Sunday, September 21, 2008

FUJI YA's Happy Hour

Meanwhile, it’s Happy Hour at FUJI YA on Lake Street! From 5 to 7 p.m., and late at night from 10 to 12 a.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays (8 to 10 p.m. Sundays), appetizers and sushi can be enjoyed at half the price. This explained why the place was so packed during my visit on a Wednesday around 6:30 at night. The atmosphere is chaotic and upbeat (think 80s songs like “Brand New Lover” by Dead or Alive emanating from hidden speakers) while dimly lit paper lanterns that dot the dining area lend a soft touch.

From the Happy Hour menu, I ordered the four-piece Spider Roll for only $5.95, and it was perfect—fresh, crunchy, with the softshell crab still piping hot. More unusual choices offered on the discount menu were The White Toro and Green Onion Roll for $3.95 (very delectable, although they could have added more of the scallions), and the six-piece Butterfly Roll for $4.95. Because I don’t like mysteries, I asked the chef for the ingredients of the Butterfly, and was not disappointed by the answer. I decided to order it and it turned out to be entirely covered in shaved bonito, the salty confetti-like dried flakes of the bonito variety of tuna, which he had not mentioned. Fortunately I was very partial to the topping, but I had to flip a piece of the roll upside-down to really see the inside: salmon skin, avocado, cream cheese, green onion and eel sauce. Delicious.

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