Dining Out review: GoGo Sushi
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Where: 8605 N.E. Highway 99, Vancouver.
Health score: GoGo Sushi has received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled for a routine inspection in the near future. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.
Why: Clark County sushi options have expanded once again with the opening of GoGo Sushi on Highway 99 in Hazel Dell. The conveyor belt sushi restaurant is a quick, convenient stop. With plates as cheap as $1.29, you can sample a variety of flavors and get out the door in less than 20 minutes for $20.
What I tried: I tried the baked mushrooms, curry ramen, the Alaskan roll (avocado, salmon, crab salad and cucumber), the Coast to Coast roll (cucumber, tuna, crab salad and salmon drizzled with a mildly spicy mayonnaise mixture), the Tuna Fever roll (crab salad, cucumber and spicy tuna drizzled with a sweet, spicy chili sauce), the Oregon roll (smoked salmon, crab salad and cucumber), the California roll (cucumber, crab salad, avocado and masago), as well as tako and tuna.
The highlights of my meal were the Tuna Fever roll, with its sweet and spicy topping and the Alaskan roll, with salmon and tuna on top paired with fresh avocado.
I was not too fond of the mayonnaise mixture on the Coast to Coast roll — it was slightly warm and, in my opinion, did not add an appetizing quality to the roll. I always enjoy the simple California roll. GoGo prepares this roll with masago on top, which kicks it up a notch.
I found the smoked salmon in the Oregon roll dominated the other ingredients.
The curry ramen consisted of a generous bowl of ramen noodles and a bit of cabbage and carrots. It had all the characteristics of Top Ramen with its distinct chicken flavor packet. It was obvious yellow curry was present because of the color and slight curry flavor. In spite of the quick ramen character, it did have a comfort food quality on the cold evening I visited.
Between the tako and tuna, my favorite was the tuna with its delicious, light flavor and velvety texture. The tako was good but it was a little tougher than usual.
The baked mushrooms were disappointing. They consisted of small mushrooms filled with imitation crab (pollock — the same as is used in “krab salad”) and topped with mayonnaise sauce and a few pieces of green onion. They were hot but lacked any golden-baked quality. Each mushroom sat in a puddle of water that had drained from the mushroom as it heated. I did not find the recipe appetizing by any stretch, and it was not helped by the water present in and under the mushrooms.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Caterpillar roll is made with eel, avocado, crab salad and cucumber. The Shrimp Lover roll contains crab salad, cucumber and shrimp tempura. The asparagus roll and Super Veggie roll are among the vegetarian options. Baked mussels and crisp fried calamari are on the menu. Any of the rolls can be made into hand rolls on request.
Nigiri options include tuna, squid, mackerel, surf clam, yellowtail, freshwater eel, snapper, albacore and seared salmon.
Hot items include ramen, katsu, don, yakisoba, chicken teriyaki, tempura and beef sukiyaki. A crab salad and a tuna salad are available, along with several tofu options. Tea, soft drinks, juice, ramune, domestic beer, microbrews and imported beer as well as sake round out beverages.
Atmosphere: Green and red walls paired with a stained concrete floor and accented by copper light fixtures and black furniture with a splash of natural pine at the entry create a richly colored environment. The belt-driven sushi rotates on two tracks around a low bar; booths provide seating for larger groups on one side, and chairs wrap around the remaining two sides for individual seating. Walls are void of decor, leaving the focus on the center of the space where sushi rolls are prepared and sushi selections travel by diners. Hot items, which are ordered, are prepared in the kitchen at the back of the restaurant and brought to diners at their tables.
Other observations: I found the wait staff very casual and not highly attentive. After sufficient time had passed, I had to inquire about the whereabouts of the hot items that I ordered, which prompted the waitress to retrieve them from the kitchen. The rolls were a bit loose in their construction and did not hold together as well as most I have tried elsewhere. Food quality, prices and service are well matched. The atmosphere was comfortable and well suited for the style of the restaurant.
Cost: Yellow plates are $1.39. Sushi rolls and appetizers cost $1.89. Nigiri is $1.39 to $1.89 (most are 2-piece). Hot dishes cost $6 to $8. Beverages are $1.39 to $2.75. Beer and sake is $3 to $7.