Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Eating all you can at Big Bang! Sushi

“Uh, guys? The waiter’s writing down everything you say.”

Big Bang! never saw us coming
Big Bang! never saw us coming
Place

Big Bang! Sushi

11611 Rancho Bernardo Road, San Diego

When I heard a new sushi spot had opened up in Rancho Bernardo, I figured I might check it out, someday, if I happened to be in the neighborhood. Then I heard Big Bang! Sushi offers an all-you-can-eat deal. For lunch you pay about $21 to get your fill. Dinner and weekends, $26. Within ten minutes I had plans to eat there the following day with a couple of friends.

When it comes to sushi, my friends and I are what you might call competitive all-you-can-eaters. It started six years ago when we discovered a similar deal at Nozomi Sushi on Convoy. We’d show up, order the special, and start gorging. By the end of a two-hour session, “all you can eat” had turned into “more than a person should ever eat in one sitting.” We did this often enough — once every two or three months — that Nozomi stopped offering the deal. I’m sure a lot of factors contributed to their decision, but I like to think there are photos of us on the wall to serve as a reminder of the damage the three of us can do.

Every all-you-can-eat meal should have rules

Yes, this sort of sushi special gives you the chance to try every kind of fish your heart craves, but that’s not entirely why we started making a sport of it. That came about due to a kink in the fine print of the Nozomi offer, which we found repeated in the Big Bang special: You have to pay for leftovers. Anything you can’t eat at the end of your meal gets tacked onto the bill. Even rice.

Obviously, this is meant to protect the restaurant from customers who would order everything on the menu, then give up once full, leaving a lot of pricey raw fish uneaten on the table. Early on, we were considerate. Maybe we shouldn’t order that 9-piece rainbow roll because the 18 pieces of nigiri we already ordered might fill us up, especially following our 4 appetizers and 12 hand rolls.

Then we noticed what happened when there were remainder pieces of fish to account for. Say the three of us had ordered a 4-piece salmon and avocado roll. Who eats the fourth piece? In the first round of eating that extra piece is coveted — everybody wants it. But things change once everybody’s full. And I’m talking very full. Filled to the top of your esophagus full, when swallowing even a single piece of raw fish can topple your entire sense of being. That’s when it gets interesting. And that’s where a trio of loving friends turns sadistic and actually takes pleasure in seeing his fellow man suffer.

Big Bang! Sushi never saw us coming, but they accommodated our twisted game with uncommon grace. Every server smiled and engaged us, however dismayed they may have been with what was going down. A full section of their menu features nice cuts of nigiri — salmon belly, hamachi belly, sea urchin, and halibut — in addition to escolar, albacore, seared tuna, and regular hamachi and salmon. Naturally, we ordered them all, failing to realize they were served by the pair. Right off the bat, we ordered twice as much as we wanted.

A partial view of our colossal first round of nigiri

Then, before it all arrived — last call for the all you-can-eat lunch hit. We wanted more time, but with our server standing at the table ready to close the order, my friends quickly debated which rolls we should try. Chef Special or the similar Geisha? Salmon Avocado or Marine Boy? Rainbow or Sunshine? “Uh, guys,” I said. “The waiter’s writing down everything you say.”

The rolls just kept coming, to our dread and delight

In the end three of us ate 60 pieces of nigiri, 6 rolls, and 11 appetizers including salmon tartare and BBQ spare ribs — an amount of food both inhuman and inhumane. All of the fish was good quality — nothing transcendent but better than average and terrific until those last few bites, when my friends and I stared at each other across the table, debating who should tackle the extra-large end piece of the last remaining roll.

