Budget Sushi

Spice Asian Bistro operates its sushi happy hour from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Though many joke about the supposed risks of cheap sushi, the quality at Spice’s happy hour doesn’t seem to be compromised. Nigiri can be ordered for $2 for 2 pieces and the more-common maki rolls are $1 off their normal price, so most of the options fall somewhere between $2.50 and $4. The cuts of fish appeared fresh and the taste was better than average. Spice offeres decent make roll options: spicy tuna, spicy salmon, Philly roll, California roll, avocado, salmon skin and the vegetable roll. A vegetable roll didn’t do much for us, but then again, it doesn’t do much for most people. The salmon skin was our favorite. In all, the rolls were good but not exemplary, and happy hour seemed like the best time to try them. 434 N. Loop 1604 West, (210) 490-4003

Kona Grill hosts a somewhat infamous happy hour. In fact, almost a third of the day is celebrated in happy-hour mode — 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as a reverse happy hour from 9-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. We arrived on Friday at about 10 minutes after 3. Evidently, every table was just seated minutes before we got there. Clearly, the word is out. The wait was long and tables were self-serve on the (dis)honor system. We had hopes for the sushi, thinking that the long lines were an indication of the quality of the food. Not quite. The fish from the salmon and tuna rolls looked like it came out of a can. These weren’t discernible cuts of fish, but something minced and thrown together to sate a crowd more interested in getting their grub on than quality. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it’s just good to know what you’re getting into. The Shops at La Cantera, (210) 877-5355

Happy hour at Ilsong Garden is simple: from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday all sushi is 20- percent off. Their approach is traditional in the sense that there aren’t any rolls called “The A&M” or “The Longhorn” or “The Tony Parker Teardrop in the Lane.” Their sushi chef is a trusted guide. Based on the excellent quality of the mackerel nigiri and the salmon-skin roll we tasted, we would try anything he suggested. Highly recommended for sushi happy hour. 6905 Blanco, (210) 366-4508


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