Little Tokyo: Kula Revolving Sushi Bar
Kaiten sushi or conveyor belt sushi restaurants are popular because the sushi is generally cheaper. It’s also novel to get your sushi by plucking dishes off a conveyor belt (or boat as it floats down a man-made moat). I’ve been eying Kula in Little Tokyo for a while. They’re always packed. But first I revisited old guard Frying Fish for a taste of conveyor belt sushi. The place was half full and gloomy. I pulled a record number of dishes off the belt and ordered a couple of things as well. The bill surprised me a bit but I know I still spent less than if I had gone to any of the local sushi spots in Little Tokyo. And the Frying Fish chefs are still cheerful and the sweet elderly owner thanks you profusely as you leave. The sushi wasn’t bad though some of the cooked dishes like dumplings were a little sad as they chugged around on the conveyor belt.
One day I saw Kula didn’t have its enormous line out front and I was able to get a single seat right away. The difference is quite marked. While Frying Fish has its issues, it’s still very clean. I felt the dishes at Kula were a little greasy on the bottom. Service was nice though and I didn’t have any problems with getting refills for my iced green tea.
I pulled some seemingly random things off the conveyor belt that snakes through the whole dining room. I got a cucumber salad with bits of seafood to pick at whenever there was a lull in items I wanted.
My favorites that day were the salmon roe, spicy tuna crispy rice and yellowtail roll.
Some might think I took a big risk getting something like scallops which can be iffy at lesser quality sushi spots. These were fine though.
I never really order kooky sushi (if you can call it that) like crab and avocado toast but since I was by myself, who cares? Oh yeah, my stomach. These were pretty good as they weren’t greasy and hadn’t been sitting for too long. Luckily others like this dish so it gets replenished often.
The yellowtail sushi was a bit disturbing. The hamachi was so… square. As expected the slices were a little thinner at a revolving sushi place but Kula’s weren’t too thin.
I also took a risk eating sweet shrimp. The amaebi were fine. I did wish we could get the heads deep fried to snack on.
Another guilty pleasure was the spicy tuna crispy rice. Shuddup, you’d do it too.
Again, all the nigiri were more thinly sliced but not bad.
The only thin I thought about getting twice of was the spicy yellowtail roll.
My bill was significantly less than Frying Fish though the difference was I didn’t get anything custom. Still, I can’t help but want that little mom and pop to thrive. So if the lines are too long at Kula, head around the corner to Frying Fish.