My husband had a week off from his intensive graduate program recently, which meant that we needed to socialize with as many of our friends has possible. I had a dear friend come out from the east coast to visit here in Phoenix and it was just the perfect timing for all of us to meet up (her and the three of us, yes baby came). When she asked if I liked sushi, I about jumped out of my seat because I LOVE sushi (as some of you may remember my last post on a sushi place down in Chandler). Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to say that I have found our new sushi spot on the west side of the valley. I present to you: Akai Hana.
Now, my friend knew about this place because it’s less than 2 miles away from where we went to culinary school. I knew I could trust her judgement of great restaurants because, well, we’re two peas in a pod when it comes to cooking; this girl knows her stuff.
When we arrived at the restaurant and found our table, we were given two menus. One was their regular priced menu and the other was their Happy Hour menu, which amazingly, happens pretty much all day. Discounted sushi??? Count me in! I was busy entertaining the baby and so I let my husband choose the sushi rolls we were getting. And because we’re friends, we shared everything. Cost reducing tip for eating out: eat out with friends, you’ll be able to taste 3x the amount of food you would normally have if you dined alone or in a business meeting.
Once the menus were collected, the food started to pour out to our table… It was so overwhelming the amount of appetizers and sushi coming our way. We had about 6 plates of sushi rolls and possible 1 or 2 appetizers. There really was no room left in the inn. Our table was brimming with beautiful rolls of rice and fish. Absolutely amazing.
The three of us enjoyed the following:
Fried Baby Octopus
The octopus were perfectly tender and the ponzu (a citrus-like soy sauce) sauce complemented the octopus very well.
Spicy Tuna Roll
These two rolls are basically what you expect sushi rolls to be when going out. Still delicious and well made.
This roll had a bit of fried fish in the middle and the roll was considerable wider across but narrow thickness than what I’ve seen before. This roll was eaten up in a flash.
Baked Scallop Roll
This was by far my favorite roll! They had mini scallops and roe mixed together on top of the roll. This was two thumbs up!
This was a lovely roll topped with a mango and chile sauce on the roll as well as fresh mango in the sushi roll. This was my husbands favorite.
Salmon Skin Roll
This roll was very interesting in that there was crispy salmon bits and skin within the roll. Not the absolute favorite but definitely an interesting concept and I still ate it.
If you get nothing else at Akai Hana, you NEED to get the stuffed mussels. They’re stuffed with crab meant and delicious goodness, you can’t even imagine, as well as topped with fish roe! This stuff is to die for!
Of course when at a sushi restaurant, you have to get the edamame! Nice and salty and slightly garlicky!
We loved how fast our food came out and how friendly the staff were. Upon seeing the carseat, the staff knew we would need some special seating to accommodate. The ambiance is a little lacking but they’re still working on renovations and the food is still delicious. Come on now!
Now if you go during happy hour, 11-2 AND 4-6, the rolls are cheaper which means MORE sushi! We absolutely loved this place and will definitely be going again in the future.
If you want to check out their menu (they do more than just sushi), here is their website. Check them out and get some killer sushi for an affordable price.
Happy eating everyone!