Fancy Sushi on the Cheap!

Usually cheap sushi is found in strip malls but this week you can take advantage of some real quality sushi on the cheap at the Sushi Roku 10 year anniversary in Pasadena.  I know my hometown of Pasadena is a little of a trek for most of you, but just remember that if you head there for dinner you can have dessert at 21 Choices (by far my favorite ice cream/yogurt spot since elementary school).

All week (started on Sunday 8/22 and goes til Friday 8/28), in celebration of their 10 years in Old Town, the Sushi Roku in Miller Alley is offering 40% off ALL food, ALL day. Let me do some calculations on some of my favorite dishes for you just so you can see how great of  a deal this is….

-Baked cod with miso: usually $15.50 x 40% off = $9.30

-Spicy tuna on crispy rice (at SR – one of the best tuna on crispy rice that I’ve ever had): usually $11 x 40% off = $6.60…I mean, really)

-Baked crab roll: usually $7 x 40% off = $4.20 (!!!)

Most sushi and sashimi will end up being around $3-5 and most rolls will be $4-$6.  Seriously, this is a great deal.  If you haven’t eaten at SR before (who are you?), the sushi is amazingly good (think Katsuya but without the obnoxious Hollywood scene).

The deal is only on the food so if you are in the mood to get boozy I believe you can stop by during their “Red Sun” HH from 5-7pm to grab a discounted drink in the bar area before dinner. (I say ‘I believe’ because I called to make sure the HH was still on during anniversary special and they said they didn’t have HH on Monday but would be back on Tues from 5-7?…Not sure).

Sushi Roku. 33 Miller Alley. (626) 683.3000. http://www.sushiroku.com

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Cheap HH Alert

2012 UPDATE: Closed. Restaurant is now Sushi Cam. Has a happy hour we will write about at sometime..

Initially I wanted to write up the Street Food Fest that’s going on at the Rose Bowl this Saturday but unfortunately general admission tickets are already sold out 😦  very tragic considering the GA tickets were a great deal ($45 for all you can eat street food and all you can drink beverages).  If you want to buy VIP tickets you can still score some at www.lastreetfoodfest.com for $65 – but definitely get them now before they sell out too.

Lucky for me, we are the bottomless pit of happy hour deals so instead I’m going to write up a happy hour that I used to frequent and would definitely recommend.  We have done a few write ups on great sushi happy hour spots around town – Hara’s on the Westside, Uchi Sushi in Weho – and here is another to add to the list: Sushi and Kushi Imai.  Imai is located on Wilshire and San Vicente, and I’m sure many of you drive by it everyday – it’s in a small plaza with a Coffee Bean and some other random stores – without knowing of the great happy hour specials that await you.

HH at Imai is daily from 5:30-7:30p and here’s what it includes:

  • $1 beer, sake and wine

I mean, $1 drinks. Does anything else even matter?

But if that’s not enough to entice you (then I don’t really want to know you), they also have cheap food deals as well – $2-$6 sushi and kushi (japanese skewers w dipping sauces….they have beef, chicken, and some veggies).

And if you work in the area or are around for lunch, they have great lunch specials and on weekends have an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for $12 (soup, salad, teriyaki chicken and beef, seafood, sushi).

Definitely worth checking out.

Sushi and Kushi IMAI. 8300 Wilshire Blvd. www.sushiandkushiimai.com

 

Happy Hour Alert!

Getting back to work from holiday weekends is always rough, but we suggest weaning yourself off alcohol slowly to avoid sending your body into shock.  And no better way to do that than to hit up some weeknight happy hours.  Today’s happy hour tip landed in our inboxes from our friend Liz – a month full of specials at Yatai to celebrate their 4 year anniversary.

Yatai is an Asian tapas bar on the Sunset Strip and for the entire month of July will have additional specials on top of their already great happy hour.  Here is the deal, every night from 5:30-6:00p are their anniversary specials, part of their “lucky minutes” deal.  During this half hour (hopefully you work in the area to make it in time!), they have

some great cocktails (and a couple apps) for $5 – including spicy tuna on crispy rice (one of my faves), mojitos, martinis, sake margaritas, and soju cocktails.  The “lucky minutes” anniversary specials also overlap with their usual happy hour, which runs from 5:30-7p, which features some yummy tapas for only $3 (!!) – such as popcorn shrimp, calamari, and eggplant with miso.

