Kula Kaiten Sushi, Irvine


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Kula Sushi Bar

2700 Alton Parkway, Suite 133

Irvine, CA 92606

(949) 553-0747

<a href="http://kulasushibar.wordpress.com/">http://kulasushibar.wordpress.com/</a>

<a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/kula-sushi-bar-irvine">http://www.yelp.com/biz/kula-sushi-bar-irvine</a>

I didn't take any decent photos from my cell phone, so I'll post one from yelp instead:

<img src="http://static.px.yelp.com/bphoto/vKFjy04cJjjHf5qcAYQQhg/l" alt="" />

I just had the realization that Diamond Jamboree has 85 C from Taiwan and Kula Sushi from Japan. Kula is a real sushi chain from Japan, very possibly related to the failed Kula Sushi Bistro in LA that closed. Kaiten sushi started in 1958 in Osaka, after Mr. Shirashi saw beer bottles on a conveyor belt in Asahi beer brewery and thought, wow, he could serve sushi on that (!). There's a stereotype that Osaka people indulge in food and drink excessively (kuidaore?). You can see a very extreme version of the indulgences in the movie "The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief".

Another slang for kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi is kuru kuru, which means going round and round (insert bad mahojin guru guru episode flashbacks). Understand that the chef is probably not going to be as skilled as a proper sushi bar, but you're there for the convenience and price. Kula charges a mere $2 for almost everything (excluding drinks). So the math is real easy here. 10 plates = $20. Quality? Very acceptable for the $2 price, it's a good bargain actually. Try to sit by the main sushi chef work area so you can stick your head up and order from them directly. Look for the freshly made stuff being put on the belt, and order hand rolls, and chicken karaage. Their freshly cooked chicken karaage is pretty good, except they don't have spicy chili dipping sauce to go with it. :(
My family went today- and it was packed by noon! My kids had a lot of fun watching the conveyor belt. Very affordable too.