Remember Red Tuna at Tacoma Mall?
No? I barely remember it, too. That kaiten sushi restaurant lasted less than three months. A promised reopening never happened. Instead, popping up in its place is a new sushi-on-a-belt restaurant. Sushi Express opened about two weeks ago in a 200-seat space between Forever 21 and Nordstrom.
I took a first bite and thought it was just what you'd expect from conveyor belt sushi - inexpensive fast food. A half dozen nigiri meandered by, fewer than a dozen different types of maki rolls, a few hot dishes. I headed for the maki and thought it looked just like what's offered at nearby Sushi Revolution, but more expensive. Where Sushi Revolution's menu is $1-$4, Sushi Express prices are $1.75-$5.
Here's something slightly off. A few of the plates on the belt didn't quite match up with the plate colors posted on the pricing key, leaving me with questions like these: Is the orange and black plate priced the same as the orange and white plate? What if it was an extra super duper special orange plate that costs $18.95? I avoided those plates like gas station sushi. I hate surprises on my bill.
The interior looked just like Red Tuna, with a few cosmetic changes. Service was attentive. There were very few diners on my visit.
Verdict: Good for kids and groups and a quick lunch if you're pressed for time. For better sushi if you've got more time and a few extra bucks to spend, head up 38th to Gari of Sushi.