Kula Revolving Sushi Bar has made its way down to San Diego and we visited them a few weeks ago on a random Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm thinking we wouldn’t have to wait. Wrong answer, try again. Okay thirty minutes isn’t that bad, especially since we were in for a sensory overload experience. It looks like Kula has over 300 locations mostly in Japan with seven of them in and around the Los Angeles area. They specialize in a conveyor belt that loops throughout the dining area(right next to each table) and into the kitchen. The sushi is relatively cheap at $2.25 a plate. They have other hot menu items you can order for varying prices as well.
As soon as we were seated our waitress asked if we had visited before and if we knew about “Mr. Fresh.” We had not so she explained how their germ free system works. She even had us practice with her before we were able to touch anything on the conveyor belt. Once we proved to her we could grab the edge of the sushi plate without touching the top plastic part, she gave us her blessing to start our meal. If you forget, there are signs at each table reminding you of the process. Another unique aspect of the restaurant is their plate disposal system. Each table has a plate chute to toss your empty plates in. Their automated system tracks how many plates you have dispensed and charges you accordingly when you are ready to check out.
Here’s a view of the belt, touch screen, and bikkura-pon toy dispensing game above. As a reward for eating 15 plates a small toy comes trickling out. We thought about getting to 15 just to see the magic happen, but ultimately came up just short.
This is what mesmerized us for a good while. Michael and I are victims of analysis paralysis and choosing the “best” plates took us way too long. The conveyor belt never stops and occasionally you see empty plates, only to be filled soon after. They claim no sushi is sitting on the belt for longer than three hours. Some plates definitely didn’t look as appetizing as others though.
Our favorites were the yellowtail and the tuna trio(tuna nigiri, soy sake marinated tuna, and negitoro) which was a special that day. We seemed to appreciate the value to cost ratio here.
We got another soy sake marinated tuna nigiri and also the spicy tuna crunchy roll which was also good.
After every 5 plates a video plays convincing you to help eat more sushi because apparently consuming more sushi is a ninjas kryptonite. 🙂 If you want a quiet meal this is not the place for you. The restaurant was busy and there were tons of noises and Japanese voices in surround sound.
Here’s the scallop and tamago which were okay.
On top of the sushi conveyor belt they have another conveyor belt. This is specifically used for special orders you can order via the touchscreen…”now what?”
This is what! We didn’t really need anything else but I just wanted to see it in action. Boy was it worth it. It was at this time (exactly the 12 second mark of the video) I realized I need to come back here again asap. Weeeee fun!
These were my least favorite. The crunchy bits were soggy from the sauce. I’m not a huge salmon guy. And eh, California roll.
The spicy shrimp taco and tuna yukhoe looked interesting. I’m not sure how long I’d want those sitting on the conveyor belt.
The goal here was to have fun. We weren’t expecting the best sushi in the world and were pleasantly surprised by some of the plates. Just for the experience alone I’d say it is worth a visit. As long as you don’t have to wait too long. The more people you see outside is directly proportional to how long you will have to wait for a table AND how long it will take you to find a parking space. I typically find parking on the Jasmine side towards the back of the parking lot if I’m going to that shopping center.
Plate fail #2
Kula Revolving Sushi Bar
4609 Convoy St., Ste. F
San Diego, CA 92111