My parents and I went to Maki Maki tonight a bit before 5:30pm. There was no wait.
The only other sushi AYCE buffet that I have been to is Minado. Maki Maki is set up exactly like Minado: hot entrees on the right, then soups, then salad line, oysters/cold stuff/sashimi, sushi, desserts.
Main differences between Maki Maki and Minado:
- Maki Maki has ginger/scallion lobster at dinner (key tip: as soon as a server takes away the platter bearing lonely lobster heads, start lining up for the fresh batch. It goes pretty quickly.)
- Minado has more cakes for dessert and the crepes
- Maki Maki does not advertise handrolls, but according to a waiter, they will make whatever handroll you want if it's based on the sushi rolls they already have
- Maki Maki has a lot more interesting maki, and a lot more non-raw maki
- No grill at Maki Maki
I do not eat raw fish but my parents reported that the sashimi was fresh and good. My father did not like how they cut it, though. He said it was cut very small.
Minado's food looks better, but I think Maki Maki's tastes better. Some of the items included snow crab legs, asparagus, chinese broccoli, shrimp and snap peas, flounder and random things, the usual fried rice/noodle stuff, oysters, shrimp tempura, 3 savory soups (miso, seafood, and fish maw) and 1 sweet soup of taro and tapioca. My parents didn't really bother with the raw maki and stuck with sashimi. I enjoyed the non-raw maki, though a lot of them seemed to feature mango and fried tempura.
I think we all skipped the salads.
For dessert there were 4 types of little cakes, all red and all highly uninteresting, standard ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry -- would it have killed them to get in some red bean/green tea/ginger flavors?), and the usual fruit: melons, grapes, strawberries, oranges, pineapple. Tea is extra and they do not serve alcoholic drinks.
The room is smaller than Minado's, and when we left around 6:45, all the tables were full and people were waiting. This may be because they are offering 10% off until tomorrow.
One minor quibble: the sign at the front of the restaurant said they had an opening special of 10% off, and seniors were 20% off. Well, no - turns out seniors are the regular 10% off, and then they take another 10% off after that which is not as much as taking 20% off the regular price.
We enjoyed it, but wouldn't make a special trip for it. As long as you're not a vegetarian, you can certainly eat enough to make up the $30.95 sunday dinner price, particularly if you keep your eyes peeled for the lobster and don't mind being a jerk and grabbing a bunch at once (I think there was one woman there who pretty much swept the platter clean when it came out).