Wednesday, October 21, 2009

IMO Revolving Sushi - Kula vs. Kura

I recently experienced what it's like to eat about a revolving sushi bar.  That is, the chefs make their masterpieces and place them on small plates that rotate about a conveyor table.  It's fun and dangerous because you've got so many options and ultimately you forget how many rolls you've eaten.  It's worse than a candy store because you get so full!

Last night I tried Kura Sushi in Costa Mesa.  A few times before that I ate at Kula Revolving Sushi Bar in the Diamond Jamboree plaza, Irvine.

My review: Obviously they're both similar in the style of presentation and the general types of sushi, maki, handrolls, etc. offered.  While Kura has a larger selection from which to choose (appetizers, sushi, handrolls, dessert), Kula has better quality fish that tastes more fresh in my opinion.  To be fair, though, it may depend on the time in which you go.  Normally when I visit Kula I'm there at first opening during lunch or early dinner.  I went to Kura around 6PM yesterday and some of the fish tasted warm, which is... slightly disgusting.  (The ironic part is that Kura has a "freshness guarantee.")  Freshness is always an important factor in judging sushi, given most of it includes raw ingredients.  If you enjoy dessert, Kura has a plethora from tiramisu, eclairs, tempura ice cream, and yogurt.  Kula has maybe one or two desserts, including a Japanese warabimochi; tasty, and certainly unique.  Both are tapas style sushi (not sure if that word can actually be applied to this type of cuisine).  Everything at Kula is $2 whereas Kura has varying prices depending on which item you select.  I went with different family members to both places (four people) and the final tab came out to be the same.

Best two items at Kula: spicy tuna crunchy roll (pictured) and the shrimp tempura hand roll.

Both places offered toro (fatty tuna) but Kula's definitely tasted more fresh - I gave it a couple tries so I'm not really that biased!  Kula also has tastier wasabi that doesn't come from a tube or jar.  The interior has a more modern feel to it, and turnaround rate is pretty quick (so I hear, I'm always there too long to say hah)

So if you want better, fresher tasting sushi I'd recommend Kula in Diamond Jamboree.  If you're out for the full fanfare from beginning to end and can make it at first opening, Kura is your place (slightly larger venue as well).

<3 tempura fried ice cream and pound cake!


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