“This Used to be a Great Place ... Unfortunately, No Longer”
I have been going to California Rollin's two locations for many years now - at least 7 or 8 years. I used to love going, especially to the Village Gate location. I should take another full point off in this review because of the travesty of losing what once was - but I will hold back the emotions of nostalgia and rate this for what it is. It was never traditional sushi but it once had a cool vibe and it was once fun. Then came the groupon deals. Since this restaurant now perennially uses groupon to sell for customers, but has NOT hired enough staff or chefs to keep up with the inevitable onslaught of diners there to use them, the chefs are way overworked, the waitresses are overworked, tired and unable to keep up and everyone has an angry attitude after the ridiculous long wait time to get in and then the very long wait time to get served and for food to come, drinks to be replenished etc. The sushi rolls are also now entirely hit or miss. I have had some good sushi and rolls the past two years ... but also some dinners which were just barely okay. For Japanese food it should be ... well, it should be wonderful. The management of this establishment has clearly decided to fill the place using the gimmick of coupons (actually not "filled" - I have been here and had to wait inexorable amounts of time just to get in when there are plenty of tables - because the staff is holding people back because they can't service them). The quality of food and the overall experience has greatly suffered. Because of past fun times here with good sushi, I kept coming back hoping to recreate the past magic. Each time we came back the times in between were longer and longer. The food quality suffered. I had to cajole my girlfriend to even go. My older children gave up on this place long ago. I am now at the point where the scary wait times followed by the prospect of hit or miss sushi and rolls are simply not worth it. Add to it all the overall usual sad demeanor inside because of what everyone has to suffer through to in order to eat and drink. The vibe is now heavy and has even felt sometimes like one of almost despair. The waitresses can be surly. This place lost a good customer in me and my family. And others I know who have sworn off California Rollin. My guess is a lot of others will not come back. So for the short term the owner will make his cash registers ring with groupon coupons and an understaffed restaurant but ultimately this is a failure strategy for a restaurant in a non-tourist based city. You can forgive Venice for its lousy food because otherwise it is a artistic and beautiful delight - but not Rochester. There are way many and much better sushi restaurants than what California Rollin is now. Want real sushi and sashimi the way it should be prepared and served? Go to Shiki Japanese on Clinton. One final comment - the good places don't need groupon coupons.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
June 9, 2013
ya no one gose there because its to
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