It almost doesn’t matter that Kura is serving sushi far better than the tuna rolls you settle for at the supermarket and more varied than you find at your typical neighborhood spot. The real attraction is its unwavering commitment to computerized, tech-centric shtick.
This single Chicago-area branch of a Japanese chain serves kaiten sushi, whereby plates of sushi under plastic domes pass by your seat on a conveyor belt. If it looks good, grab it, eat it, and dispose of the plate in a slot where it will be counted toward your bill. High-quality yellowtail and salmon daubed in “umami oil” roll by alongside rainbow and crunchy rolls as well as desserts and appetizers. The Japanese fried chicken? Not hot enough, but not bad.
Kura goes high-tech with a touchscreen and a second conveyor belt that zooms to you any item you select from the menu. The premium choices mostly deliver. My salmon skin hand roll featured crisp nori, ripe avocado, and, alas, tempura-fried strips of skin as tough as rawhide. The toro (tuna belly), while sliced unusually thin, was as lush and buttery as I could want. And because it was my fifth plate, the touchscreen erupted with a hilarious anime prize. Count me on Team Shtick.