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all-you-can-eat sushi

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I live in the city of La Verne, CA and am a sushi-loving fool. I have found that there are good quality AYCE sushi restaurants out there if you are willing to give them a try. three of my favorites ar Genki Sushi in Ontario/Chino area, Sushiya in Duarte, and Fuji in Pasadena.
I have been on the WWW recently trying to find more good AYCE locations in the greater San Gabriel Valley. Does anyone have their favorite recommendations?
I qwill qualify my tastes as better than average and able to detect subtle nuances in flavor and seasoning. Uni is my absolute favorite and only the freshest will do. I enjoy maki and nigiri and heavily favor sake, maguro, and albacore.

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  1. Try Joe's Sushi
    7185 Lincoln Ave
    Buena Park, CA 90620View Map
    7142269100

    All you can order for a set price (though from a set menu, but still a reasonable long-enough menu).

    2 Replies
    1. re: malisa

      There's also a Joes at Golden West and Warner in Huntington Beach (next to radio Shack)
      $18 lunch
      $22 dinner
      And it includes everything, not just sushi.
      The food is excellent.

      1. re: BobBarnett

        Joe's is better in Buena Park...if you sit at the sushi bar and buy the sushi chef a couple of Sapporos he'll start making you items that are not on the menu. I've had some amazing shooters with quail's eggs and original sushi rolls that were just fabulous. There's a Joe's in Montclair that is okay, but not as good as the location in Buena Park.
        In Upland, there's Sho Sushi...really good AYCE. The salmon is buttery rich and melts in your mouth. The spicy tuna has a great kick and is super tasty. I'm not a fan of any of their tempura or cooked rolls...seems wrong to me that you would take a perfectly good sushi roll, drop it in tempura batter, and then fry it. For me, it loses it's fresh sushi taste and tastes like a batter-y mess. I do like their dragon rolls. Service is nice, quick, and friendly.
        The Onami chain mentioned below is quite nice, too. But it's been ages since I've been to one (locations in Laguna Hills and Torrance), so I'm unsure of the current state in quality.

        -----
        Onami Restaurant
        1925 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

        Sho Sushi Restaurant
        373 E Foothill Blvd Ste D, Upland, CA 91786

        Laguna Hills Onami Restaurant
        24155 Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

        Joe's Sushi
        5660 Holt Blvd, Montclair, CA 91763

    2. its a chain, but i like it when in a pinch: To-Dai

      www.todai.com - locations

      3 Replies
      1. re: foodie in seattle

        AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

        Todai is... well... there's no getting around it, Todai is disgusting. I'd rather eat sushi from Ralphs.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          You're right. I was just testing you >:)

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Man, the last time I ate at Todai it was busy and product was moving and I STILL thought I was going to die afterward.

            Guts were screaming and there was no place to go.

            And I LOVE raw seafood.

        2. here's a recent thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. Ezo sushi on Sunset near San Vicente has a couple of good chefs. I haven't been since they started all you can eat, but the same chefs are there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cls

              Ezo serves delicious sushi and for those who enjoy a large sushi meal, the all-you-can-eat menu can be a real bargain. The food was better than I expected for all-you-can-eat sushi. The extensive menu includes higher price items such as uni and is not limited to sushi but includes tempura, dynamite (a type of mini seafood soufflet) and other hot dishes. Finally, an opulently large sushi meal in West Hollywood where you don't have to suffer from sticker shock. It's miles ahead of it's local all-you-can-eat competitor, Todai. The decor is pleasant. A more expensive sushi restaurant was previously in this location and updated the decore shortly before going out of business. The service is polite and attentive and the location on the Sunset Strip provides a unique Hollywood ambiance with rock-and-roll kids passing outside provide a carnivalesque street scene. Highly recommended for those who seek a large sushi meal without selling the far.

              1. re: cls

                This is for frank828 and cls... maybe you havn't been to Ezo in a while. The atmosphere and service has completely changed. The food is not as fresh as it used to be... this is most likely due to how dead the place is. You can't have fresh sushi if there are not many customers. It used to be a great place, but it is not anymore!

