Kirbie's Cravings

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar soft opened its San Diego location last week.  Kula has several locations in LA, but according to Eater, this is the first US location to have the multi-tiered technology of the Japanese branches.

I’ve been so excited for this one. I love the concept of conveyor belt sushi and visited the Kula location in Irvine years ago. But the San Diego one is so much more impressive!

In addition to the constantly moving conveyor belt carrying plates of sushi, the San Diego branch also features a second tier belt where food you order from a touch screen is automatically delivered right to you. When your order is ready, you get a little bell notification and then a cheerful Japanese voice speaks and your food comes whooshing your way and promptly stops right in front of you. It all happens so fast that it seems like magic.

There is also a chute at each table for you to dispose of your empty plates and it then counts your plates for you, which you can keep track of through the touch screen. After every 5 plates, your screen will play a little video. When you reach 15 plates, you get a prize from the bikkura-pon game stationed above the touch screen.

The menu selection is very large, with close to 100 options. All regular plates have a flat $2.25 price. Then there are additional side items you can order from the touch screen, which are priced between $2-$5.

When you first sit down, they explain how everything works, and most importantly, teach you how to remove the plates from the conveyor belt without contaminating the system. They named their protective covers “Mr. Fresh.” Food is protected from germs as it moves its way across the restaurant and you are taught to grab the plate safely out from the opening.

$2.25 is very reasonable for the quality of the fish we were served. And though it doesn’t seem like much, the plates did add up fast. It’s hard not to overindulge when you see them constantly passing you by and plus you want to win a prize!

I’m not going to describe each and every plate we ordered because we enjoyed them all. There is a big range of rolls, nigiri, and even some seared beef to choose from. We mainly stuck to the nigiri.

From the side dishes, we tried the udon and ice cream mochi.

While I was really impressed with the way the udon was able to almost magically appear before me without issue, I didn’t quite care for the actual dish itself. The noodles were a little overcooked.

And of course we couldn’t leave without dessert. We chose the mango green tea mochi combination. I actually thought from the photo that this was a combination of mango ice cream mochi and green tea ice cream mochi, but it turns out it’s mango ice cream mochi with a side of green tea ice cream. No matter as I really enjoyed the ice cream.

I was so excited we got a prize that I forgot to take a picture of it until we got home later.

It’s quite cute. The little souvenir is a replica of the sushi plates and Mr. Fresh system at Kula. They have 5 different ones. Now I need to collect them all!

Overall, we had a really fun time here and I can’t wait to return. Mr. K had never been very impressed with the Irvine one, but he enjoyed his experience here too.

Tip: This plaza has become quite crowded so make sure you account for parking time in your schedule. We ended up parking several blocks away. The restaurant was also packed on a Sunday. There are only 15 tables and 16 bar seats I believe. I’d recommend coming before they open or during off peak hours. Currently, they are open daily from 11:30 AM- 9:00 PM.

For another fun read, check out Faye’s experience here. Read about our experiencing dining at another sushi conveyer belt restaurant, Mikami Revolving Sushi Bar.


Kula Revolving Sushi Bar
4609 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

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18 comments on “Kula Revolving Sushi Bar”

  1. Oh man that little prize is so adorable! I want one! And I want to eat all of the shrimp dishes I spied on the menu. I wish there was more parking on Convoy. Sigh. 

    • Mr. K has been talking about going back since the day after we went! I want to try some of the rolls, and a few other items I didn’t have room for last time. But yeah, parking is such a pain!

  2. I’m so excited for this! I’ll have to go next time I visit SD. Whenever I visited Japan, the system Kula uses was so exciting but I was a tad disappointed when the Kula’s that were made here just had the belts and nothing else:( 

    • I’m so surprised that SD has one with so much tech! But definitely feeling so excited about it. It’s hard to find Japanese spots here in the US that even remotely resemble what is in Japan

  3. I’m glad you got a prize! I so want to come back as the salmon belly and scallop nigiri were my favorite items  . But the parking and line to get in seems to just get worse. 

    • yes the parking sucks =( but I already want to come back too. I loved the scallop. Mr. K loved the white albacore. There’s also a few others I want to try that I didnt have room for on this first time around

  4. Great use of technology with the two tiers of conveyor belts and Mr. Fresh! I liked how both you and Faye put videos in your posts. TC saw them and totally wants to go here while I am a bit more reluctant only because of the yucky parking and crowds.   Yay, you got the little prize too! 🙂

    • I really felt like a video was necessary to convey the coolness of the new system. it’s hard to show it with just pics! Yes the parking is really really bad…But I think TC would have a lot of fun.

  5. I saw the crowds waiting in front of Kula this past weekend, too. I didn’t realize that besides the conveyor belt, that ordering and disposing of the plates was automated. Parking was tough enough, but with Kula and the new Dumpling Inn, it’s going to be impossible. I don’t mind walking, but even street parking is not easy to find.

    • yes, parking is definitely the biggest issue! Having been to the one in Irvine, I was surprised by all the new technology this one has and after more research, I realized SD is the first to have it (which is so rare!) I was super impressed with the set-up here and didn’t run into any issues even though they are still in soft-opening phase.

  6. Whoa, that looks like so much fun!! The conveyor belt is already fun, but throw in technology and prizes and I’m hooked. I gotta try it soon. Great review!

  7. It looks so delicious, make me feel  hungry even I just had my breakfast.
    I wish I can just hop on  the car and drive to the restaurant to try. Too bad
    it is too far away for me. Wish they’ll open a branch in bay area in the near future.

    • I’m sure there is a possibility of them expanding eventually to the Bay Area. Or maybe you can try it next time you are in San Diego!

      • they actually do have one in the bay (near vallco mall in cupertino)! the lines are quite long, but delicious food!

      • yup I’ve seen the one in Cupertino! The San Diego one is a few years old now and I think the Cupertino one opened last year?

  8. I’ve been to sushi places with the computer where you can order your food in Asia and I’ve been waitin for a place like that in the US.

    Now that it’s in San Diego, I’ll have to check it out.

    • I hate how long it takes this kind of stuff to reach the US! it makes me wonder if people who live in Japan get really bored when they visit us. haha! But yes, I’m so excited that San Diego of all places is debuting such fun technology

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