UPDATE 10/2012: THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED
Sushi Station, the newest conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Puyallup, opened this week. Insider's tip: Today (Saturday, April 10 only), they're offering $1 sushi plates. Call the restaurant first to confirm. That was an unadvertised special I was told about while dining anonymously.
Sushi Station is the second conveyor belt sushi restaurant to open in Puyallup. Sushi Land opened last December a few doors down from The Rock Wood Fired pizza.
Like other sushi spin restaurants, Sushi Station has the kitsch down solid. Diners are greeted with loud cheers when they enter and leave. That can be fun or annoying, depending on your tolerance of enthusiasm. As for the food? It's a collection of the usual conveyor belt sushi eats.
Never visited a conveyor belt sushi restaurant? The concept is pretty simple – sushi chefs are stationed in an open, centrally located sushi counter. The chef (or chefs) prepares fresh sushi, placing it on a conveyor belt that rolls all around the dining room, passing by diners seated at counters or booths. Diners reach over and pluck off the belt whatever looks pleasing. Much of the sushi is covered with clear, plastic containers to protect from airborne germs. Some call it conveyor-belt sushi, others call it sushi-go-round or kaiten zushi.
The outing is one geared for groups and families. It's a fast and cheap way to eat, too (if you select carefully from the belt).
I found a few unusual belt offerings: cooked items like fried rice, chicken katsu, popcorn chicken and a few others (all priced $1.50-$2.50 per plate). I liked that those particular dishes are very kid friendly.
Raw items make up a good portion of the menu. The spicy tuna roll ($2.00) was the real deal with chopped, supple tuna wrapped up in rice and nori and drizzled with an orange sauce that carried a garlicky pepper pow. They don't dumb down the spice here.
The rainbow roll ($3.50) was as delicious as it was beautiful: a velvety layer of tuna, salmon and avocado atop a California roll. The fish was fresh, and the texture deliciously slippery.
The seaweed salad ($2.50) was one of the best I've ever sampled at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant - in terms of crunch and flavor. The seaweed was marinated in a light vinaigrette, strongly flavored with sesame oil. A few chili flakes added spice. The salty crunchiness of the salad made this a purely crave-worthy dish. Another salad ($1.50) impressed with its simplicity - thin slices of snappy cucumbers marinated in a rice wine vinaigrette and topped with a slice of cooked shrimp. Crispy, puckery and delicious.
Plenty of nigiri (salmon, ebi and saba) rolled around the belt; as did fried tempura shrimp, calamari salad and a wide range of cooked and raw rolls.
At the end of your meal, your server stacks up your plates, then tallies what you ate. The prices are color coded. Look on the wall for the price code, which ranges from $1.50-$4.
As is the case at many conveyor belt sushi restaurants, you won't find meticulously prepared rolls with complicated ingredients. Rather, it's more of a fast-food version of sushi eating.
Sushi StationUPDATE 10/2012: THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED Where: 10305 156th St. E., PuyallupPhone: 253-604-4321Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and noon-9 p.m. SundaysBackground on the restaurant here