Sushi delivered fresh to your table via... conveyor belt? Yes it's exactly what it sounds like, my friends. I guess Sushi Conveyor Belt isn't quite as catchy. I love sushi and the concept is really fun. I usually feel like I'm going to explode when I eat sushi simply because I can't decide on one or two rolls and end up over eating due to my severe sushi FOMO. (Fear Of Missing Out). Since the whole concept of Sushi Train revolves around getting tiny plates of sushi samples I don't have that problem here. Anything I've ever ordered off the menu was fresh. However, I know you're really here for the "train". If you're going to use the train instead of the menu, you probably want to keep your table to 4-6 people. Beyond that, the people at the far end can't see anything as it whizzes by. This takes away from the experience and could cost you a few friendships if you're not careful. Sometimes the sushi on the train isn't very fresh and they seem to have trouble keeping certain rolls stocked. If you see something you like you better grab it fast because dinner will be over before it comes back around. The restaurant is clean and I've always experienced good service. That being said, the sushi isn't outstanding but compared to what usually passes for sushi in Nashville, I definitely recommend stopping by. Be careful though, those little plates add up quickly!
Remember that time you first looked at the massive Princeton Review book of colleges and thought, "There is no way I am ever going to read all this"?That is how I feel whenever I see the Koi sushi menu. Don't get me wrong--I love variety. I especially love variety when it is delicious. However, handed the giant tome that contains the many sushi options (and their pictures), I often find myself giving up after the first five pages. Or worse, I make it all the way to the end, and realize that I have forgotten which item I chose somewhere in the first three pages. Luckily, the search is always worth it, because Koi has some of the best sushi in Nashville. The salmon is fresh, the tempura is light and crispy, and the fruit is ripe. Whatever I end up ordering out of the epic book o' sushi, I am always satisfied by the portion sizes and the taste.Now, part of my satisfaction may stem from the hunger I experience after waiting in the seemingly endless food desert that is the restaurant's dining room. A typical meal here takes about an hour and a half; if you are truly rushing, plan on an hour. Of course, that may not be that bad if you are trying to extend your date.With reasonable prices and great sushi, this is definitely a solid choice for sushi, as long as you are willing to wait for the experience.
Virago has a great vibe, and a fantastic patio overlooking downtown (perfect when you're trying to impress that date with your hip knowledge of Nashville rooftops). The restaurant looks beautiful, and the sushi is just as beautiful. However, as any good fable will warn you, beauty comes at a price. In the case of Virago, that price is...the prices, which are some of the highest I have encountered in Nashville with regard to sushi. The sushi is, to say the least, creative. I ordered the fire crunch roll, which includes tempura crunch, shrimp, spicy mayo, cream cheese, and sriracha. A pretty fantastic combo--who can argue with fish, spice, fat, and carbs? However, the fish was not the freshest-tasting I have ever had; it wasn't not fresh, per se, but it also wasn't FRESH, if you know what I mean. The same applies to my Dynamite roll, which featured spicy tuna, salmon, cucumber, masago, and sesame seeds. Fine, but nothing to brag about. Being a just reviewer, I plan to return and try again, now that I know that Virago has a happy hour on Monday nights where certain rolls are offered at half price. I'll try anything twice.
Remember that game on Pokémon Stadium in which you had to eat sushi off the conveyor belt? The one where I always thought, "Wouldn't it be the coolest if this was an actual thing?"Turns out, that is an actual thing.Sushi Train is definitely an experience that everyone should try once. Sushi goes by your table on a conveyor belt, and it is your task to be attentive and quick enough to grab the good ones as they go by. You are charged based on the number of plates you have at the end of the meal (each color is worth a different amount, going up to $4 for the most expensive--prices are eminently reasonable). Of course, if you are not really a sushi eater, you can always skip the super-fun part of this whole restaurant experience and opt to try hibachi or Chinese food off the more traditional menu instead. Now, while there is something delightful about grabbing sushi off a conveyor belt, the delight tends to fade once the food is motionless in front of you, largely because the sushi is only okay. It has a nice personality, but you wouldn't want to go out with it again.
We were sad to see Lucky Belly go, but were pleased when we looked at the menu of Ru San's and realized they incorporated the Lucky Belly into it. Burgers and spiked milkshakes and Ru San's extensive selection of Japanese standards! When we went, service was slow, which is always a bummer. We were also surprised that they changed the decor and made it just sort of bland. I wouldn't make a special trip here, but if you're in the neighborhood and need a burger or sushi (or both!) this is a great option. Oh, one more thing, they have an upstairs karaoke lounge that you can rent for like $200 in food and drinks. We had a party here when it was Lucky Belly and it was a blast!