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All you can eat sushi?

Garlic Guy Dec 13, 2009 08:12 AM

Hi, everyone. I was recently in Chicago, where I ate in a terrific sushi place. Besides the quality of their food, the distinguishing feature of this place is that you pay a set price and they bring you all the sushi you can eat (they control this by requiring you to pay extra for anything you order but don't finish). I'm fairly new to sushi and haven't explored much beyond salmon and tuna, but feel that I'm much more likely to experiment in a place where I'm not paying extra for every roll I try. Is anyone aware of any good sushi restaurant in DC that has a similar arrangement, or offers a buffet, or anything similar?

Thank you very much.

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    MikeR RE: Garlic Guy Dec 13, 2009 09:33 AM

    The trouble with that scheme is that "all you can eat" prompts you to try different things, and if you try something that you don't like, you have to pay to not finish it.

    You may have found a rare place there in Chicago. There are (or have been) a couple of all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants around here, but in generaly they're OK but not great, and tend to have the more common offerings. You're going to get kitchen-help sushi, not crafstman sushi. The thing that distinguishes the better ones is that they keep the offerings pretty fresh and don't keep a big "stock" of pre-made pieces.

    This discussion comes up now and then, but it hasn't been around for a while. Maybe there are some new discoveries. Seems like the most successful for quantity and acceptable quality were the buffet places, Todai and, I think, Peter Pan, both in Fairfax. You could probably get an all you can eat dinner arranged at Tako, for about $300. <g>

    1. d
      deangold RE: Garlic Guy Dec 13, 2009 10:02 AM

      There are two Korean buffet spots in annandale that do a surprisingly good jon on Sushi. I prefer Hee Bin to IL Mee but the sushi at IL Mee is a little better. Mostly rolls and both are pretty exuberent with the toppings and combinations. In Beltsville, Gahr Am {I think} is good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: deangold
        jo_mama RE: deangold Dec 15, 2009 12:54 PM

        Gah-Rham Restaurant (5027 Garrett Ave, Beltsville, MD) is fantastic!! They have a moderately sized all you can eat sushi bar everyday for lunch (last time I checked). I think the sushi is higher quality than Todai, and in addition to the sushi they have a buffet of Korean food (Korean BBQ, soups, rice dishes, kim chi, etc.). I think it is about $13 per person--I highly recommend it!

        1. re: jo_mama
          deangold RE: jo_mama Dec 21, 2009 06:49 PM

          quite good sushi, maybe a little better than Hee Bin but the cooked food falls far short of Hee Bin or IL Mee with no cooked to order meats avaialble. Still it is the best in the area.

      2. w
        wayne keyser RE: Garlic Guy Dec 13, 2009 06:09 PM

        Haven't been in a year or so (waistline issues) but a modest selection of adequate sushi could always be found at Bamboo Buffet, 3501 S Jefferson St Falls Church

        1. m
          malveaux RE: Garlic Guy Dec 13, 2009 06:13 PM

          I've heard great things about Todai (already mentioned) but have never been motivated to try it myself.


          I think that I'm done with AYCE places. Forever.

          1 Reply
          1. re: malveaux
            Dennis S RE: malveaux Dec 13, 2009 06:50 PM

            I have tended to your last statement for about 5 or more years, but to the OP there used to be at least adequate at Worldgate in Herndon, and Sushi Chalet (which should give some indication - even though they used to be decent quality and selection).

            Funny what 10 years can do (or help) to a person. (I thought I found heaven in Sushi Chalet in 1999).

          2. l
            Lori D RE: Garlic Guy Dec 14, 2009 10:14 AM

            Matsutake (several locations, including Arlington, Reston or Herndon, and Frederick) does an OK job of AYCE sushi for lunch. As others have said, these places are OK, not great.

            Most of the Chinese buffets have a few sushi items on the buffet. They are usually not very good. My experience has been that the rice is not made properly.

            I would include Bamboo Buffet in that judgment. I hadn't been in ages, and went a month or two ago, and was very disappointed (although I think my disappointment was in the Chinese food; not sure I had sushi at that visit).

            3 Replies
            1. re: Lori D
              MikeR RE: Lori D Dec 14, 2009 10:59 AM

              I think the sushi at Bamboo Buffet, mediocre as it is, is more appealing than the Chinese food. Some of the Korean food is OK, as are the soups. But it's for sure not a place to go for a good dose of sushi.

              1. re: Lori D
                Ziv RE: Lori D Dec 22, 2009 03:39 PM

                Lori, I agree about Matsutake, it is pretty ok. Not great, but not bad. And sometimes the tempura is good, and they have a few extra dishes most of the time that make it kind of interesting. As AYCE places go, it is fairly good. The only AYCE joints that I really like tend to be Indian, not sushi. Minerva is AYCE heaven.
                I still go to Cafe Asia for the happy hour, but their sushi is only a small step better than Matsutake, tho the prices for both the sushi and the beer are pretty good. I have pretty much given up on Tachibana, Ichiban is friendlier with better service. But neither are AYCE...

                1. re: Ziv
                  ambergersa RE: Ziv Dec 31, 2009 07:31 AM

                  I went to Matsutake yesterday andwas really disappointed. It was not nearly as good as previous visits.

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                ec_washington55 RE: Garlic Guy Dec 14, 2009 12:20 PM

                Please search old feeds before posting! This is a topic that has come up multiple times in the short time I've been on this board.

                My usual go to place for AYCE sushi is Matuba in Bethesda. $17 for the rotary buffet, not a bad deal. They tend to have more nigiri than maki but not a bad way to try things (since it's only 2 pieces at a time)

                1. s
                  Soup RE: Garlic Guy Dec 14, 2009 04:15 PM

                  I think AYCE sushi places are fine. It gets the job done. I don't search for the best burger in DC everytime I want a burger.

                  consistantly better AYCE sushi choices are Todai, Il Mee, and Hee been. There are bunch of other places that do $1 sushi or korean places that serve pretty good shashimi or sushi. I love the fact that I want utilitarian sushi these days, it is litterally easy as finding a solid burger place.

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                    comestibles RE: Garlic Guy Dec 14, 2009 06:17 PM

                    There is an excellent sushi lunch buffet at Yuraku in Germantown. The nigiri and maki rolls are made fresh in small batches. Also includes a Korean buffet, but most people go for the sushi. If you go, do so early, as the place gets packed with waiting lines.

                    1. r
                      rdorrett RE: Garlic Guy Dec 21, 2009 08:40 AM

                      Hello All. I would very much like to recommend this restaurant. It is located in the Parkville/Carney area of Baltimore (near the intersection of Joppa Road and Belair Road). They have a sushi lunch buffet Monday - Thursday which is excellent. (They may also have a dinner buffet, but I have not tried that.)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rdorrett
                        jfish RE: rdorrett Dec 21, 2009 12:37 PM


                        1. re: jfish
                          Dennis S RE: jfish Dec 21, 2009 04:42 PM

                          below - two posts - I didn't get it either.

                          Hikari sushi

                      2. r
                        rdorrett RE: Garlic Guy Dec 21, 2009 08:41 AM

                        This is an addition to the post I just did - the post refers to Hikari Sushi.

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