I have only eaten here once, despite the hype. Or maybe because of the hype - since the hype included dire warnings about massive lines out the door every night. In reality, it wasn't that bad. When my friend and I arrived, at a normal dinner hour, the place was packed but we got a table within about ten minutes.
This departure from the hype also characterized the food. I wasn't disappointed by the menu - it was long and exciting. While the sushi was just, you know, sushi, like you can get anywhere, there were many items that aren't featured at many local sushi joints. What really impressed me was that they had natto. I had only read about natto up until now, and I had wanted to try it for years. Sites like Chowhound had told me that like durian, it was famously stinky, that it tasted in many ways like blue cheese, and that if I wanted to try it I would have to drive to tiny places on the outskirts of the Bay Area and demand it even though it wasn't on their English-language menus. And there it was, sitting pretty on Kirala's menu.
It wasn't as stinky as they had said, or as cheesey. The blue-cheese taste was there, but so were many other complicated flavors. It seemed to change from bite to bite. It was slippery and even slimy, being, you know, just a pile of fermented beans at heart, but it was good and I could have eaten it all night just to watch the flavors change.
The regular items I had, though, disappointed me. I had my favorites, salmon sashimi and avocado maki. I like fatty salmon, but this was too much - the fat hit with a bland intensity that reminded me that their fish was probably factory farmed, probably did not have a good life and probably helped pollute a lot. And the avocado roll was way on the downside of the maki scale - the chunks of avocado were tiny, and the avocado-rice ratio was not good. These things would be bad enough if I were just ordering any old thing, but they're my favorite foods! Don't mess with my favorites, Kirala.