February 15th, 2003

barometric waffle linguists (pic by me)

LOVE! ... the sushi!

The guys and I went out for dinner at a Sacramento restaurant today. It had nothing to do with Saint V.'s Day; we usually go out to eat on Fridays. The holiday did make a difference, though -- Genghis Kitchen was packed with over thirty people, easily three times more than I've ever seen in the restaurant at once.

Now, this particular restaurant has a special place in my heart. Why, you ask? It's an Oriental all-you-can-eat buffet with a food counter a mile wide. They provide a passable full-service Mongolian grill, excellent Chinese -- and good sushi. Let me make sure that got through: "Sushi," as in the typically pricey Japanese cuisine often featuring raw fish; "good," as in something that I would repeatedly eat even if I were paying the prices one expects to pay for sushi; and "and," as in "as if the rest weren't enough."

What absolutely blows my mind every time I visit the restaurant is this: Flat rate. Nine dollars dinner. Six dollars (still all-you-can-eat) lunch. Did I mention they have a sushi bar? Did I mention all you can eat?

This is not "a few pieces of crap sushi occasionally placed alongside their usual fare" sushi bar. This is "continually replenished, fresh-made, twenty-items-deep variety" sushi bar. It is, in short, in the same ballpark as restaurants such as Todai. But with prices as low as six dollars a head.

Despite this, the restaurant refuses to go under. It existence has been confirmed for at least three years now by kaijima, krasnayath and alynna, who used to live about 200 feet from its door. Genghis did change hands some time back -- and not only did they continue the impossibly generous all-you-can-eat sushi policy, they expanded the selection.

This aberration of common sense has been on my mind for several months now; and since I've actually got a paid account (thanks soreth!), I'd like to ask your opinion on the matter.

Poll #102778 Six-dollar Sushi

What is the single most likely explanation for Genghis Kitchen's continued success?

They negotiated a 50-year fixed-price deal in 1954 and are still paying ten cents a pound for fresh fish.
They're a Yakuza money-laundering front, selling at a loss to "cook the books."
An old, wealthy otaku with a warped sense of humor left a "Brewster's Millions"esque will.
It's a university-funded sociological experiment on how people react to deals too good to be true.
Step 1: Ninjas. Step 2: ... ... Step 3: Profit!
I refuse to believe in $6 all-you-can-eat sushi. I want photographic proof!
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