Sunday, April 08, 2007


Phew, this blogging thing can be difficult with not much time to do it!

Sushi is one of my favorite things, and yesterday Jim and another friend of ours went all the way out to the mall-filled city of West Covina (about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, 50 miles west of where I'm staying), in LA County.

Why go to this place? One word: O-nami.

Okay, so what is an O-nami? Well, it's the name of a restaurant chain in SoCal that offers a massive sushi buffet. An all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. Now I know what you're thinking: sushi and all-you-can-eat are two words that do not belong together. Normally, you'd be right. But I have eaten here several times in the past and never gotten sick. Still didn't get sick this time either.

It is more than a sushi buffet. They are sadly lacking on sashimi, but just remove the rice and voila! Instant sashimi! They have so many other offerings, too, and not all of them are Japanese. Just to list:

  • Caesar salad, and several other salads
  • kimchee
  • bulgogi (a Korean beef dish)
  • assorted tempura
  • udon noodles
  • fettucine alfredo
  • steamed and stuffed mussels
  • orange chicken
  • sweet and sour chicken
  • teriyaki and sukiyaki
  • miso soup and clam chowder
I usually get a little of everything, though I got less yesterday than I usually do. Also could not help trying the desserts out. They are arranged in little petit fours-sized bites (about 1 square inch of cake), so you can try lots of them without feeling that guilty - you could even pick up each piece easily with chopsticks, if they didn't fall apart first. I had carrot cake, mocha cake, mango mousse, green tea cake, etc. Oh, and a teensy dollop of green tea ice cream.

I hate to admit this, though, but it seems that I've had better sushi lately than O-nami gave me. What do you expect from a buffet, after all? But most of the sushi restaurants in Baltimore have given me higher quality sushi and sashimi, though less variety. Maybe the closest in terms of sheer at-your-fingertips variety in our area is the Kyodai Rotating Sushi Bar, in Towson. This is the place where you take plates off a neverending conveyor belt and pay based on the price of the plate. It gets mighty expensive, less so than O-nami ($15 per person for lunch before drinks - I had a large carafe of hot sake for $5). But I will always like O-nami. It's very easy to eat well - too well, in fact. My stomach usually hurts when I leave, due specifically to how much I eat.