              2. Hakata Sushi on Wilshire in Santa Monica has an all you can eat...i've never done it....you order off the menu...

                some place in the valley too on ventura blvd....kinda near todai but on the other side of the street, I went once, it was "ok/mediocre". i haven't been back since, and that was like a year ago

                6 Replies
                1. re: Xericx

                  do you know the pricing for the AYCE at hakata?

                  back on topic, there is also midori in the sfv. they have 2 locations, one in sherman oaks and the other in studio city. they do have a few interesting policies such as an 1hr time limit and they will not serve your next order until you finish everything in the previous order.

                  1. re: wilafur

                    I think its $26.

                    Midori...that's the one I went to....

                    1. re: Xericx

                      thanks xericx. even though the sushi at midori was made to order, it still didn't sit well with you in terms of presentation/taste/etc?

                      1. re: wilafur

                        Well, I don't go to the Valley too often. A lot of the fish wasn't cut particularly well, which kind of bugged.

                        Tastewise, it was ok for sushi...nothing special really. To be honest, I don't remember the meal too well, and never really had the urge to go back.

                      2. re: Xericx

                        do you know if their menu (hakata) is somewhere in the web? I looked but couldn't find it-

                    2. re: Xericx

                      The place in the Valley is called Midori; there is one on Ventura between Colfax and Tujunga, and the other on Ventura at Stern. Neither is especially close to La Verne... and they're not bad at all. It's a real sushi bar, but if you sit at tables, you can have AYCE for one hour for a set price.

                    3. Zen Buffet isn't too bad. There are two locations, one in Rosemead (on Rosemead Blvd. near Hometown Buffet) and a newer cleaner location in Pico Rivera on Washington just east of Rosemead.

                      Haven't been in a couple of months but remember they were pretty good. They have other things besides sushi too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: willtravel4food

                        ive had lunch at zen in pico rivera numerous times and yeah its fine if you really want a tuna/salmon sashimi fix and a few rolls here and there but i'd in no way consider this a legit sushi buffet. They have the sushi tucked in the back left corner and the rest of the buffet is pretty much a chinese buffet.

                        Its definetelty not horrible but nowhere close to what i'd consider a real sushi experience be it cali style or traditional.

                      2. Kiku Sushi 670 W Huntington Dr, Monrovia, CA
                        Tel: (626) 357-9971

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          Wife and I went last night got there at 5:45p (good thing since at 6:15 place was full and people waiting outside). Everything we had was good and the one big surprise was the salmon was one of the best we have ever tasted almost buttery. final bill with one large asahi, one large sapporo and one large saki $68 plus tip. Not bad since we gorged on approx. 30 orders plus one roll....ahhhh

                        2. I like "Light & Healthly" in Woodland Hills on Ventura. Not a buffet, all you can eat in an hour at the bar. I consider this place a little better than Midori. And let's not forget a new Midori in Encino on Ventura (Amestoy) .

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Mountain_Biker

                            How much do they charge for all you can eat?

                          2. The best deal and best sushi I've had is at Lighthouse in Santa Monica off of 3rd street. The sushi and sashimi are very fresh and authentic!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: hatster31

                              Did something change in the last few years? If I recall, that Lighthouse was the progenitor of the Todai chain (Lighthouse is the translation of Todai). Years ago it started out great, but it went way downhill by our last visits 3 or 4 years ago. Take this from someone who tolerates Todai for what it is...

                              A little math equation:
                              Lighthouse is to Todai as Todai is to decent sushi.

                              1. re: Briggs

                                1995 the original owner of Todai was a guy named Makino and he sold out to Korean investors. Maybe they found out how to make more money.

                                Anyway original owner Makino owns two all you can eat sushi buffets in Las Vegas.
                                http://www.usmenuguide.com/makino.html

                            2. I know its not in LA County, but if you ever head out to Orange County i would highly recommend You and I sushi. I know the name sounds like it would be a rundown americanized sushi joint, but its really really good and inexpensive without losing quality. At lunch its $17 and at dinner its $22. The way it works is instead of being a buffet you write down what you want and the chef behind the bar makes it for you and then brings it to your table, so you know it hasnt been sitting out for God knows how long! Also the rolls are really creative and the regular nigiri is really fresh. They also have non-sushi items like tempura and an AMAZING dynamite!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: runcmg727

                                I respectfully disagree. Joined friends who love the place on three occasions, but I thought it average at best each time. Nothing tasted bad, mind you, I found it underwhelming.

