The scene: Sakari isn’t just a place for great sushi and cocktails, it’s a genuine gathering spot — the kind of place you can go when you want to run into someone you know.
The scene during happy hour is a perfect example of Sakari’s friendliness and ability to make you feel at home. It’s a sleek spot, with modern, streamlined furnishings and decor, but it’s unpretentious because of the people who go there. The happy hour window is a small one (just 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday), but the deals and the atmosphere are enough to draw people in. When we stopped by at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, the bar was lined with people and several tables were already taken.
What we got: We calmed our late-afternoon stomach grumbles with a couple house sushi rolls, which are just $4 during happy hour (most are about $5.50 regularly). My spicy tuna roll was made with fresh tuna and cucumber, and lightly topped with a spicy sauce. It was simple and tasty — a perfectly sized snack that paired well with my draw of Kirin Ichiban, which was only $2.
My friend had the shrimp tempura roll, tempura-fried shrimp rolled up inside seaweed with sticky rice and topped with eel sauce. It was crunchy and delicious. She washed down her roll with a $2 bottle of Miller Lite.
Other specials: $4 house rolls and $2 draws of Kirin, bottles of domestic beers and sake bombs are the only specials, but they draw a crowd.
Worth leaving work early for: Sakari is a small restaurant, so the earlier you arrive, the better seat you’ll get. The bartenders take care of those who belly up by offering frequent sake bombs, making it a great place to kick off a rowdy evening.
Sakari Sushi Lounge
Find it: 2605 Ingersoll Ave.
Happy hour: 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Info: 288-3381; sakarisushilounge.com