Saturday, May 31, 2008 - Website (happy hours) is a website that lets you find out if there's any happy hours near your location. You can choose if you want to see drink specials or food specials or both. I believe you can also specify the times you want too.

Happy Hour - Banana Bay

Everyday: 10pm - close

-2 for 1 on select cocktails (20%off on all other drinks)
-$2.00 Thai and Domestic Beer
-$2.50 imported beer
-$2.00 off all wine

Happy Hour - Yard House

Monday - Friday: 3pm - 6pm

-half off select appetizers
-all pints $3.25
-well drink $4.25
-house martinis $5.25
-wine by the glass $2.00 off

(at participating locations)

Happy Hour - Black Angus

Mon - Fri: 3pm - 7pm

-half off all appetizers
-half off well drinks
-half off the Classic Martini
-half off wines by the glass
-half off 16 oz. draft beer
-half off Classic Margarita

Happy Hours

I'm gonna start keeping track of Happy Hours I find out about to remind myself and inform you guys of some potentially good deals for food and drinks. Cheapskates!!!!

I started a website recently for happy hour foods.

Akasaka - Walnut

505 Grand Ave
Walnut, CA 91789-2144
Phone: (909) 598-8816
Type: Japanese food / sushi

Local Sushi Hopping: Part 2 (click here for Part 1)

After some good rolls and a little less decent sushi at Denno, my girl and I went straight down Grand Ave. to Walnut where another sushi restaurant was situated. Originally, we wanted to try Jubei and see if it would redeem itself from our last visit, but they were closed. So Akasaka it was...

My girl loves the stuffed tomato sushi that some chefs prepare. It's usually raw scallops with some crab meat and sauce wrapped around with raw tuna or salmon. What do you know? Akasaka had stuffed tomatoes on their menu for a $15 dent on your bank account. This one was wrapped with salmon. I don't know how much most sushi places charge for their stuffed tomatoes, but that's a grip for 2 small pieces. I'm complaining about it mostly because it was the worst stuffed tomato I've had ever. It was super plain. There was no crab meat to give it some flavor. The salmon was kind of lacking in taste. The only way I'll get that again is if they charge $5 at the most for both pieces.

the worst (blandest) stuffed tomato we've had

Salmon being my favorite sushi, we ordered the 5 piece salmon sashimi ($8.95). At first I thought it was cool, but after a while it kind of just tasted like water. It was the same story as the stuffed tomato.

water sashimi

We decided to cut our losses and keep the money we had left. I don't know if it was an off day for Akasucky, but I've heard some bad reviews about this place from family and friends. Regardless, you gotta be consistent with that stuff or it'll make people like me never want to come here again. I never want to come here again.

Hwang Jae Korean BBQ/Denno Sushi - Diamond Bar

Hwang Jae Korean BBQ/Denno Sushi
22640 Golden Springs Rd
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
Phone: (909) 861-9030
Type: Korean food / Japanese food / sushi

Local Sushi Hopping Part 1:

My girlfriend and I wanted to eat at some Guyanese place in La Verne. Unluckily for us, it was closed for a few hours in between lunch and dinner. The next thing we decided to eat was sushi, but didn't know where to go. Lately, when that happens, we just decide to do some restaurant hopping. We'll order a little from this place, then head over to the next and order a little from there. The purpose is to have a little bit of different tastes that we're craving. This restaurant hopping journey though, consists of two different restaurants, but one type of food: Japanese.

After another half hour of deciding where to eat, we decided our first place should be Denno Sushi in Diamond Bar. I've been there 2 or 3 times already, so I knew what I was getting into. My girlfriend hadn't tried it yet. Denno is off the Grand Ave. exit on the 60 freeway. Go south one block and make a left at Golden Springs and it's on your right-hand side. The place is always empty every time I've been there-- especially on Sundays. The whole restaurant is actually 2 in 1. You got one room that's for sushi (Denno), and you have another section that's for Korean BBQ (Hwang Jae). I believe the place is Korean-run. It's a pretty nice place and I hate seeing these places empty. Was it empty for a reason? We'll see....

empty on Sundays-- usually. but nice inside. don't you think?

free miso soup (only one)

The prices here are okay. They have a good selection of special rolls at decent prices. Since we weren't planning to get full here, we had to be very selective on what we ordered. First up was the sushi. We got salmon ($3.50) and yellowtail ($3.95). The salmon was good. Not fishy. The yellowtail was okay as well. I don't think I'll ever be a good describer of tastes, so give up on me now. My girlfriend wasn't a fan of the sushi that much though.

good salmon. okay yellowtail. horrible reviewer.

