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All You Can Eat Sushi...Yay or Nay?

  • m

I have never been to an All You Can Eat Sushi meal before, but when I walked by Moksa in Central Square, I saw that they are now offering it every day from 5-7. Moksa is not one of my favorite places. I have only had two meals there over the past year or two. One was decent.

What is the experience like at an All You Can Eat Sushi spot and does anyone have any recommendations for places, including Moksa? I have a family member who might enjoy a large sushi intake, but I feel like the whole concept means a poor experience at best.

Note that I went to the Moksa web site and saw nothing about it there, but their Facebook page makes it clear that this is a happening thing. I am not sure of the price or any other factors at this point.

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    1. It can be good but usually is an excuse to feed you mayo.

      2 Replies
        1. re: Luther

          So if one would go to an AYCE mayo joint ....

        2. Nay, nay. People say that place in Framingham is good, but they said that to me about Nana 7 in Billerica. Blecch.

          1 Reply
          1. nay unless you're a giant cow

            1. I vote nay. Even if it's fresh and prepared well, it is likely to be limited to the few traditionally inexpensive items.
              Mirugai nigiri or salmon roe with quail egg? Unlikely.

                1. Okay. I am not a giant cow (and neither is my very dear, very trim relative who inhales sushi). And mayo with sushi never had my vote. So thanks for the advice, my friends. I knew I could count on you.

                    1. re: hungrytommy

                      My favorite comedian. He passed away last month. Made me laugh so many times.....RIP

                      1. I must admit that I enjoy the AYCE sushi ($14.95 at lunch) at Sakura in Winchester. Fresh and made to order and you can also get hot items from the kitchen. The shrimp tempura is pretty good.


                        1. Hmmmm, when eating raw seafood, as a rule, you want the opposite of quantity over quality...

                          1. The goal of AYCE is to 1) use as little protein as possible - so you get very thin cuts, or fish that is not as fresh with its flavors hidden by spicy dynamite sauce (which is just japanese mayo mixed with sriracha or some other hot sauce). 2) get you to eat as much rice as possible - so I remember when Mr. Sushi did AYCE specials, you could not just peel the fish off of the nigiri - they said you had to eat the rice too..

                            But they might be fair with things, since if you are in there from 5-7, you may very well be ordering drinks, which would help even up the profit margin.

                            1. Nay, my general rule is you get what you pay for. I want sushi to be fresh, great seafood choices and tasty. I don't need many variations of a veggie Cali roll. I also don't need Montezuma's revenge!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: treb


                                I was once scolded by a friend for even considering eating sushi from a sketchy stand in a food court at Chicago O'Hare airport.

                                My buddy basically said "are you insane, your're gonna eat sushi at an airport food court that is 1,000 miles from the Ocean? See you in the ER."

                              2. OMG, I am staying far away.

                                My only experience with any kind of all-you-can eat spot was ages ago when I was in the deep south. We stopped in at an all you can eat buffet. (We were starving and on a typical student road trip with a limited budget. I was as poor as I have ever been.) It was totally depressing in there. Everything was fattening and greasy, and the people eating there were all morbid, not talking at all but just inhaling their food before going back for more. I think that has been my only experience with any kind of all-you-can-eat thing ever. I really should try a new place some day for a better experience.

                                Thanks for enlightening me. I'll stay away from the all-you-can-eat sushi until I hear that things improve or get a strong suggestion that I give it a shot. I really appreciate the comments.

                                Besides, as I mentioned, I'm not a fan of Moksa to begin with. Lots of sushi to be found in Central Square, but I can't imagine theirs is of the highest quality.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: mvi

                                  While i dont eat sushi or ayce sushi, i disagree with the idea that all ayce is bad or for "morbid" people.. One ayce i have enjoyed lately is the sunday afternoon dimsum/chinese buffet at Lotus Flower in Framingham. I would suggest you try that and change your generalization.

                                  1. re: hargau

                                    Gosh, I did not mean to generalize at all, merely to bring up my one and only encounter with an all-you-can eat place. I apologize if I offended you or anyone else. That was not my intention at all.

                                    1. re: hargau

                                      I agree that not all buffets are bad by definition. It's just almost impossible to do AYCE sushi well.

