Today I decided to try out Teriyaki Land on Auburn at Walnut, near Les Schwab. I’ve never thought much of this place, other than being curious that they seem to serve fish & chips in addition to teriyaki and sushi. Like most sushi places, they advertise 50% off all rolls. This is such an annoying gimmick, particularly since nearly everyone uses it.
Being hungry and looking forward to it earlier in the day I popped on Yelp briefly to get an idea of what I was going to see. There aren’t many reviews but it seemed to be a very polarizing place with mostly 5 or 1 star reviews. I skimmed the restaurant info and was taken aback by the ambiance category of “divey”. It makes sense, yet until now I’ve never thought to use that word to describe anything but a bar.
I walked in at 5 and the place was deserted, save for a guy standing outside that followed me in who I was half expecting to ask me for money, but instead he was grabbing his order to go (way to jump-to-judgement, Sean!). A woman was waiting by the counter and greeted me immediately, waiting with a pen and paper to take my order. Felt very much like Anchor’s Fish & Chips so far. I had to go over the menu for a minute or two first. Wanting to sample both sides of the menu, I ordered the Teriyaki Land Special Teriyaki Combo (One choice of teriyaki chicken, beef or pork w/ rice, noodle, salad & soda)[$8.99] and also the Pink Lady roll from the Deep Fried Special Rolls section (d.f., spicy tuna, avocado, crab, tobiko, eel sauce)[
$12.50 $6.25 all rolls are half off, remember?].
I took a seat in the quiet dining room. The woman and, presumably, her husband worked to prepare my order, making the only sound aside from some traffic noise coming in through a propped open side door. There was no music, so I listened to a podcast and snapped a couple photos to pass the 10 minute or so wait.
She called out the items of my order to announce that they were ready. I retrieved the bento box with teriyaki combo and a tray with my sushi roll, it’s pieces arranged in a neat circle. She mentioned to the utensils to the right and I grabbed a fork and some chopsticks. She asked if I wanted sesame seeds and then sprinkled some on with my go ahead.
Everything was piping hot, including the roll since it was deep fried. The roll came with the usual wasabi/ginger, but also included a little dish of a slightly spicy, probably mayo-based sauce. I really liked that it came on the side so I could use as little or as much as I wanted, which I did experiment with from piece to piece. This roll was really good. It was perfectly crisp on the outside and the spicy tuna really came through nicely, even though there didn’t seem to be a whole lot in it. The avocado was actually the biggest percentage of the center and was nice and ripe.
The teriyaki was pretty great, particularly the noodles it came with. They were flavorful, hot and even had a bunch of dark chicken meat bits mixed in. The white meat chicken was very tender and moist. The salad was really the only thing that I wasn’t super enthused about. It wasn’t bad, just not anything special. Lettuce was fresh and crisp, yet the dressing was just kind of boring Italian.
The service was minimal, but the woman seemed very nice and happy to serve. Despite it’s shabby appearance, this place delivered. I will definitely return for some pre-bowling dinner.