Next up, we had the Denno Roll ($8.95). This one is topped with scallops with crab inside and what looks like the sweet eel sauce and masago (little eggs). It was good with a good amount of cream sauce and not a lot of rice.

we had to get the name-of-the-restaurant-roll

I think my friend sent us an email about baby lobsters or something and how you shouldn't eat them because of bacteria. Next up, we get the Lobster Volcano roll ($9.95). If a lobster roll is 10 bucks, I'm usually ordering it. This roll has the same story as the Denno roll. Lots of cream sauce and little rice. Verdict: good.

don't listen to emails and get the lobster roll

I've already given away that I'll go here again. After this meal, I'll still go here again. Probably the best time to hit this place up is Sundays when other sushi places might be closed in those in-between hours. They have a good selection of rolls. I forgot to mention that the service was good, but probably cuz we were the only ones in there. For future reference, when I don't have a need to mention how the service was, take it that there wasn't anything wrong with it. On to Akasaka!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dono Sushi - West Covina

Dono Sushi
1230 Lakes Dr
West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 919-2750
Type: Japanese food / sushi / dining

Back in my hometown, we haven't covered all the sushi joints around. I think I've been to most if not all of them in my area, but I haven't reviewed them. I've been to Dono Sushi before, but it was a few years earlier. Dono is located in the same area as the Edwards Cinema, Cold Stone ice cream shop, and Fatburger. You can see it when you're driving on Glendora Ave.

Last time I was here, it might have been for my birthday so I got to order whatever I wanted. I remember ordering only the fancy rolls because I didn't eat sushi back then. I really liked the rolls but they were a little expensive. Maybe at $13 or $15.

This time around, it was just my girlfriend and I that ate there. We were on a budget, but we wanted Japanese food/sushi. Not really the best of places to go when you're worried about the price. Unless of course, you go for the lunch special, which is on Mondays - Fridays from 11am - 2pm. It's $1.25 for select sushis, $4.50 for 4 pieces of some sashimis, and $2.50 - $3 for some handrolls. The catch is that you have to buy a drink for each person. (On a side note, we went here for the lunch special a few weeks later, and the hand rolls were good-sized and not bad and the yellowtail and salmon sashimis were good for the price, but we wouldn't get it if the price wasn't hooked up)

So anyways, I couldn't really order the good rolls this time. I had to try to find the best bang for the buck-- the dish that would fill me up the most with the least amount of money. Usually if that's the case, I'll order the combo boxes or the bento boxes. I ended up getting the salmon bowl ($8) because it was cheaper than the combos. It was pretty good. I still think it's a little expensive though. It's just your usual teriyaki salmon on top of a thin bed of cabbage and some rice under.

salmon bowl. fills your stomach for less-- but not that much less.

Still in the cheapskate mind state, I found one of their cheaper rolls which was called the Mr. Kani roll. I don't remember what was in there. Looks like some kind of crunchy roll. Not that great. Maybe after doing the math at $6.95 for 6 pieces, I should've got a better full 8-piece roll for a little more. Oh well.

Mr. Kani roll. I wouldn't want this roll named after me.

My lady ordered the spicy sashimi bowl ($11.95). She and I were expecting a simple bowl of rice with sashimi on top. This thing came in a wok-sized bowl with all this filler. It had some shredded lettuce, daikon with tiny chopped pieces of sashimi. They give you a bowl of rice and spicy sauce on the side for you to mix in. It looks like they had salmon, maybe some yellowtail, tuna, shrimp, and octopus. Straight on the octopus. I felt sorry for her. It just looked like a huge salad with some raw seafood sprinkled here and there. She said it was okay, but she wouldn't get it again.

spicy sashimi bowl. a huge bowl of stuff, and you might find some seafood

Because this place is in my town, I would possibly go here again. I'll go either for the sushi lunch special or if I had more money to spend on the better rolls. Then again, if I had more money, I might be wise to consider a better place to eat. So maybe just for the lunch specials.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Zipangu - Costa Mesa

2930 Bristol St # C
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 545-2800
Type: Japanese food / sushi / fusion

The view from the jungles of Habana

click here to read the first half of our restaurant-hopping journey

So we had our taste of Caribbean food (Cuban to be exact) at Habana. Next door a few steps away was a Japanese sushi/fusion restaurant called Zipangu. Because it's in the same hip shopping area as Habana, it also attracts the hip and cool. Zipangu has a modern design inside. That's all I'm gonna say about that. Ask a girl or a poet to describe the details of the place if you want. Inside isn't as loud as Habana. It's a little more laid back with a loungey feeling.

