• cheap vegan happy hour: sushi & kushi imai

    September 15th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, sushi & kushi imai

    UPDATE 7/30/11: sad! i just got the following email: “Recently changed to a buffet style only situation. There is one vegan option; miso soup. They don’t even serve edamame anymore. Rather sad.”

    hmmm….let’s think: a vegan-friendly sushi happy hour with $1 beers, $4 pitchers, and $1 bottles of sake? YES PLEASE. not to mention really great rolls, grilled vegetables, and a live band?! what up!

    i’m talking about the daily happy hour (5-7:30pm) at sushi & kushi imai on wilshire. we have already told you about some insane vegan options at an omni eatery this week, and i think sushi & kushi is right up there when you factor in the good food and CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP BOOZE.

    pitcher of sapporo. $4

    we hit up sushi & kushi imai, not knowing what to expect. the restaurant is technically located in beverly hills, but it’s super close to mid wilshire and has parking lot where we were lucky enough to find a space. as i said earlier, happy hour runs from 5pm until 7:30, but what we didn’t realize is that it fills up QUICK. we got there at 6pm, and there was limited seating in the bar (the only area of the restaurant where happy hour prices are honored). thankfully, we managed to get a decent 2 top table, and we quickly realized that the restaurant was hoppin’ for a good reason. we started with a pitcher of sapporo for only FOUR DOLLARS. yes, you heard me right, a 4 buck pitcher of beer. can’t beat that in this town!

    bowl of edamame. $1.95

    to eat, we began with a standard bowl of edamame from the happy hour menu. it was $1.95 and came with a generous amount of salted soy beans. the perfect appetizer with the refreshing beer.

    2 cucumber rolls, 1 vegetable roll (asparagus, avocado, mushrooms, carrots) $12.50

    the vegan sushi options are somewhat limited (think avocado, cucumber, and vegetable rolls), but what they do have is excellent. we got 2 cucumber rolls and a vegetable roll to share, for a combined total of $12.50. the rolls were perfectly prepared, and the vegetables were fresh and crispy. i must say, this was a welcome change from the mock meat type of sushi i’m used to eating. oh, and they can substitute brown for white rice at an extra charge, if that’s your thing.


    after drinking the pitcher of beer, we decided to move onto something a little more strong, and were delighted to see that small jugs of hot sake were only $1. a buzz for a buck! yes, it is possible at sushi & kushi imai.

    lotus kushi. $2

    i’d never heard of kushi before, but apparently it’s food grilled on a skewer, and at happy hour there were tons of vegetable options. it was hard to choose between the japanese pumpkin, okra, and sweet potato…but we ended up going with the lotus, which did not disappoint. two massive crunchy slices of lotus root that were crispy around the edges and served with a trio of dipping sauces, two of which were vegan. when you order, please let them know that you don’t want the mayo-based sauce—but the other two, miso and bbq, are safe to eat.

    sauteed mushrooms (not under the happy hour menu): sauteed enoki and shiitake mushrooms with sake and vegan butter. $8.50

    lastly, even though it wasn’t on the discounted happy hour menu, we split an order of sauteed mushrooms. they just sounded so good and when we saw they had the word “vegan” in the menu description, we just couldn’t resist. this dish came with succulent sauteed enoki and shiitake mushrooms all whipped up with sake and vegan butter. absolutely amazing.

    by the time we were wrapping up our meal, a live band had started playing in the bar area. we decided to order another bottle of sake (hey for $1, why not?) and make a night of it. we were so happy and full of good food, i couldn’t believe it when the check arrived and it was only $33! how is that even possible? we consumed 1 pitcher of beer, 2 bottles of sake, 1 order of edamame, 3 rolls of sushi, 1 order of kushi, and an entree-size portion of mushrooms…all for $33?! and we even strayed from the cheap happy hour menu to order the mushroom dish! next time we are gonna stick to sushi and sake, and keep our tab to under 20 bucks. where else can you do that in beverly hills?

    the happy hour at sushi & kushi imai is awesome, and i know we’ll be back often. my advice is to get there early, secure a nice table, and take your time eating. you’re guaranteed to have a lovely meal. cheers!

    sushi & kushi imai
    8300 Wilshire Blvd
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211
    (323) 655-2253
    happy hour is everyday from 5pm – 7:30pm BAM!

