I'm guessing the inventor of the sushi conveyor belt doesn't get mentioned in the same sentence as Thomas Edison too often, but, in today's high tech environment, the sight of raw fish rolling by is an ingenious marketing tool. If I gave my kids a choice of eating at the best sushi restaurant in all of Oregon or the one in town with the conveyor belt, the decision for them is easy. The restaurant with the conveyor belt. Sushi Kyo is a small Japanese restaurant in a newer building near the Winco on Lancaster. Eating there, in an assembly line situation might remind you of the classic scene in I love Lucy where Lucy is trying to wrap the chocolates coming out from the kitchen.(see video below) At Sushi Kyo, you don't have to eat everything that is passing by your table. Just be patient. If the item you like passes by, there is sure to be another one coming soon. On this visit, the restaurant was fairly busy with almost every table and stool filled with customers. Some of those restaurant patrons gave me odd looks as I held out my point and shoot camera to take a video of the entree stream quietly selling themselves as they passed by our table. The video is the best way show how the system works. Each item is priced based on the color of the plate the food is on. For instance a red plate is $1.25, the cheapest item, and the blue plate is $2.35, the most expensive. Here's a link to their menu. The roll pictured here with the avocado is a Caterpillar Roll. The one below is called Lchi Shrimp. It's nowhere near the best sushi I've ever eaten but it's reasonably priced and the conveyor belt novelty brings big smiles to the faces of my children. It's fun to see them learn about making decisions on the spot about what they want to eat. Occasionally a slice of chocolate cake would roll by and the kids would get excited. We promised they could have a slice at the end of the meal. My son is very picky and raw fish is nowhere near a possibility with him. Instead he had four plates of Cucumber Salad and a bowl of miso soup. My daughter, who has a more adventurous appetite, went for the California Rolls and Edamame. The conveyor belt is such an attraction in the dining room, that I had to look up and around to get a sense of the whole atmosphere. Up on the wall, hanging like framed art, is the pricing menu for the plates. Music was playing quietly in the background and a low murmur of conversations gave some energy to the ambiance. The service was very good until the end of the meal when we were waiting for someone to bring the check. It got me thinking about what other sorts of ways could food be delivered to a table. How about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich restaurant where the food comes up out of an elevator in the center of the table. Maybe a pizza parlor where the slices are dropped down from a minature remote control blimp flying a circular path overhead. Robots, R2D2 like droids on a random path like the Roomba vacuum cleaner bumping around the dining room serving appetizers. Just some thoughts. What do you think.
Labels: Sushi Kyo