Sunday, July 27, 2014

"All You Can Eat" Special at Sushi One Spot

Sushi One Spot of Rancho Cucamonga is indeed the only spot you need to hit if you want to satisfy some sushi cravings…and with an all-you-can-eat price of $23.95 daily (except during lunch Monday through Friday, when that price drops to $19.95), it’s tough to beat.

At Sushi One Spot, the “All You Can Eat” includes the rolls and unique items on the “Specials” side of the menu, as well as uni and halibut sushi (the latter two may only be ordered one time per customer, and only during dinnertime, should you choose the all-you-can-eat option).

I am usually skeptical of sushi bars that offer an all-you-can-stuff-in-your-face-in-one-hour package. Generally speaking, something’s usually amiss at places that prompt you to pig out at a discount. Perhaps the quality just isn’t there; perhaps the sushi rice isn’t properly seasoned; or maybe the chefs serve rice-heavy sushi rolls so that you load up on carbs instead of fish.

Sometimes, all-you-can-eat sushi joints serve rather ordinary rolls and just list them as special rolls on the menu, then everything arrives drowning in eel sauce and spicy mayonnaise, under an avalanche of deep-fried bits of tempura flakes or stuffed with too much cucumber. Patrons that frequent these types of places, then, tend to be those who are overly concerned with “getting a good deal” and mighty portions, rather than diners who actually care about taste and standards.

For dinner one night at Sushi One Spot, I decided on the “All You Can Eat” deal not just because two of the special rolls that appealed to me on the menu—the Foothill Roll and Ocean Blue Roll—would have cost $13.95 each a la carte; but for a restaurant that just opened three months ago, Sushi One Spot appeared spotless: an extensive, gleaming sushi bar with multiple chefs bellowing their greetings and eager to serve; an energy thrummed, and the place, already popular, was duly packed. The service here is also impeccable; the waiters cater nonstop without being pesky, as they briskly breeze past carrying platters of such whimsical-looking creations that you can’t help but inquire. “Oh, that’s the John,” one server replied when I asked about the plate of deep-fried wonton skins topped with a medley of chopped fish and white onions. (This four-piece item on the “Specials” side of the menu, known as “John,” is $8.95 a la carte.)

As loyal Yelp fans might have noticed, at least during the grand opening of this restaurant, there was much fanfare—perhaps they no longer had the dry ice that was served with salmon sashimi for one foggy effect, but they still had some pretty ornamental platters that I’d seen online. I requested, for presentation’s sake, that my Foothill Roll be served on a glittery hot pink butterfly-shaped plate, and so it arrived that way, the green of the wasabi tobiko on jalapeno slices and red dollops of Sriracha hot sauce contrasting nicely against the fuchsia hue. Inside this roll sits quite an interesting mix of ingredients: perhaps imitation crab may sound ordinary, but pairing imitation crab with cilantro, cream cheese and yellowtail certain makes things more interesting.

Then there was the Ocean Blue Roll, which I requested because I’ve never seen a spicy tuna and yamagobo roll that gets topped with slices of octopus and jalapeno, as well as slices of lemon (rind and all, for that extra zest).

The chef even suggested he could serve me half a roll (four pieces instead of eight) so that I could taste even more varieties without getting too stuffed to keep ordering. And so I had four pieces of a house favorite, the “One Spot” Roll—a combination of tuna, white tuna and salmon, wrapped in soy paper and avocado and then served with chili oil, ponzu sauce, masago and green onions. The halibut sushi was delightful with the garlic ponzu sauce I requested, as was the order of yellowtail belly sushi, which the chef chose to serve with a tasty mixture of soy sauce, chili oil, lemon juice and real wasabi.

For those who want the basic rolls and nigiri, look to the back of the menu and you'll find the standard rolls, such as the Philadelphia, Caterpillar, and Rainbow. (Sushi One Spot does introduce something they call the Canadian Roll on this list, which is simply a roll with salmon, avocado and cucumber.) Choose from nigiri ranging from ono to sweet shrimp. Appetizers, also included in the "All You Can Eat," can vary from gyozas to takoyaki.

The sushi rice here is excellent, the fish fresh and the creativity spectacular; I was almost shocked that such upscale fare could be served at such a nominal price.

The “All You Can Eat” lunch price of $19.95 is honored Mondays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. All day on Saturdays and Sundays, and during dinnertime on weekdays, the “All You Can Eat” deal is currently $23.95. Children under the age of 7 may eat for $14.95.

Sushi One Spot
10990 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga

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