When it comes to “All You Can Eat” (AYCE) sushi, you need to be mindful of quality. You can decide on whether you want to consume filler ingredients or stick with choices that make your money’s worth (aka the protein). Premium all you can eat sushi restaurants have been appearing all over Los Angeles in recent years. It’s important to do your own research to ensure you’re not paying a premium price for the marketing. If you’re paying a premium price, it better taste better than a non-premium restaurant.
Aikan Sushi is located in Pasadena, within the greater Los Angeles area. Aikan has a diverse menu selection, whether you want to stick with the basics or spend a bit more for the higher-end options. I’ve been to Aikan Sushi twice and always opted for the premium option ($36 per person) for access to salmon toro, yellowtail toro, uni, amaebi, and salmon egg. Aikan also has ramen, udon, and donburi options for those who do not prefer sushi but still want to participate in their party.
If you want to be tactical in AYCE’s, go for the protein. Forget the fillers such as rice, imitation crab, and spicy tuna. Order all of the premium sushi mentioned above during your first round. The unique feature of this restaurant is that there are sashimi options. You can order the seared tuna, salmon, yellowtail, albacore, spicy albacore, and tuna sashimi plates as much as you want during your stay. My favorites are the salmon and yellowtail sashimi.
If you want to add some rice to your order, there are plenty of nigiri options to choose from. It’s important to understand what you’re ordering because the last thing you want is to be bamboozled. I still remembered the time I ordered a crab roll at a different restaurant thinking it would come with real crab meat. To my disappointment, it was an imitation crab roll. If you want my honest opinion, Sugarfish never lets me down when it comes to real crab rolls. Pictures from Yelp will be your best friend.
In all honesty, the rolls were a bit of a disappointment. I thought the sashimi roll would be delicious but the chefs stuffed it with a ridiculous ratio of imitation crab and spicy tuna. You live and you learn! For an AYCE, you can’t expect the finest quality of fish, but Aikan would still be my go-to spot for AYCE sushi. This isn’t all you can eat Sugarfish. I didn’t feel complete eating the uni and amaebi nigiri. I felt enough, and that was enough for me at an AYCE. The tail of the amaebi was a bit oxidized, which doesn’t mean it was spoiled. It doesn’t look as appealing to the eyes. However, the rice to fish ratio in the nigiri is reasonable.
I would still visit Aikan again for occasions. If you ever visit, make sure to bring your appetite!
Aikan Sushi & Ramen
735 East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101