Sushi meets the Jetsons at Kura Revolving Sushi Bar. Fresh and authentic Japanese food is served fast on a space-age revolving conveyor belt reminiscent of the 1960’s American sitcom cartoon, The Jetsons. Enjoy the flavors and traditions of Japan in a showy and lively way.
Location: 2700 Alton Parkway #133 Irvine, California, in the Diamond Jamboree Center
Menu: Nigiri, a slice of raw fish or seafood fits perfectly on top of pressed rice the size of an index finger. The rice, selected from over 100 varieties, has been matched to a secret vinegar recipe at Kura Revolving Sushi Bar.
Rolls have exciting names like Tiger, Philadelphia, Rainbow, Golden Crunchy, and Volcano. Sushi rice wrapped in seaweed sheets called nori and rolled tightly with a special mat contain unique ingredients like cream cheese, popcorn shrimp, salmon skin, eel, and avocado.
Hand Rolls look like little ice cream cones but made of sheets of pressed seaweed wrapped around rice and fillings. You can order these spicy or mild. There are vegetable hand rolls, yellowtail, scallops, tuna, crab, and cucumber. All hand rolls are also available in soy paper.
Gunkan is rice wrapped in nori forming a cup and topped with fish roe, tuna, or Premium American beef. Yukhoe is another filling selection that is raw meat or fish in the style of steak tartare. Sea urchin, considered quite a delicacy, is also available in the Gunkan.
Sides include items like edamame (seasoned soybeans in the pods), crispy squid or chicken, chicken gyoza dumplings, ramen, udon noodles, miso soup, and salads usually precede the main course.
Desserts include ice cream, creamy tarts, sesame balls with sweet bean paste centers, and cheesecake. Mochi are small balls of ice cream surrounded by a sweet rice paste. Served as a dessert, these must be ordered from the menu.
Unique seasonal dishes and themed menus are updated regularly.
Saki, beer, tea, and soft drinks are available.
Thoughts: Kura Revolving Sushi prides themselves on cooking with and serving ingredients of the highest quality. Their food is fresh, safe, and additive-free. That includes the vinegar, broths, ginger, and soy sauce, too.
Raw fish not to your liking? You can order traditional cooked dishes with noodles and broth, tempura, or teriyaki chicken, beef, or pork. Everyone creates their unique dining experience.
Sign in electronically just inside the front door when you arrive. You can also use the Kura Revolving Sushi Bar app to check-in. You will be advised of the waiting time for a seat at the counter or table. Seating at the bar seems to be faster, but groups are accommodated at large booths that fit six comfortably. The conveyor belt is easily accessible as well as the order pad over the seating area.
Waiters and waitresses seat and guide you demonstrating how to claim your dishes. They deliver water, beverages, and wasabi and are alert to every diner’s needs during the meal. Chopsticks, soy sauce, pickled ginger, and napkins are plentiful and close to your fingertips on the table.
When you see a dish coming your way on the conveyor belt, insert your index finger and thumb in the opening, and with a slight upward tug, open the Mr. Fresh TM cover. It is a patented ventilated sushi lid that protects the food on its journey snaking around the restaurant.
While it seems the dishes are flying by, you have plenty of time to make your selection, pick it up and put in front of you. If you miss it, more of the same dishes will come around on the conveyor belt from which to select and pluck.
After you consume what is on each eye-catching and intensely green saucer, place the empty plate in the specially sized slot built into the counter in front of you. The dishes are counted, and the number displayed, so you know how much you’ve eaten and charged accordingly. This experience is easy and efficient, once you get the hang of it.
In case watching the food whisk by on a conveyor belt isn’t entertainment enough, animated games on the menu screen make a great diversion. For families with healthy appetites, if you eat enough sushi and deposit the plates, you get a Bikkura-pon reward like a keychain, lanyard, or microfiber cloth.
Kura Revolving Sushi Bar is not a place to lollygag or have a leisurely meal. Efficiency, fun, and good food are the emphasis here. Demand is high, and waiting in line is not uncommon. Proving that this is an exceedingly fast yet healthy option for lunch, I saw a customer sit down, order, eat, and depart within 15 minutes.
Allergen and nutrition information appears on the Kura Revolving Sushi Bar website, and the restaurant is handicapped accessible.
While it may seem impersonal and in direct contrast to a traditional sushi bar, this fun, and extraordinary dining experience will spark your interest and taste buds. You won’t see George Jetson, Judy, Elroy, Jane, Rosie, the Robot or Astro, the dog. But you will enjoy your Japanese cuisine served in the Jetson’s style.
Price Range: Each small plate holding one or two pieces of sushi on the conveyor belt costs just under $4. Watermelon, sesame balls, other small dishes, and desserts are also just under $4 each.
Order specials, soups, and hot dishes on the touch screen above your table or seat at the bar with the average price of $6-7.
Hot sake and beer are $7.
Julie is a member of TravMedia, PPA and ITWPA and can also be found at www.jdptravels.com.
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