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Daichan-Kaiten Sushi

Ate at this conveyor belt sushi at Olympic and Sawtelle tonight. Mind you I'm a sushi snob but since I work for tips, I'm always looking for a good value, and this place is it. The sushi is by no means great, but it is pretty good. The plates are $2, $3.50, and $4.50. Some of the high points are the ono sushi, salmon sushi, and albacore sushi, none of them great, but for two bucks, it's far superior to a supermarket. Another two dollar find are the tango balls which are three deep fried tempura balls with crab and another fish I don't remember. Don't expect the world from this place, but for the price, it is worth a shot.

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  1. I like it too!!! Pretty much the same opinion; we live nearby and go when we're in a hurry and not feeling spendy.

    1. thanks for reminding me about this pace. it's been on my "gotta try" list for far too long....not to mention it is in my hood.

      1. I haven't been to this place in probably close to a year- do they still give you a punch card and a free meal after a certain number bought? This is a good place to take people who insist they like sushi but don't really know better and are afraid to try more than the basics. Also- out of pure nostalgia- I bought one of the toy car boxes going around the belt hoping to get a Mark IV Supra (I used to have one) and ended up with a Celica. Luck of the draw, I guess. All good fun!

        Just a note- I believe their is a decent ramen place in the building too, ...

        2 Replies
        1. re: PrettyPlaty

          toy car boxes?! They don't have that anymore. It's a conveyor belt. Or am I not getting what you're talking about?

          1. re: Pei

            They used to have little boxes that went around the conveyor belt (along with the sushi plates) with toys. I thought it was odd at the time. Again, haven't been there in over a year, ...

        2. went there tonight.
          completely agree with every word you said pimpindg.
          they weren't too crowded and the sushi chefs were willing to make food to order as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: westsidegal

            The chefs ask what I want but I want to wait for the conveyor belt. It's the most fun I've had at a restaurant in a long time. I love tracking something coming my way and someone else gets it. It's good times.

          2. Went there yesterday. Wow. I almost felt bad for the chef bc I felt like I wasnt paying enough. I know sushi; I know what is fresh and what is not; I know what is worth a couple bucks and what is worth a whole lot more. Let me tell you this--this place is not only MOUTHWATERING, but also ridiculously CHEAP. Can you possibly ask for more?

            10 out of 10.

            6 Replies
            1. re: dkndkn21

              i agree that it is a good deal, but 'mouthwatering?'
              it is better than niko niko, but still not in the league of any good sushi bar.

              i say this even though i go there. the convenience is unbeatable--easy parking, never a wait, etc. that said, the food quality is just ok. sometimes i'm just too exhausted to fight my way through the process of getting a seat at hide, and i'm willing to forgo excellent food quality for cheap, and easy.

              1. re: dkndkn21

                i dunno about mouthwatering but the sushi is good for the price.....don't expect great sushi...rather decent sushi at bargain basement prices. definately a good spot to satiate a sushi craving without spending a lot of money.

                1. re: wilafur

                  I think the conveyer belt sushi thing is really fun. It's not the best sushi, but you can't beat the prices at Daichan-Sushi Kaiten. When I was writing story for Sunset magazine on the Sawtelle neighborhood, this is where everyone told me the locals actually eat. If you want a slightly trendier version of the concept, there's Luckyfish in Beverly Hills, which is run by the same people who do Sushi Roku. My only worry is about wasted fish. Everything is tossed after an hour to make sure it's fresh. One tip: Sit at the front of the belt so you get first pick of items:

                  http://grubtrotters.com/2008/04/10/su...

                  1. re: grubtrotters

                    "this is where everyone told me the locals actually eat"????

                    Hmmm... curious. I live 2.5 blocks from this place and none of my neighbors ever eat there that I have heard. But obviously I don't know most people in the neighborhood, so maybe I am missing out??? I tried it once and it was pretty much exactly what I expected from a conveyer belt place. Pretty cheap and all the fish a little mushy from too many trips around and around and around. That could be because it was pretty empty when we went. Personally, I'd rather have sushi at Kiriko or even Place Yuu or Bar Hayama...

                    1. re: grubtrotters

                      gee.
                      i've never seen a local eating there. . . .
                      for the most part, the locals are in a better position to plan their visits to hide and the other local sushi joints to be at non-prime hours, and they do just that.
                      when i was eating at hide today at 3pm, the bar was made up of locals.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Just reporting what I was told by business owners on the street. I think the price makes it attractive for an everyday sort of meal, while Kiriko is perfect for a nice night out. (Kiriko easily adds up to $150 per person for an omakase dinner.) But if you're grabbing a quick bite and want inexpensive sushi, Daichen-Kaiten is the best bargain. Not the best quality, but certainly the least expensive option, which counts for something.

                2. We've been a few times, and it is indeed convenient. But honestly I've found the fish quality to be notably below Hide, and closer to the mass-produced sushi in the plastic boxes at Nijiya Market. This has been true even of the custom-made stuff we've ordered directly from the chefs. Do the fans of this place have any particular ordering suggestions for getting the best out of this place?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: PayOrPlay

                    Lots of beer? ;)

                    Seriously, we enjoy going to the place because it is a step above the stuff at Nijiya and even Whole Foods, and when it comes to whole foods, it comes out to be cheaper! The trick is that the simpler Nigiri costs less and sometimes it is the tastiest. Then, I can ask for a handroll or something more creative with it

                    So when we want a cheap Sushi Fix but also an excuse to go out with a group of friends who also want something of an interesting night, it TOTALLY fits the bill. Otherwise, yeah, the splurge for better places are indeed worth it too (My celebration meal for surviving yet another school year was take out from Sushi Go 55... and it turned out to be TWICE as much as what our last bill was at Kaiten... But this year was tough and I was enjoyed that meal... ;) )

                    --Dommy!

                    1. re: Dommy

                      haha. i second the lots of beer coupled with decent sushi.

                      and if you get bruce (the iatamae) drunk, he may buy you drinks as well.

                      1. re: wilafur

                        beer and sushi is always a good pairing!