This place is a gem. I almost feel that I shouldn't let people know it's great, so there won't be too many people going there. Cuz I don't want to wait for the seat, dude!
When I got there, I didn't have to wait. I was seated promptly but all the window seats were taken. That's all right. I still had a good time.
Ambiance: The restaurant is clean. It has contemporary decor with warm color scheme. It also has large windows. It's nice to have views. During lunch the lighting is natural light coming through the big windows. I like that, it's not too bright, it's very soothing.
I like the seating arrangement. Big tables and spacious. Other tables are behind you not right next to you, so you have full privacy. Love it!
Service: It's good. They kept pouring tea for you. They came right away when they saw you waving. They checked my order slip to make sure any staffer already took my order when they saw us sitting there without food. It's very attentive. They cleared the plates fast when they saw empty plates. They did their job. I really have nothing to complain.
I read the reviews before I went. I thought I was going to keep egging them on getting all my orders like the previous reviews. I was really expecting that. To my surprise, I didn't have to do that at all. All my orders came and I didn't have to wait too long. Wow! Maybe the manager read the reviews and improved? Or when it gets busy, it takes longer to get the orders so it looks like they don't want to give you, in fact they might be just busy. I guess I will not know because it didn't happen to me yet.
Food: Food is definitely better than those All You Can Eat Restaurants out there. Sashimi and Sushi are fresh enough. Rolls, cones /hand rolls are great too. Salad, hot dishes and cooked dishes are also decent. The taste of food is actually very close to those authentic Japanese restaurants (operated by Japanese owners and staff) offer in California. You know, in Richmond, some Japanese restaurants' food taste like Chinese food? That's not the case in this restaurant, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Lunch menu is limited. So is every All You Can Eat Sushi in the States. So that's not a problem. The question is whether there are good dishes on the lunch menu and they taste good or not. Yes they do have good items on the menu and they are delicious. So it's absolutely worth it.
At Ninkazu, they don't set up buffet table like what they do in the States. They give you a menu and let you order. You know what? For 10 dollars a person, I don't mind at all. In the states, you can't find All You Can Eat Sushi lunch at 10 dollars a person anymore. Definitely not in California. Maybe the menu is bigger in Cali, but it costs more. I really don't eat that much at lunch, it will be a waste for me to pay more for a bigger menu in buffet table setting. This 10 dollar AYCE lunch is just right.
I give it a 5 star based on the great value, some delicious dishes, good service and pleasant setting. I am not going to rate it by comparing to Iron Chef Morimoto or something. Seriously, what can you get for 10 dollars these days when you dine out in a restaurant? You could easily spend 10 bucks in a hole in the wall restaurant for one simple dish with limited amount of meat and one drink and no comfortable seating.