Thanks Big Bang!, it was truly a blast. I like to think we learned something, but I have a feeling the only wisdom we came away with was this: “Skip the spare ribs. They’re just filler.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers
Next Article

"We had to get canning quickly"

In response to covid, these small brewers now offer beer in cans for the first time
Big Bang! never saw us coming
Big Bang! never saw us coming
Place

Big Bang! Sushi

11611 Rancho Bernardo Road, San Diego

When I heard a new sushi spot had opened up in Rancho Bernardo, I figured I might check it out, someday, if I happened to be in the neighborhood. Then I heard Big Bang! Sushi offers an all-you-can-eat deal. For lunch you pay about $21 to get your fill. Dinner and weekends, $26. Within ten minutes I had plans to eat there the following day with a couple of friends.

When it comes to sushi, my friends and I are what you might call competitive all-you-can-eaters. It started six years ago when we discovered a similar deal at Nozomi Sushi on Convoy. We’d show up, order the special, and start gorging. By the end of a two-hour session, “all you can eat” had turned into “more than a person should ever eat in one sitting.” We did this often enough — once every two or three months — that Nozomi stopped offering the deal. I’m sure a lot of factors contributed to their decision, but I like to think there are photos of us on the wall to serve as a reminder of the damage the three of us can do.

Every all-you-can-eat meal should have rules

Yes, this sort of sushi special gives you the chance to try every kind of fish your heart craves, but that’s not entirely why we started making a sport of it. That came about due to a kink in the fine print of the Nozomi offer, which we found repeated in the Big Bang special: You have to pay for leftovers. Anything you can’t eat at the end of your meal gets tacked onto the bill. Even rice.

Obviously, this is meant to protect the restaurant from customers who would order everything on the menu, then give up once full, leaving a lot of pricey raw fish uneaten on the table. Early on, we were considerate. Maybe we shouldn’t order that 9-piece rainbow roll because the 18 pieces of nigiri we already ordered might fill us up, especially following our 4 appetizers and 12 hand rolls.

Then we noticed what happened when there were remainder pieces of fish to account for. Say the three of us had ordered a 4-piece salmon and avocado roll. Who eats the fourth piece? In the first round of eating that extra piece is coveted — everybody wants it. But things change once everybody’s full. And I’m talking very full. Filled to the top of your esophagus full, when swallowing even a single piece of raw fish can topple your entire sense of being. That’s when it gets interesting. And that’s where a trio of loving friends turns sadistic and actually takes pleasure in seeing his fellow man suffer.

Big Bang! Sushi never saw us coming, but they accommodated our twisted game with uncommon grace. Every server smiled and engaged us, however dismayed they may have been with what was going down. A full section of their menu features nice cuts of nigiri — salmon belly, hamachi belly, sea urchin, and halibut — in addition to escolar, albacore, seared tuna, and regular hamachi and salmon. Naturally, we ordered them all, failing to realize they were served by the pair. Right off the bat, we ordered twice as much as we wanted.

A partial view of our colossal first round of nigiri

Then, before it all arrived — last call for the all you-can-eat lunch hit. We wanted more time, but with our server standing at the table ready to close the order, my friends quickly debated which rolls we should try. Chef Special or the similar Geisha? Salmon Avocado or Marine Boy? Rainbow or Sunshine? “Uh, guys,” I said. “The waiter’s writing down everything you say.”

The rolls just kept coming, to our dread and delight

In the end three of us ate 60 pieces of nigiri, 6 rolls, and 11 appetizers including salmon tartare and BBQ spare ribs — an amount of food both inhuman and inhumane. All of the fish was good quality — nothing transcendent but better than average and terrific until those last few bites, when my friends and I stared at each other across the table, debating who should tackle the extra-large end piece of the last remaining roll.

Thanks Big Bang!, it was truly a blast. I like to think we learned something, but I have a feeling the only wisdom we came away with was this: “Skip the spare ribs. They’re just filler.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Corbin’s Q’s Scrumptiously SLO barbecue

Dee-Lish. I mean, an exceptional combo of tastes.
Next Article

Sanctified and glorified at Encanto Southern Baptist Church

Life is important on this side of death, but what really matters is eternity.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close