Kid Hit Menu Items: Given that it’s become a standard part of the bourgeois American diet over the past couple of decades, children nowadays tend to have some form of sushi they dig. Most probably massacre their rolls, while other rare types berate anyone who dares submerge his/her nigiri in soy sauce. (Meanwhile, my son takes his soy sauce straight, no chaser.) Along this spectrum, Blue C Sushi, now at the ArcLight complex in Hollywood, is more friendly to the former group. When it comes to conveyor belt sushi, however, I don’t need to go into too much depth when convincing parents of this food service arrangement’s inherent appeal. Don’t like what you see now? Wait all of TWO SECONDS for something else to appear that might be desirable. Wheeeeee! Magic! And all of that. Or pick something else from the other sushi and cooked foods menu.
Adult Perks: Blue C has a sake list and flights, about which I’m too ignorant to weigh in on with any authority, and cocktails that skew slightly undergrad-bad-judgment (who ordered that fourth Cosmo with Blue Curacao?). I will, however, gladly try the shiso mojito on our next visit.
Pros: Damn, I kinda buried the lede. Call it a cheap trick by a business already flogging a questionable pun for a name, but Blue C is based on a SUBWAY THEME. Pricing is color-coded and identified with subway lines. Between this restaurant and Stella Barra, pre- and post-movie family dining has improved if not by leaps and bounds, then by considerably strong strides. For dessert, grab one of those gross-good-in-the-best-way-possible Rice Krispies treat chocolate chip cookies next door. Screen visuals are aplenty, including loads of transpo-related imagery and even, yes, Hello Kitty (see above).
Cons: The menu reads like a hodgepodge of multi-cultural creative license applied to Japanese cuisine, which to us types who went to liberal arts schools in the PC era and/or food purists, has a slight reek of culinary co-option. The concept and customizing philosophy is as aggressively anti-omakase as can be; this fact might be either exciting or vexing, depending on how you might respond to a “Trust Me” sign posted behind a sushi bar. The cost can add up, so if you’re in it exclusively for the novelty factor, then maybe consider one of the other chains that are cheaper (e.g. all dishes $2 each instead of Blue C’s $2.50-$6 range). In the area, Kabuki on Vine will set you back fewer bucks.
Changing Station: Yes, and one of the city’s most exciting bathrooms, if that could be said without sounding sketchy, covered with wallpaper based on the Tokyo subway map, plus recorded sounds from the same source piped in. Only downside: everything in there is automatic, meaning there’s no way my hand dryer- and auto-flushing toilet-phobic son will go near it. (In the years since I started this site, avoiding hand dryers has become MUCH more of a concern than locating changing tables. Some of you readers out there might understand/empathize.)
Parking and Access: The restaurant validates for the massive ArcLight lot.
Other Tidbits: I had never noticed that the words “revolving” and “revolting” share all but one letter until our son picked quite possibly THE WORST sushi restaurant in possibly all of Little Tokyo as his favorite. It pains me to no end that we’ve irrationally waited substantial amounts of time for instant gratification once seated. So when I heard word that a higher quality conveyor belt sushi spot would be coming to Hollywood via Washington State, this was very good news, and along with Stella Barra, is hopefully a business that can make a go of it in what’s proven to be a challenging retail space within an in-demand area. Give it a whirl! (Sorry!)
6374 W. Sunset Blvd. Hollywood
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – midnight.