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It sounds a little confusing and took my mind a little while to process the deals and timings – I’m a little slow and still recovering from the weekend, but just know that between 5:30-7p you can score some great cocktails and tapas for $3-$5, which should make anyone happy!

Don’t forget the anniversary deals are only for the month of July so check it out soon!

Yatai. 8535 Sunset Blvd. (310) 289.0030. www.yatai-bar.com

WeHo Happy Hour Alert

July 2010: Per their website, Agura is temporarily closed. We’ll keep you posted on any new information as we receive it.

Agura Happy Hour

514 N. La Cienega

6pm – 8pm, M- F

$3 Beer, $4 Wine, $6 Cocktails, $5 Bar Bites

So here’s the deal – this place is a great spot to grab a cheap beer or glass of wine. It’s also a later happy hour which is great – because most of the time we can’t even make it to most happy hours because they end so damned early.

To get to Agura you enter through a long exterior side walk way and opening the door feels like your entering a strange Japanese drug den. When we visited the other week they seated us at the lounge area adjacent to the bar, which was nice and comfortable but pretty dark (again reinforcing the drug den feel, which we liked.) The night we went there was a speed dating event also going on so it wasn’t completely empty, though nearly! (This is the second time we have gone out for happy hour this month and found speed dating was happening at the resto – is this a sign?!)

Regarding the deals: the wine was halfway decent and a great deal at only $4. However, the food was pretty iffy. We tried the sweet crispy chicken (dark meat, very fatty, pretty bland and gross), the popcorn shrimp (decent), the crispy rice (decent), the quiche (blah) and the albacore salad (edible). Maybe we’ll just fork over the cash and try the full-priced sushi next time…

We didn’t try the cocktails but according to Caroline on Crack’s review in LAWeekly – the drinks are pretty sweet and girly. But like I said, wine was decent, cheap, and glasses were poured on the fuller side.

Due to drink prices alone there will definitely be a ‘next time’ at this spot. And with it’s later happy hour it’s the perfect starting point before a show at the Largo/Little Room.

Agura on Urbanspoon

Chaya Beer Garden Mondays

After consuming a copious amount of alcohol on Saturday night and continuing with the hair of the dog and having mimosas at lunch yesterday, the last thing I want to do today is drink anything except gallons of water (and maybe some Diet Coke). But, if you have a strong enough liver or are fully recovered from your weekend benders, head downtown tonight and check out Chaya’s Monday night beer garden.  Beer gardens make me think of leder hosen and chanting “Das Boot!” but this is not a beer garden of that variety.  Chaya’s Monday night beer gardens give you the perfect excuse to extend your weekend and participate in some great weeknight boozing – and although the weather today is more LA winter than LA summer, summertime in LA is meant for weeknight boozing.

Chaya has featured this Monday night special since the end of March and it will continue running through the summer, every Monday from 5pm til closing (a good deal if you are looking for a late night happy hour).  The Japanese Beer Garden is held on the outside patio and includes specials on food and Kirin beer.  Yakitori skewers are $2 a piece and you can choose from chicken, beef, shitake mushrooms, and shrimp, and are made to order on hibachi grills. Other menu choices include grilled corn with feta for $5, edamame for $4, and albacore poke for $4.  Glasses of Kirin are $5 and pitchers are $15.

In addition to this Monday night deal, Chaya does have an AMAZING happy hour M-F all night from 5pm- CLOSE (!!), if you are heading there for the Japanese Beer Garden you can also duck inside and take advantage of their regular happy hour specials as well.  All happy hour cocktails, beer and wine are $4-$6, some of the snacking options: Kobe beef short rib belt ($6), lamb slider ($7), calamari ($6) and a selection of sushi rolls for $4-$6.

