Blue C Sushi: Edible Locomotive Entertainment

Are drink specials worth banishment from the conveyor belt?

Where sushi-go-rounds are concerned, there are two major camps: those who loathe the idea of their spicy tuna roll circling the room a few times before hitting their stomachs, or those who, like me, pick Blue C Sushi precisely because it offers edible locomotive entertainment. I also like Blue C because it’s usually fast, like the sushi-go-rounds in Japan. But even with plates named after Tokyo’s subway lines and images of Shinjuku Station playing nonstop on two huge video screens, Blue C isn’t completely gunning for a Tokyo state of mind. Unlike Japan’s universally naked, nameless offerings, Blue C’s sushi is covered with excessively wasteful (and probably mandatory) plastic domes and identification labels. But still, the conveyor belt is a snazzy contraption—I can’t think of another reason I’d venture to U Village for dinner. And at happy hour (4–6 p.m. weekdays), buying a pint of Sapporo ($2.75, all beer $1 off), a well drink ($3.50), or a house cocktail like my supersweet Mandarin Cooler ($5) gets you 15 percent off your food bill. But here’s the rub: Happy-hour prices only apply if you’re sitting in the bar, where you have to order the same sushi you’ll find going round 10 feet away from you, putting you at the mercy of a very busy—and forgetful—bartender. The tempura comes hot and fresh from the Fryolator, but otherwise, being trapped at the bar is only good news for people with conveyor-belt phobias or lots of time on their hands. I think I’ll go back to paying full price for a seat next to the action, right there between the toddlers and the college kids, and skip the weak pink drinks entirely. 4601 26th Ave. N.E., 525-4601, UNIVERSITY VILLAGE