                                Also witnessed a tray of premade California roll "blanks" on standby behind the chef. These are ready to top w/ fish slices to speedily craft their various roll creations. This is common practice at any busy sushi bar, but make no mistake, it has been sitting out.

                                It's not the sort of place where uni is kept, like the OP wants. It's Korean owned, and they don't stock Japanese staples like shiso leaf and umeboshi paste. The customers don't expect or want the hardcore stuff, so why carry it?

                              2. Just ate at Joe's sushi and glad to say I am not returning back there...even if it was the last sushi place in all of So Cal. I want to start off my saying I'm not a sushi snob or connoisseur. I enjoy eating sushi and gobble the stuff up at least two times a week. Joe's sushi is the worst place I have eaten at. I'm ranking it below regular sushi bars, buffets, sushi bar all-you-can eat, etc.

                                1) Ingredients were not fresh. I must stress the importance of freshness because its raw! I didn't get sick but you can definitely tell that it was low quality grocery store bought fish. The salmon was this pale pink color that resembled something I bought at wal-marts seafood department. I also had some baked green mussels that were terrible. Even through all the sauce, masiago, etc, I could taste the stinky, chewy, spoiled mussel. That's pretty bad. Don't even get me started on the Pizza roll ( baked scallop California roll)... scallops smelled like they were out on the counter for three days (maybe more).

                                2) They over pack the rice and under pack the meat. My spicy salmon hand roll contained half a piece maybe a whole piece, at most, of salmon and the rest was rice...should have been called spicy rice hand roll...because that’s all I tasted.

                                3) Rude and overstaffed with "sushi chefs." They didn't understand anything I was saying and had to get some other guy to translate...might have been Joe. When they couldn't understand me or just didn’t feel like taking orders they would ignore me and everyone I was with. It might have something to do with trying to run down the 1 hour time limit.

                                All in all, I came hungry and left starving. Seriously, I would recommend Todai or any other sushi buffets before trying this place they call Joe’s Sushi. One more note, I ate here twice before posting this review and in both cases i encountered the aforementioned drawbacks.

                                1. I avoid most all u can eat sushi bars yet I did find one which is quite good:

                                  SUSHI INN in Chatsworth on DeSoto, worth trying, just like Midori your food is made to order.

                                  There's always "Light N Healthy" in Woodland Hills as well as West LA, sure beats Todai.

                                  Hope this helps,

                                  Stuart

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Hypnotic23

                                    No more Light 'n Healthy in WLA for a couple of years or so. Now Torafuku.

                                    http://www.torafuku-usa.com/about_us.htm

                                  2. I think FuZen on Robertson near Pico just went All You Can Eat. There is a sign of sorts, but don't quote me on this, call them.

                                    1. If anyone is in the san bernardino area check out miyagi sushi. they are the best sushi I have ever had within a 50 mile radius. there located on the corner of baseline and wall in san bernardino, ca. exit 210 @ waterman, go south, right on baseline.

                                      1. Does anyone ever go to Onami? It's a chain a la Todai. They're similar, only Onami is a zillion times better. No one ever really mentions Onami, which surprises me. As far as all you can eat sushi, that's my pick. Everyone I've taken there is surprised that it exists and ends up liking it.

                                        1. Since you are in LaVerne, you have to try my favorite place! It's just a 10 minute drive over to Upland and it's called Sushi Shiro, I'm even going for my anniversary tomorrow night! They have a huge all you can eat menu (sushi, rolls and appetizers) and I love the fact that they use very little rice!

                                          967 W Foothill Blvd
                                          Upland, CA 91786
                                          (909) 949-4600

                                          1. Not in the SGV, but pursuing the chain--we sometimes find ourselves at Eiko on Wilshire at La Jolla (between Fairfax and San Vicente) which has AYCE sushi. We usually go for their thai noodles, but some of the basic sushi, like the scallops and the spicy tuna rolls, are fine and the prices are competitive with supermarket sushi. It is hardly fine dining, but it certainly is cheap, the staff is friendly, and they do a good lunch and take-out business, so the food is fairly fresh.

                                            1. Try Midori Sushi in Studio City- it's about $25 per person for all you can eat sushi, though everyone sitting at your table has to participate in the all you can eat (which can be a bummer). Though, the food is rather impressive, the sushi and rolls are always fresh and the service is always good. Expect to wait though, especially on the weekends. The last time I went was on a Sunday night and we had to wait about 45 min.