Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FoodTrek: BlueC Sells Sushi by the BellSquare Mall

I'll be the first to admit, I'm kind of a crappy Asian. I suck at using chopsticks, our household cutback of starches and carbs have limited my rice and noodle intake, and I've never been a big seafood eater. But I make strides where I can -- I'm working on my weirdo seafood pickiness, as there's really no need to eschew the bounty from Neptune's kingdom. An easy way of doing this is to have sushi, and lots of it. Bellevue's Blue C Sushi is up to the task.

At least they were honest and spelled crab with a "k" for their California Rolls - Photo by Wasabi Prime

Blue C is a kaiten style sushi restaurant, serving its bite-sized om-noms on a conveyor belt that roves around the main dining area. This isn't an unusual thing, as there are plenty of kaiten sushi places all over Seattle and the Eastside, but they want to distinguish themselves as serving quality cuts of fish without being unfriendly to one's wallet, which I can appreciate. Their color-coded plates range in price from $1.50-$3 for the warm bright colors, to $3.50-$5.25 for their range of cooler hues. Each plate tends to have two to six pieces of sushi or other items, so going with friends, it makes for easy sharing and a nice way to try something before deciding it's worth a second helping. I have yet to visit them for their happy hour, where they have special prices on drinks and some of their "blue plate" offerings like sashimi, but I'm very keen on returning after work to celebrate their saying of "skip work, eat sushi" on their website. Amen, my Asian bretheren.

All aboard the Blue C Express -- next stop, your belly - Photos by Wasabi Prime

On this lunchtime jaunt, we sampled a wide range of things, both raw and cooked. Even if you're not so much with the appreciation of raw food, they had options like cucumber rolls, vegetable tempura, and pork tonkatsu. Of course the cooked items are often times fried, but it's just one small bite... can't hurt, right? I particularly liked the sake and maguro nigiri (raw salmon and tuna slices on a small wedge of rice); it's a nice clean way of enjoying the fish. I also liked the sashimi style cuts of maguro that were hovering around on the conveyor belt. A little smear of wasabi paste, a bit of pickled ginger, and whooosh go my sinuses into instant clarity. It's funny how eating raw fish can be more appealing than having it cooked for timid seafood eaters like myself. Since the application of heat can bring out the oils within the fish, the raw state keeps the fishiness down to a minimum, and all you should really taste is a kind of cold, freshness of the sea.

There's the added enjoyment of the fact that Blue C has a bit of a sense of humor. They know they're not in Japan, there's no tatami mats or sliding paper screen doors. There's fun urban-inspired artwork on the walls, and in the upstairs lounge area, they have TVs showing insane, disturbing Japanese game shows. This is a place that celebrates Japan in all its delightful weirdness, and that's Banzai-worthy, I think.

They also had desserts -- I saw some lovely creampuffs riding the food train past our table, but I respectfully declined. I know French pastries are incredibly popular in Japan, but I haven't quite bridged the gap between getting a sushi fix and then biting into a custard-filled pastry. I also saw what looked like toys on the conveyor belt. Like if your kid is getting unruly, buy him a pastry and a robot, all in one place.

I like what they're doing at Blue C Sushi -- it's fast, they keep it fresh, and you don't have to spend a small fortune to have a good meal right in the heart of downtown Bellevue. Because it's right by a big multiplex theater, it's an ideal place to eat something somewhat healthy before giving in to the temptation of a bucket of fake butter. I don't think Blue C could keep me from a box of frozen Junior Mints, though...

Sushi makes you giggle like a Japanese school girl. Ribbons mandatory. - Photo from Blue C website

I did have to post a picture from their website. It's funny and I kind of had to wonder if this is what people really think Japan is like, with uptight businessmen and a one-woman Sailor Moon brigade to lighten the mood. Perhaps Blue C Sushi is simply the Japan people wish it could be, with rotating trains of freshly-made food, bizarre game shows, and giggly schoolgirls of questionable legal age. All I know is, I need to go back and get one of those pink eyepatch bunny toys.

* Post-Script - Domo aplenty to Serious Eats' Photograzing for posting the photo of the California Roll on their site!

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  1. Hey schoolgirl, want some candy!? Your sushi looks so tasty.

  2. Yummy! I haven't had sushi in so long. And this place sounds delicious. Too bad I'm far, far away! (Dallas)

  3. The picture and caption at the end of this post are hilarious! The sushi rolls look delicious as well- yummmm. Definitely craving some of those right now!


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