                                      1. re: hargau

                                        Similarly, the related (I think) place Lotus Blossom in Sudbury has a delicious and very fresh Sunday buffet offering that includes sushi that is not all slathered in mayo or just huge bundles of rice and slivers of fish - maybe not a destination meal, but a great option if you are in the area at the time - and the Chinese dishes were pretty light and flavorful as well - some nice dumplings and a unique mushroom dish included. The crowd was a pretty normal cross section of folks I would expect to be dining out in that area.

                                    2. I am generally quite nay on all you can eat sushi, and generally prefer delicate quality to gross quantity.

                                      However, we are in America, and sometimes sushi is best enjoyed not just as a delicate omakase, but in gluttonous delight.

                                      Fuchsia Dunlop had a wonderful piece in the FT five or six years ago about dining alone in the Grand Central Station oyster bar, which featured the tale of a large man enjoying an enormous quantity of oysters on what looked like a trashcan lid. I would not like to be that man everyday, but I am not ashamed to admit that I think it's quite enjoyable once in a while.

                                      When I'm in the mood for a large quantity of sushi, however, I go to Sakanaya in Allston and order a large quantity of nigiri sushi at $1 per piece to take out and gorge myself at home. =) Their sushi is good and fresh, and if you order a large enough quantity they'll put it on a round plate as big as a trashcan lid.

                                      Once I ordered three such plates for a lunch meeting, but attendance was lower than expected and an entire third plate went untouched. I may have stuffed myself on a whole plate of leftovers for dinner that evening. And been quite happy.

                                      9 Replies
                                        1. re: lipoff

                                          I used to occasionally do the AYCE as a kid in Japan. It's not called AYCE but conveyor belt sushi. My grandfather, who wasn't a gourmet or anything used to say "taksan" or many, when surveying all the options. I don't know if it's still that popular anymore though.

                                          One of my most gut-busting meals ever was at Sasabune in NYC. They keep feeding you until you cry mercy. The sushi was so good, we couldn't say no. We finished running the gauntlet as the chef had served everyone of his dishes. That last snow crab handroll was sorta painful to down. Epic good meal though.

                                          I'm with lipoff, ya gotta do it right.

                                          1. re: tatsu

                                            Isn't conveyor belt sushi still charged by the plate? I didn't think it was pay one price eat what you want, but rather the sushi comes on a conveyor belt, and at the end you are charged based on how many plates you have consumed (a bit like cart dim sum).

                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                              Technically you are correct. I have never done true AYCE sushi, except at american chinese brunches like Changsho or Minado out of morbid curiosity. And catered parties. They are all rolls anyway. I've never been to a place that does AYCE nigiri.

                                              Seems to me that the term AYCE is grossing ppl out here more than anything. If it were "buffet sushi" perhaps it would be more palatable. I'm sure we've all seen a giant platter of sushi up for grabs somewhere and didn't complain about it, popped a few pieces off the stack and didn't throw up.

                                              1. re: tatsu

                                                I've eaten mountains of sushi at catered events served by a top notch caterer and loved every second. I'm not opposed to eating LOTS of sushi.

                                                I guess it is the inherent conflict of interest of all ayce served at rock bottom prices that would concern me. The resto has to make money so they are going to skimp somewhere... lots of mayo, skimpy fish, perhaps not the freshest... none of which make me happy.

                                            1. re: lipoff

                                              That may be cheap sushi, but not pay one price AYCE, different beast in imho.

                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                Definitely different. But Minado is about $35 (plus tax and tip) for AYCE dinner sushi. The plate of 40+ nigiri from Sakanaya that I attached as a photo is about $45. That's a lot of sushi for one person!

                                            2. I love AYCE tuna sashimi..:)


                                              Don't get to have it often enough.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: 9lives

                                                I'll see your yellowfin, and raise you a bluefin... was given this fish 4 summers ago...

                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                  just think, stripey, if youse wasn't such a likeable guy, you'd be holdin' NOthin'!!

                                                  love seein 9lives and your photos!

                                                2. re: 9lives

                                                  I'll see your yellowfin, and raise you a bluefin... was given this fish 4 summers ago...

                                                3. An old adage........"Never eat Discount Sushi"......
                                                  I believe that is good advise.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. foody-goody in lowell is ok 15 for lunch 20 for supper

                                                    1. Here's a recent thread that discusses the same issue


                                                      1. Pretty much a nay on all you can eat anything.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                          You should pick up the latest issue of Lucky Peach (their AYCE issue). It's a hoot!