After Hours: Price is right, sushi is OK at Kappa Sushi
August 14, 2008
MISAWA, Japan — The whole experience felt unlike Misawa.
This was not a quaint sushi joint, where you could watch the chef shape the rice and spread wasabi, while occasionally calling out a special request in your most polite Japanese.
Misawa’s newest sushi restaurant, Kappa Sushi, is commercial and chain.
On a recent Sunday afternoon, two attendants waved orange wands in the parking lot. Inside, conveyor belts busily moved sushi factory-style from the kitchen past rows of booths.
The biggest surprise was the bullet train. Place a special order (in English or Japanese) on the touch screen at your seat, and a few minutes later, a train on a second conveyor belt delivers the goods. For Americans, the direct stop takes the guessing out of which plate is yours.
Now, about the food: Kappa is a trade-off between quality and quantity. The sushi was good, but not as delectable as my neighborhood sushi restaurant.
The selection, however, was much better, with a huge menu of dishes for both finicky and enterprising eaters.
I fell somewhere in the middle, trying some cold eel and fatty salmon sushi, but passing on the fried bean curd and ox tongue.
The salmon was tasty, but I couldn’t quite get past the chewy, slick texture of the eel.
My favorite sushi at Kappa was the rolled tempura shrimp. It tasted California-style, mild with a touch of mayonnaise.
Kappa is a great place for kids. Specially marked plates denote sushi without tongue-tingling wasabi. Hamburger patty with mayonnaise and fried octopus dumpling were big hits with my 4-year-old. The restaurant carries kids’ drinks and, for dessert, pudding, cake and fruit.
Best of all, Kappa presents an opportunity to try something new for cheap. Most plates are 105 yen — about a buck — with generous portions.
Raw octopus and horse mackerel await you at Kappa.
Kappa Sushi, Misawa City, Japan
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Sunday; doors open until 10:30 p.m.
Food: A wide selection of sushi, for adults and children. The English-friendly menu also includes some Japanese soup and noodle dishes, several desserts and fruit. Beer is also available.
Price: Cheap! Most plates are 105 yen; the restaurant accepts only yen, not dollars.
Clientele: Lots of Americans; family-friendly
Location: Head straight out the main gate from Misawa Air Base. Turn right at the second traffic light by city hall; pass through several lights, turning left at the first left-turn signal traffic light. Kappa Sushi is on the left.
Web site:www.kappa-create.co.jp (in Japanese)