Sushi Maru


Sushi Maru cover

Spokane has conveyer belt sushi fever, and why not? Granted, it did catch it about a generation after the rest of the world, but now it's here and Spokane is loving it.

Kaiten-zushi, as it's called in Japan, is simply fast-food sushi. Cooks put the dishes in boxes, and they come rolling  on the conveyor belt where you pick what you want. The color of the plate indicates the price. A pretty simple concept in other words, and admittedly a pretty entertaining way to eat. You can use the menu to figure out exactly what's passing by (or to place orders if you don't see what you want on the belt) but part of the fun is to make Russian roulette style choices.

Rather sadly, the quality of the dishes seems to be a bit of a Russian roulette too.

I suspect it might be dependent on how long they've been rolling around the conveyor belt, and I'm not sure there's a system in place to remove anything that hasn't been picked up after a certain amount of time. Either way, there were a lot of inconsistencies here.

The rice, for example, went from being a goopy mush to almost undercooked depending on which dish you picked. As far as the fish goes, it wasn't too bad, though clearly not fresh either. Not that I expected it to be, and it was certainly edible. The shrimp, meanwhile, was not. Awful awful stuff. Don't go with the shrimp.

Lesson learnt here: Scope your sushi out carefully before picking up a plate. I don't want to sound too negative as some of the sauces were good, particularly the creamier ones. There were also plenty of vegetarian options. Other than the shrimp, nothing was downright awful and "pretty OK" came to mind more often than not.

Sushi Maru is all about fast-food sushi. They don't try to deny that, and it's definitely a place to check out if you want fast and fun sushi that's pretty affordable to boot. For the really good stuff, try something like Sushi Yama on 3rd instead.