Chaya Downtown: 525 S Flower Street. (213) 236-9577. www.thechaya.com

Sake To Me

(Forgive me, I’m slow today and couldn’t think of a better title for this post)

One of the bullet points on my short list of things worth driving to West LA for is Hara’s sushi.  We have written them up before ( Ichi Ni Son..) – they have ridiculous beer and sake specials daily and decent sushi that assist in getting drunk and fat with minimal financial strain. So, when I stumbled upon reviews for a fairly newer sushi place in West Hollywood that is on par with Hara’s, I was beyond thrilled.  Now I can save money AND gas when I want to sake bomb my little heart out, I seriously cannot wait to try this spot out.  I almost don’t even want to write it up for fear that it will become as packed a place as Hara’s, where at times you have to wait an hour or more and will resort to bribing the guy that mans the dry-erase board in hopes of getting seated faster.  But, since happy hours are kinda our thing, we will let you in on this deal, you can thank us after you are full of spicy tuna and boozed up on Kirin.

The spot? Uchi Echi Sushi on Santa Monica Blvd between Harper and Sweetzer (right near O-Bar – another great Weho spot with happy hour from 6-8p daily!).  Uchi Echi has a happy hour daily from noon to 10pm (YES – 10PM), featuring $1.99 beer and half off sake (small one will run you only $2 instead of the usual $4). They have a wide selection of rolls that are a mix of the regulars and some of their own specialty rolls and have rotating specials on their sushi and sashimi during happy hours. The also serve complimentary edamame, miso soup and green tea ice cream (which I feel are pretty much standard at sushi spots around town but thought I would mention). They don’t have a website or menu up anywhere so will have to check it out and report back the details. I want to try this place out asap, I can foresee it becoming our new regular sushi spot.

Uchi Echi Sushi

8267 Santa Monica Blvd

West Hollywood, CA

(323) 654.0900

High End Happy Hour

If you feel like swanking it up this week, check out the happy hour specials at Nobu on La Cienega.  Nobu’s miso cod is probably one of my favorite dishes and to be able to get it at a discount makes it that much better. AND, the Nobu happy hour is offered from 6p-9p 5:30pm – 8pm (updated 2011) so no driving like a maniac in LA traffic just to make it there in time!

Here are the details:

Booze: $4 Sapporo, $6 wine, $7 mixed drinks and $9 Martinis.

Plus a fairly decent sized list of cold and hot plates for anywhere between $7 and $12.

My picks (besides the miso cod of course): rock shrimp tempura, waygu tacos, and yellowfin tuna tataki.  A good place to head with a small group and share an assortment of plates.

The happy hour is only in the bar/lounge area up front but there are a good number of little lounge tables and I have never seen this happy hour super packed so seating shouldn’t be a problem.  It is definitely not the cheapest happy hour around but for great quality food and swanky decor, it is a pretty good deal.

Also a great place to star watch if you are as celeb-obsessed as I am, I think I have seen a celebrity every time I have been to this place.

Nobu. 930 N La Cienega.

http://www.noburestaurants.com/losangeles/index.html#501-1033-1158

Ichi Ni Son…

Sake Sake Bomb!

I am a little hesitant posting this, but only because I love this place and seeing as there is already a long wait for tables, I’d rather not be forced to wait any longer by letting all of you in on this spot. 

If you like sushi and more importantly if you love sake, then Hara’s sushi place on the Westside is a must-go. Hara’s has a daily happy hour from 4:30-9:30 (so you are not rushing to get there by 6 or 7 like most happy hour spots), during which the sushi and all sake and beer are half off; and since their booze prices are already cheap to begin with, during happy hour they are practically giving it away. The sushi is good as well, it’s no Katsuya but for the price you can’t beat it.

Just be warned, the place is tiny and the tables are packed right next to each other. So if your group indulges in a little too much sake you might be getting dirty looks from the table seated 2 inches away (which happens to us frequently – but seriously, who comes there to eat a quiet sushi dinner when you can get sake for pennies??)

And another tip, the place is always crowded, and they do not take reservations, so I would recommend getting their early or dropping a friend off to put your name on the board. The waiter that mans the seating board is not easily bribed as we have found from experience. And try not to arrive with too large of a group or you will never be seated.

Hara Sushi.  12222 Wilshire. http://www.harasushi.com/

Hara Sushi on Urbanspoon