All over the great U-S of A, there are restaurants like Ponderosa and Golden Corral where you can pay one low price for an all-you-can-eat salad bar and buffet.
In the city, we don’t have room for sprawling rows of salad bars and hot bars. So we have the next best thing: sushi buffet.
I’ve seen countless Chinese buffets in the city. And some of these Chinese buffets probably even have sushi. But at the corner of Ashland, Belmont and Lincoln, I had my first sushi buffet experience.
When it comes to buffets, I tend to be a skeptic. Admittedly, I loved buffets as a child. It’s every kid’s dream to eat whatever you want and then round the meal out with an ice cream sundae. As an adult, I tend not to think about the variety of food I can enjoy as much as whether I can get my money’s worth. Take those Vegas buffets, for example. There is no way that a tiny lady like myself can eat $30 worth of buffet food, even though I have been known to put the food away. At this popular sushi joint, you get a lot for your money. The buffet includes a miso soup, tempura green beans and sweet potatoes, and as many sushi rolls you can stuff into your mouth in one sitting—all for the low price of $15.95.
And stuff sushi into our mouths we did. At the end of the evening, we estimated eating 30 rolls between six people. I have never eaten so much sushi in my life, and I’m a bit embarrassed.
As far as atmosphere goes, there were uncanny similarities to other types of buffets I’ve patroned. The decor was lackluster, consisting primarily of prints of visitors collaged across the walls. And the overhead speakers serenaded us with the soft rock music you might expect. When you think about it, even the food wasn’t too different. Many of the rolls were fried or smothered in cream cheese or sauces.
The biggest difference from traditional buffets were the rules. While most buffets have unwritten rules like “Use a new plate for each trip to the buffet” or “Don’t tuck your napkin into your shirt,” this place has rules posted on the wall. Like “There will be a $5.00 charge per person for any food left on your plate” and “You cannot take with you what you don’t eat.” The iPhone, paired with low lighting, doesn’t quite give you the full effect.
I’m pretty sure I got my $15.95 worth in sushi. Would I go back again? Maybe if they had an ice cream sundae bar.