On the topic of kaiten sushi (or kaiten-zushi), we go, well, round and round. Instant gratification in grabbing dishes upon seating, but hard to know how long they’ve sat on the conveyor belt. A festive feeling, but no natural interaction with the sushi chef. Unlimited gari (pickled ginger), but no self-serve green tea like in Japan. Cheap, but sometimes questionable quality.
Since our last experience at Sushi Land in Queen Anne, we’ve wondered why the constant crowds. It was terrible. But when someone told us to try the Tukwila branch, we took the tip – and the trip.
And it was worth it! You can’t compare Sushi Land to Kisaku and the like. That’s not fair. But what you can do is watch your plates pile up, color-coded by price, and smile knowing you’re not depleting your wallet in the process. Others apparently feel the same way. The place seats 114 people, and while it sometimes seems like another 114 are waiting, the action starts as soon as you get to sit. It’s fun – and even a bit funky when you say to yourself “Did I really just see éclairs go by on the conveyor belt?”
The rotating sushi can be mesmerizing. Look for what looks good. Sometimes you can tell the quality by sight, but sometimes you just have to gamble. (No big deal, as some plates of paired nigiri are as low as a dollar.) Even better is to see what’s prepared fresh. We watched as one of the workers put together some fried salmon skin rolls that were actually quite delicious. And if you don’t see what you want, ask. Fuji-san, who lords over the sushi line and is pictured here, served us some uni that never hit the conveyor belt, but hit our taste buds just fine.
Originally posted at Seattlest (where ”we” = me) on January 21, 2008. Having just returned from Japan, I couldn’t help but re-post this now.