My mother's and niece's birthday falls on January 1st. For dinner, they requested that seafood was the main course and so a relative recommended the Fuji Sushi Buffet located in Elk Grove, CA. It was surprising to find that this restaurant was open during a holiday. Even with all the rain, there was no shortage in people already waiting outside. Could it have been because of the holiday or was there a another reason why they were so busy? We'll just have to find out. While the name appears to say it all, there are a few things you'll need to know before visiting this particular seafood buffet.
We were able to get seating for 32. Yes, you read that correctly, 32 people! It helped to get to the restaurant before it opened but I do not recommend going to any restaurant without first calling to make sure you can seat this many people at once. The staff was more than accommodating to get extra seats for our guests who managed to get there late. I cannot recall, however, if there were any high chairs or booster seats for children.
Ok, the place was busy and I mean really busy but where in the heck were the menus? There were none. You could order what ever you wanted - literally! Granted the dish had to be seafood-based but they will fulfill every request you give them. The only downside is that if you have a limited knowledge of seafood dishes then you'll find yourself ordering quite a bit of the same thing - unless you take a moment to ask what your neighbor is eating.
Service and Price
The buffet was traditional in the sense that you were served by a waiter who took your drink requests and removed your plates when you finished. Otherwise, unless you sat at the bar, you would need to walk up to either side of the sushi bar to either: 1) get you food from the revolving sushi boat, or 2) wait in line to order from the order-taker who will expeditiously process your order. Much closer to the entrance was a single aisle buffet counter which held 6 to 8 different kinds of dishes - ones you wouldn't normally order from the chef such as rice, vegetables, deep-fried hard-shell crab, or Chow Mein. The price that day was based on their holiday pricing menu which meant that anyone above 10 years old was charged $16.95. Anyone below that was charged based on a small flat rate and was incrementally charged a $1.00 for every year up until the age of 9.
Suffice it to say how busy it was, my mom really did have a nice time. We weren't rushed from our seats when we finished eating nor did we get any difficulty from taking time to allow my mom to open her birthday gifts. There was a misunderstanding regarding the bill with who was considered an adult or not but that was easily resolved without incident. Overall, I will say that my experience was a 7 out of 10 stars. However, there were three areas that could have pushed my rating higher. First, the entrance doubles as the exit, believe me, once the small bench was taken, at least 20 people found themselves standing in the aisles waiting to be seated. Boy, was that uncomfortable! Second, the line on either side of the seafood bar was a joke. The only things keeping people from bumping into each other was everyone's courtesy. Add a hungry person with a handful of sushi and no room to walk and everything will come tumbling down - this system could benefit from some kind of ticketing system. Third, the lack of menus was really a disappointment but I suppose I can blame that on myself; it would have been nice to know ahead of time so I could have prepared a list of items to order in advance. Oh well, better luck next time!