Conveyor belt sushi at Tacoma's Sushi Revolution yielded a dream scenario for a five-buck lunch. Dozens of colorful plates filled with maki, nigiri and Japanese nibbles - priced $1-$3.50 - roamed around the belt and all a diner had to do was reach out a greedy little hand and pluck off a plate. Consider kaiten sushi the fast-food option of the sushi world. It's not exactly refined, it lacks the complex flavors of, say, Gari of Sushi or the pristine plating of Sushi Tama or Fujiya, but conveyor belt sushi fills a universal need of daytime workers - lunch in 15 minutes for five bucks.
It can be a 15-minute seated dining experience. It’s also a relatively healthy endeavor - rice, fish and a minimal amount of fat in each dish.
Sushi Revolution, on Tacoma Mall Boulevard, turns over fish quickly. After a half dozen visits, I’ve never been thrown a stinky surprise on the belt. Conveyor belt sushi proves a logical destination for kids or large groups who must eat and run.
Here are the results of my five-buck lunch:
Sushi Revolution5225 Tacoma Mall Blvd., Tacoma; 253-475-5559, sushi-revolution.comFill ‘er up: This is for light eaters, not for supersize drive-thru diners. Calorie counters will appreciate.Speedy: In and out in 20 minutes, but could have been 15.Cost: Tuna nigiri, $3; Three-piece asparagus roll ($1.50) and water. Total $4.50 - about $5.60 with tax and tipThe verdict: The three-piece asparagus roll was bright and crunchy - three of those would have been a really nice vegetarian lunch for $4.50. The tuna nigiri was pale red, but firm and a nice size for $3. I wasn’t stuffed, but it was a lovely light lunch.Vegetarian find: Vegi, tofu, avocado maki for $1.50 each.Splurge on: The spicy crunchy roll, $3.50. Topped with tempura flakes.Other inexpensive sushi: Kaiten sushi at Forever Sushi in South Hill (4301 S. Meridian, 253-268-0335) or Sushi Express (4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma Mall. Read this review).Have $15 to spend at lunch? Try Gari of Sushi for its elevated nigiri socked with flavor. Feast on the new Miyabi, which took over the space that formerly held Kabuki (near Tacoma Mall). Another sure bet - Bistro Satsuma in Gig Harbor.
NOMINATE: Send tips here for a good five-buck lunch.