What: The Dragon Roll with the all-you-can-eat sushi at Dragon Sushi
Where: Dragon Sushi, 68369 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; also at 82451 Highway 111, No. 103, Indio
How much: $22.99 for lunch; $27.99 for dinner
Contact: (760) 321-5935; www.facebook.com/pages/Dragon-sushi/194086770616660
Why: A variety of flavors and textures for one fair price.
Nevada may just be the all-you-can-eat (AYCE) sushi capital of the world.
Several recent newspaper articles have confirmed that the cities of Reno and Las Vegas are havens for AYCE sushi; in fact, one of those stories speculated that every sushi joint in Reno offers an AYCE option. These stories throw out a variety of speculative reasons for this, ranging from the need for sushi restaurants to compete with the ample number of all-you-can-eat buffets, to a desire for sushi by cash-strapped college students (and both Reno and Las Vegas are indeed college towns).
I bring this all up for one reason: I, your humble food scribe, grew up in Reno, which means my formative years were spent gobbling up nigiri and various rolls without concern for individual prices. Alas, when it comes to sushi, the Coachella Valley ain’t Reno: Many of the area’s finer sushi joints don’t offer an all-you-can-eat option, meaning that my AYCE-conditioned brain is confused and paranoid about pricing whenever I eat at one of these places.
However, an increasing number of local sushi restaurants are starting to offer AYCE options—such as the relatively new Dragon Sushi in Cathedral City. (The original Dragon Sushi location in Indio does, too.) This somewhat peculiar restaurant—it shares an entrance and space with La Tablita, a Mexican joint—offers a nice variety of appetizers, nigiri and rolls under its AYCE option. During a recent lunch, we sampled a number of goodies, and they were uniformly tasty—but our favorite was the Dragon Roll (what else would it be at a place called Dragon Sushi?), which is basically a California Roll with freshwater eel, eel sauce and crunch thrown in.
It was a great lunch—and my brain was spared confusion and paranoia. Here’s to the continuing spread of the AYCE sushi paradigm!