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19 responses to “cheap vegan happy hour: sushi & kushi imai” RSS icon

  • I know where I’ll be at 4:59pm PST today…

  • Looks good!!

  • I drive past that place twice a day! Domo: see you there tonight. I had no idea it was so awesome. A BAND!!?!?! $1 Sapporo?!?!

  • Whoa, is that vegan sake?

  • @miharu: totally forgot to ask about the sake. ๐Ÿ™ i’m pretty sure most sake is vegan, because it’s filtered with charcoal, but will definitely ask next time. if it’s not, that means i will have to have another pitcher of sapporo. damn.

  • Sounds like a great deal, but I’d still have the issue that there’s not much veggie protein to be had at a sushi joint. Cucumber and avocado rolls are just a tasty carb blast to go along with a swig of beer. I really wish they’d throw some tofu steaks on the grill at some of these places.

  • @Nick: they had tofu dishes, we just didn’t order them!

  • So glad to hear you liked! Been wanting to try but knew nothing about them. Sake for everyone & Thx!

  • Seems like it’s really only exciting if you drink. Otherwise it’s expensive cucumber and vegetable rolls.

    I can get those at Ralph’s for $4 and it’s pretty much the same thing. That is one nice thing about vegetarian sushi; you can get it anywhere, because the quality is going to be the same across the board. I get eye rolls and expressions indicating that I’m insane when I come in to work with grocery store sushi for lunch, but they’re thinking of raw fish.

  • “Seems like itโ€™s really only exciting if you drink.”

    that’s how i feel about life.

  • @Gregalor – If you wanna buy rolls in Vons, take them back to your crummy apartment and eat them while drinking a kombucha, then be my guest. I just got home from Sushi Imai, and ordered what QG did when she was there. I had a fucking awesome time for $34.

    Drinking is good! In moderation. Hanging at a nice restaurant with good food and good company is even better.

  • Hey, if you feel good spending $34 on something that literally tastes the same no matter where you get it, I’m not stopping you. I simply mentioned that *I’d* feel like a chump doing it, because the main draw (cheap booze) doesn’t apply to me. Just as how they buy pizza for the office to placate us when we have to come in on the weekend: bzzzzt, try again.

    Sorry I’m not as classy as you, if that’s the issue you want to make of it. I’m just calling it as I see it, it doesn’t seem like a good deal *to me*. That has nothing to do with how much money a person has; Bill Gates could be one frugal motherfucker for all I know.

    But apparently that humors you, that you think I’m some kind of Cali sushi eating trailer trash who doesn’t want to commute from North Hollywood into the big city when I can just go to Food 4 Less with the other peasants.

    PS – I live in a nice neighborhood within walking distance of Sushi Imai, thanks.

  • You can’t possibly compare freshly made sushi to something thats sat around in shrink-wrap for hours in a grocery store. The former is fresh, crunchy and tasty. The latter is soggy, chewy and the avocado has usually turned brown.

    What are you thinking, Gregalor??

  • i agree that the main draw to this happy hour is alcohol. but hey, i’m a lush!

  • You vegans fight over the stupidest shit.

  • I agree with Dean ^^^^^^

    vegan sushi is just expensive vegetables, but at the same time, most any restaurant food can be replaced with things bought at a grocery store and made at home gregalor. the point is going out and having a good time with friends/family. if you don’t have either, then by all means, make your sushi at home.

  • “but at the same time, most any restaurant food can be replaced with things bought at a grocery store and made at home”

    I disagree. Some of us can’t cook at all and therefore can’t make vegan things at home that taste good in the least!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • i find it really hard to believe that there are people who truly cannot COOK. you mean to say that you seriously cannot make a meal for yourself? that is really just bizarre to me.

    there are simple, clear recipes all over the internet and in many books that my 10 year old sister could follow. human beings survived for a long time without restaurants, truly.

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