. You can also get vegetarian towers that include a range of plants reminiscent of common seafoods, such as palm hearts passing as calamari rings, fried artichoke hearts as oysters and lobster mushrooms as, well, lobster. Why are we calling this a seafood tower? Seafood, like most expensive things, is about image, not substance—just roll with it. The Babel-esque architecture of the seafood tower will certainly crumble under its own weight, dragging the rest of us poor suckers down with it. Before long, each individual shrimp and crab claw will be served on its own designated plate, as mandated by the Twenty-Eighty Amendment to the US Constitution, so that they can never again make unholy alliances with oysters on the half-shell, consolidate vast fine-dining power nor succumb to such delusional folly. In the meantime, the seafood tower remains a favorite way to impress a client, a date or those other regular, lame diners who are still eating their food off of flat surfaces.