My experience with sushi has been very limited, and I'm interested in going to a real sushi place to try the real thing. I've made a list of places to try off my regional board. I'm not familiar at all with the etiquette, and want to enjoy the experience, and be welcomed back, so would prefer to do it "right".
I looked it up on-line, and am pretty sure that we should not sit at the counter, or at least not at center-counter, as novices. If we're at a table, or the counter for that matter, will crib sheets so I can decipher the menu be frowned upon? For the most part, I'm not too concerned about what I'll be eating, although I'm not sure if I want sea urchin roe (uni) on my first try. Mainly, I'm concerned for my less adventurous companions whom I'm somewhat coercing, by footing the sake tab, into going. Sashimi and nigiri are on my list, but I think my companions will be more comfortable with cooked food. I do plan on asking the staff for advice, etc., but I'd like to have crib sheets as a back-up in case of language problems and so I don't monopolize the staff.
I get the general sense that sushi should be eaten with chopsticks, unless the shape is too difficult to manage with chopsticks, temaki for instance. Is this correct? When are fingers appropriate?
It also seems that dousing the sushi in soy-wasabi paste is frowned upon; most advice is that a little dab'll do ya. And it also seems that the non-rice side is the appropriate side to dip.
Also, when writing about this and due to my own pickiness, should it be nigiri or Nigiri, sashimi/Sashimi, etc.? What's the proper capitalization?
Any advice &/ tips would be greatly appreciated.