If you thought the small Arbor Square Plaza at Carpenter and Ellsworth was a strange place for a sushi conveyor belt, you were in good company. Donghun Jang, who bought the modest Japanese restaurant Sushi Nara about six months ago, skeptically let the sushi train run for about a month, then took it out (it was installed two owners ago when the restaurant was called Kagayaki Sushi). Sushi trains are cute gimmicks, but he points out the obvious: “I think for this area, not a good idea. Maybe for downtown–a lot of walking people.”

He’s renamed the restaurant Dabu. Attempting a translation, he tentatively came up with “many … rich … house?” He isn’t entirely satisfied when a reporter suggests “house of many riches,” but that seems to be in the ballpark.

Taking out the conveyor belt allowed him to install a half dozen more tables. Dabu still offers sushi–Jang worked as a sushi chef for seventeen years, first in New York, then at Totoro on State Street–but he and his wife, Jessica (despite the name, also Korean), are now slanting the menu more toward cooked Japanese and Korean dishes. Though the menu calls Dabu a Japanese restaurant, entrees 44 through 53 are well-known Korean favorites: bibimbap, bulgogi, and so forth. And 68 through 76 are “special entrees” that Jang (whose English can be a bit hard to interpret) seems to be saying are Korean by way of China and Japan. “Koreans like Chinese and Japanese food,” he says, and dishes like jjampong (“spicy noodle soup mixed with seafood and vegetables”) and hwemuchim (“mixed raw fish and vegetables …with spicy sauce”) are a hybrid cuisine forged in Korea from elements from all three countries. At lunchtime, he has nine bento box specials, in both Korean (bulgogi, galbi) and Japanese (teriyaki, katsu, sashimi) flavors.

Dabu, 4037 Carpenter Rd. 477-7400. Mon.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 4-9 p.m. dabusushi.com