Kappa Japanese Restaurant
Kappa Japanese Restaurant on Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola is doing something other restaurants have tried and failed; all you can eat sushi. I guess I'm too used to paying upwards of $10 for a single roll to believe the quality is good and consistent in an all you can eat place. After reading several reviews - good and bad - on Urbanspoon, I decided to take a chance and give it a go.
My brother and I arrived around 11:30 on a Friday morning. I was starving. By this time, I've been awake for about 16 hours with a single meal. I was super surprised when we sat down. I was expecting about 10 puny rolls on the menu, but boy was I wrong. The lunch menu is massive. There's soups, salads, appetizers, hibachi items, nigiri and sushi rolls available for all you can eat.
I just couldn't resist ordering something other than sushi. I tried the gyoza (fried) and the edamame. It's really hard to mess up edamame; boil, toss in salt and serve. These could use just a bit more salt but still good. The gyoza was just ok but I wouldn't order it again. I was more interested in the portion sizes than the food itself. These were very small plates; no more than 4 inches in diameter. I think they're called bread and butter plates. I'm sure that this is one way the restaurant make sure people would be able to eat all they order.
We ordered a number of items from the nigiri and chef special rolls portions of the menu Yes, those rolls that usually cost upward of $10 were on the all you can eat menu. The rolls comes 4 to an order and the nigiri two to an order. These were quality rolls. Just because it was an "all you can eat" didn't mean the sushi chefs skimped on the goods. I really thought it would be very thinly cut fish and light on the more expensive ingredients but it wasn't. Many of the rolls was stuffed full with fish instead of fillers. I also like that there was a selection of cooked sushi as well as raw. The masago (fish eggs) nigiri was piled high with masago instead of just a thin sliver. There were some aspects I thought Kappa could improve upon. For instance, the rice on several of the rolls was cold; making the roll overall too cool. I also thought the distribution of sauce could be better. It wasn't balanced so each bite was slightly different than the one before. Both of these issues are petty considering what you're paying. I also made sure to order extra several times. It was the same rolls that I got the first time around but I wanted to see if the quality dipped. I was surprised that I got exactly the same product (good or bad) that I got the first time around.
The food was very timely. The appetizers were quick to arrive at our table after I ordered. The first round did take a little time but we ordered a lot of different items. There are three sushi chefs and I'm sure there was a lot of orders to fill. The second and third rounds of orders were also quick to arrive. The waitress was very friendly and attentive. Kappa is also huge with plenty of room for big parties. There's several dining areas that could easily be another restaurant so no worries if you're bringing a crowd. Kappa does not have a website so I snagged a lunch order sheet so folks can get an idea of the $11.99 all you can eat lunch menu. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge. SN: the menu says the all you can eat is available Monday through Thursday but I went on a Friday and was given this menu as well.