Best Waitress (2007)

Maggie at Sushi Jazz

She must have days, like the rest of us, that are less-than-optimal. Her house hasn't fared well through the past couple of hurricanes, and she sometimes talks about picking up and moving to Atlanta. Still, she can't stop herself from ending every sentence with the word honey — as in, "We haven't seen you guys for a while, honey. Do you want a glass of chardonnay, honey, and let me tell you, honey, it's been crazy around here, and, honey, you look really pretty — I love that shirt." The honeys, and what falls between them, are delivered in a breathless, lightly accented rush through an ironic and tender smile, punctuated with soft drumbeats as she pats your arm or shoulder. And then her compact little figure — full steam ahead — will be off with a whoosh to get your soup or to honey another table into abject submission. Sushi Jazz would be a nice enough sushi bar without her — all those blond woods, the private booths, the raised platform where you can kick off your shoes and sit on the floor, tucked in next to screens of curly bamboo. The rolls and sashimi here have always been good, and it's right across the street from the best movie theater in Delray. But if it weren't for Maggie and her encyclopedic knowledge of your preferences, phobias, and personal histories, you might not be drawn back quite so often. As it is, this feels like just the right place to be.


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