SUSHI D (671 College, at Beatrice, 416-536-8328) Complete meals for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a tea. Average main $8. Open Monday to Thursday 5 pm to midnight, Friday and Saturday noon to 1 am, Sunday noon to midnight. Licensed. Access: barrier free. Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
If Sushi D is any indication, all- you-can-eat should remain the format of deep-fried seafood chains and suburban pizza ranches, because the results at this Little Italy rollatorium are less than persuasive.
The essential flaw with Sushi D's sushi is the sushi, as in the actual sushi rice. Sushi rice is like what you have sex on. All that raw action is going to be greatly inhibited by a sticky or structurally unsound bed, especially if we're talking about all-you-can-eat (sushi, that is).
Because no glutton could refuse, we decide to try the unlimited AYCE option ($18.99 per person weekdays, $20.99 weekends). There's also an all-you-can-eat for $12.99, with fewer options.
Rice problems immediately become apparent with the eight spider rolls, whose small amount of soft-shell crab is obscured by the mushy, pasty grains. Same with the six tempura rolls, whose shrimp are muffled like small people in very big sleeping bags.
In the rolls the rice clumps, but positioned beneath the grilled eel it's haphazardly shaped and falls apart with little provocation. The six spicy white tuna rolls manage to rise above blandness because of their slices of jalapeño.
Rice-free items work a little better. Rock shrimp are perfectly fried in a delicate batter, their aíoli-style dressing lending richness and flavour. Equally deft are the gyoza, served simply with rice wine vinegar.
The six beef negimaki rolls, with their stringy beef and remarkably bland scallion strips, are less successful. Finally, when we look at the part of the report card that rates the quality of the fish, judging by the maguro, Sushi D manages only a D in sushi.