Sunday, January 15, 2017

Kula--Laguna Hills

With Kula having prohibitively long lines in the Bay Area, we jumped at the chance to try one in Laguna Hills, where there was no line at 11:30 am on a weekday.

Each item on the belt is $2.25. Plates are returned in the slot at the bottom of this photo.

The novelty of having all food--even those ordered off a menu--delivered by conveyor belt was fun for all of us. However, the quality of the sushi, perhaps because it's sitting on a belt for such a long time, is below average.

You can also order food from a touch screen tablet at your table and the dish will arrive on a separate conveyor belt. There are two levels: Guests can choose standard sushi dishes from the lower belt (kind of like baggage at the airport) and the upper is dedicated to delivering ordered dishes to a specific table. This upper belt is controlled, in conjunction with sensors at each table, to assure the dish stops at the right spot. It's pretty slick. Below, my son's grabbing a dish we ordered from that upper belt.

What really motivates the kids, though, are the cartoons and prizes. Every five dishes gets you a silly animated short on the monitor and, for every fifteenth, a ball rolls down from a dispenser to your table. Inside the red ball is a knick-knack (like a tiny Post-It note pad you'll lose in a day or two).

Did we have a great time? Are we glad we went? Yes and yes. However, the quality of the sushi was the lowest of the half dozen or so restaurants we tried during our recent trip to southern California. Some restaurant try to get you to buy more sushi by selling you good food at a value. Some use gimicks. Kula is in the category of the latter.