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Kula - Kaiten Sushi on Sawtelle

jessejames Sep 19, 2013 01:02 PM

OK, 2 hungry men, 35 minutes, 23 plates, 56 dollars...conveyor belt and some signage preceding some of the items....about 6 or 7 sushi chefs. Some plates had one piece (ie toro, uni), some had two pieces (conch which was surprisingly crisp and good, salmon, flounder fin) and some had more ie the rolls (which we tended to avoid appearing overly saucy/mayo-ridden).

Biggest surprise was the variety. Taste-wise some better than others, but being choosy I think we did pretty well. Nothing was fishy or less than fresh that we had. The uni was fresh and tasty if not uniformly attractive. There are also some other hot items including gyoza on the belt that stayed hot. You can get some misc. japanese noodle and tempura stuff off a menu.

This place is miles better than the one in the olympic collection. I'll be back.

2130 Sawtelle Blvd.


  1. westsidegal Nov 19, 2013 04:42 PM

    tried kula this weekend.
    concur with everything you said about it, jessejames
    would like to add that imho, the price:quality:quantity ratios that are being offered here are pretty amazing.

    they are easily as good as sushi places that charge twice the price.
    as one would expect, they are far better than the AYCE places in the valley that force you to eat the rice and conform to a time constraint, those that douse everything in mayo.

    as far as picking and choosing here, i'd say that the category of "dishes without mayo" are better than the category of "dishes that incorporate mayo"

    1. g
      gordo26 Sep 27, 2013 11:31 AM

      Its serviceable sushi. Way better than the other places like Sushi Stop of Sushi Mac. Pieces of fish are smaller and thinner sliced but that's to be expected for $2 a plate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gordo26
        Tripeler Sep 27, 2013 07:32 PM

        Funny there is a place called Sushi Mac. In SF, one small chain decided to call themselves McSushi and got threatened by McDonald's, so instead called themselves We Be Sushi.

      2. s
        silverlakebodhisattva Sep 25, 2013 12:56 PM

        Not wonderful, but head-and-shoulders above "Gatten Sushi", which I thought was dismal.

        1. k
          kevin Sep 24, 2013 12:55 PM

          skip, hit up kiriko instead.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kevin
            Servorg Sep 24, 2013 01:05 PM

            There is a place in my sushi world for both...

            1. re: Servorg
              kevin Sep 24, 2013 01:11 PM

              Not mine though.

              I think I've been despondently burned by cheap sushi too many times.

              But there is a place in my world for low-brow eats as you probably or possibly know.

          2. y
            yogacat Sep 24, 2013 10:01 AM

            i enjoyed the variety the place had.
            i just wish i was able to get a big piece of lemon for my fish.all they had were these fingersized pieces,i have to bring in my own lemon from now on.
            otherwise it was fun

            1. wienermobile Sep 23, 2013 03:02 PM

              My son loves Kula.
              We usually go to the Torrance location and eat like kings for around $40 for the both of us. Better than most supermarket, good cheap sushi. $10 off coupons were in last Saturdays (9/21) LA Times food section.

              1. a
                AAQjr Sep 19, 2013 01:44 PM

                I tried it the other day as well in the name of being cheap. It was okay, but I don't know that I'll be back. I don't see much advantage over just going to Nijiya (which has decent sushi for a market) or sushi stop for that matter.

                It was reasonably busy when I went, so everything was fresh. The wait was short and quality was fine, but it helps to like mayo and eel sauce.

                4 Replies
                1. re: AAQjr
                  TonyC Sep 23, 2013 02:57 PM

                  Strange, perhaps Kula's selection is geo-dependent? Only been a couple of times, but there were decent of no mayo/"eel sauce" offerings (mackerel -- couple of preps, flounder, spanish mackerel, red snapper, clams, conch, albacore, etc.)

                  It ain't Shunji, but for a quick lunch, it beats Sushi Boy (Marukai Gardena) and has much more variety than say, Sakae (though Sakae is still far more affordable).

                  Also have to agree on the uni here: it's some of the ugliest stuff in LA. Don't touch it.

                  1. re: TonyC
                    PeterCC Sep 23, 2013 03:10 PM

                    Went Saturday evening to Sawtelle location. Tried the uni, wasn't the worst uni I've ever had. You can tell when the same piece(s) went around more than once, so I avoided those and grabbed what looked like fresher ones. I found most of the other non-fish sushi (conch, clam, squid, raw/sweet shrimp) to be better than the fish sushi (tuna, albacore, flounder fin, yellowtail), surprisingly.

                    1. re: TonyC
                      AAQjr Sep 23, 2013 03:20 PM

                      The Spanish mackerel was my favorite there and the Albacore was okay, not a fan of the rice- something they at least get right at Nijiya (aside: just like the Buns at Five Guy's- ruins everything they get right) They may have had red snapper I do not recall, but i is not something I'd order at a large chain for fear of getting something like tilapia re-badged. The tuna looked particularly sorry.

                      Really I didn't hate it and I have nothing against mayo in sushi or otherwise, but for me the bottom line is that it didnt scratch my itch for sushi despite the low price. YMMV.

                      1. re: TonyC
                        kainzero Sep 24, 2013 10:25 AM

                        I don't think it's geo-dependent so much as it is time-dependent. The selection off the conveyor belt is much better during busy hours than not.

                        You can always just order off the menu and it comes out really quickly anyway.

                        My brother is a big uni fan and when he saw it here he grabbed it. His comment: "I didn't know uni could taste this bad."

                    2. s
                      selfportrait93 Sep 19, 2013 01:26 PM

                      I presume $2 per plate just like Little Tokyo's.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: selfportrait93
                        jessejames Sep 19, 2013 01:34 PM


                      2. PeterCC Sep 19, 2013 01:16 PM

                        Thanks for reporting. When did you go and how crowded was it?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: PeterCC
                          jessejames Sep 19, 2013 01:21 PM

                          just now, noon...short sign-in list and our name came up in <5 minutes...you can have a booth or sit at a counter, both adjacent to conveyor belt...there were a few folks waiting outside when we left...doesn't take long to eat...beard papas conveniently located next door for fressers.

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