Lan Sheng: Sichuan in Wallington, NJ
Piccolo's Gastronomia Italian and H&Y Korean market: Ridgefield, NJ

Sushi X: Ridgewood, NJ

AYCE. Every time I see that acronym, it takes me a second to figure out what it means. I suppose this is because "all you can eat" really doesn't register to me as being a thing. If I ate all I could eat, I'd be even fatter. This would not be preferable.

Sushi X has an à la carte menu as well, but I suspect its biggest trade comes from folks looking for the AYCE option.

For some reason I stopped in for a weekday lunch. I suppose to sate my curiosity.

I was the only person in the place, other than the two young girls manning the host station and playing on their phones (my lunch was filled with various sounds of texts and emails).  I was seated and presented with a piece of paper containing a list of items for the AYCE option, and a pencil. Just like in the old days, you mark off what you want, and the server takes your list away and returns with the food you marked off. I like that, in a "go forth, young servant, and fetch me" sort of way. Very efficient.


I started with a salad because, as noted above, I'm fat. Bare-bones, and nothing exceptional. Just some iceberg lettuce. The dressing was a reasonably fine version of the carrot ginger dressing you'll usually find at Japanese restaurants.


The gyoza was up next. Truth is, I only ordered this to reinforce the fact that the gyoza I recently had at Ramen Sora in Vegas is exceptional. That fact was quickly reinforced. This type of gyoza is the reason I very rarely order gyoza. After my meal at Ramen Sora, I don't think I'll ever order gyoza again, unless it's exceptional.


The sashimi options seemed limited (no tuna, for example), and I suppose that's directly due to the cost of certain items. I ordered a couple pieces of sushi, just to get a feel for what their unadulterated fish would be like. Very thin slices of fish over unexceptional, cold rice. Hardly worth the calories from the rice.


The rolls fared much better.

Spicy tuna hand rolls are essentially like candy to me. Japanese fast food. Almost never exceptional but almost always satisfying. This certainly wasn't the worst spicy tuna hand roll I've ever had, but it definitely was not the best. It existed. It tasted fine. It was eaten, other than the very bottom, where it turned into a rice roach. "Roach," as in the end of a joint. "Joint," as in "reefer." (I'm not sure how old you people are, so I tried to cover a few generations of vernacular there). That is to say, it turned into just rice and nori.

The cut roll was surprisingly well-balanced. Not too much rice at all. It didn't have the thickest pieces of fish for sure, but it actually worked out pretty well.

For the $20 or so that the AYCE cost, I could have done much better at Sakura Bana up the block. Better fish. Better restaurant overall.  That said, I can see how Sushi X could appeal to less discerning diners, or those who just want to have a bunch of food and aren't all that concerned with overall quality for that particular meal. If I was concerned with cost, I might have no problem getting together with friends with a few bottles of wine, ordering a mess of rolls, and making a night of it. But I won't be going back for another lonely, boozeless lunch.

Sushi X : 23 Chestnut Street : Ridgewood, NJ : 201.689.7878 : BYO