Over here, we didn't order very much. We ordered one roll and a few pieces of sashimi, but I think we ended up spending more here. One reason was cuz we ordered the Maine Crunch Roll $18. The description stated, "Maine lobster with Cajun tempura, avocado, asparagus, flying fish roe and paprika soy paper topped with tempura flakes and sweet eel sauce. I don't know about you, but that sounded really good. We weren't super hungry anymore, so were hunting for quality. This roll was one of the biggest fucking let-downs in my sushi career. I had to say the F word just to emphasize how disappointed we were. For $18, that better be one damn good roll. To us, it was just weak and you could almost say bland. Maybe our expectations were high and we already ate before, but good lord! Never again.

Maine Crunch Roll. Wack son. That lobster tail is empty-- which is a similar feeling I had after eating this.

In between eating the lobster rolls, we had some sashimi. We got the salmon ($7) and yellowtail ($9). Now these were good. Nice cuts and good color. Great taste. Too bad we wasted our money on the rip-off roll. We coulda got more sashimi.

good sashimi. shoulda got more.

We went to Zipangu another time after this, and it was good-- though pricey. This place is good. I can look past the Maine Crunch Roll cuz I ain't getting it again. The second time we came I forgot what we ate, but we were happy, although sad to spend so much. I don't mind coming back here again.

Habana - Costa Mesa

2930 Bristol St # A110
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-0176
Type: Cuban food / restaurant

Ditched work today to post this review. Not really. My car ain't healthy at the moment. So luckily for all y'all, you get to read about the stuff I ate a few months ago and look at the award-winning pictures I took.

Lately, my girlfriend and I have been doing some restaurant-hopping on occasion. It's like bar-hopping, but fatter. We'll order a little at one restaurant, then go straight to another and order a little there. We got hungry and couldn't decide whether to eat Caribbean-type food or sushi. So we decided to have a little of both. She took me to a place down the street from the South Coast Plaza Mall. It's a trendy shopping area with Urban Outfitters, some artsy stores selling different stuff, a cafe with a gypsy theme where the hip hang out to lounge and eat, and other places I didn't walk into. Now that I think about it, I've been frequenting these kind of places lately. Does that mean I'm turning into a yuppie or am I just cool and hip-- or neither still?

The first spot we hit up was a place called Habana. My girlfriend loves the sangria here. It's a Cuban restaurant that attracts young-ish, probably successful people. "Young-ish" being 30 something. (I'd like to consider myself "young" at the age of 25.) The place was pretty crowded. I forgot what day it was that we went, but we ended up eating outside cuz it was just too tight inside. We sat outside next to the parking lot (which sucks cuz it's so hard to get parking there). From there, I could see our next stop after this place, but I'll get into that on the next post.

The menu prices here aren't cheap. It ain't super expensive but I'm glad we didn't have a full meal here. We ordered the calamari fritas ($8) and the seared ahi carribean rub ($21). The menu isn't that extensive. If I had somewhat good memory, I could probably memorize the whole menu after two visits. We got some free bread that had some good butter/spread. I think I always rave about the free breads cuz I'm super hungry. This case isn't any different. I killed those carbs.

The calamari fritas were very good. The calamari was light and fluffy in a way and not too chewy. The sauce was like a salsa which was very very good. We killed that quickly and painlessly.

calamari fritas in the dark. really good.

The seared ahi caribbean rub wasn't bad. It came with garlic mashed potatoes and fried onion strings. The tuna was nice and rare. The sauce was a little tangy but not overwhelming. It wasn't filling if I remember correctly. Would I get it again? Hmmm. Maybe not.

seared ahi caribbean rub was coo

After all was said and eaten, we still weren't full. Although the calamari was good and the ahi was cool, the prices for the main meals were kind of high. If I got money to spend, cool, I'll go here if I can't think of anywhere else. If I don't, I'd rather not hit this place up. "Well that's an obvious answer," you might be thinking. But even if I'm broke-ish, I'll still hit up a sushi restaurant and spend $20-$30 per head for my meal. At the moment, I'm in the red financially, so I won't be coming back here soon. On to the next restaurant next door.....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mi Piace - Pasadena

Mi Piace
25 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 795-3131
Type: Italian food / dining / bakery

It was getting a little late at night one day in Pasadena. When I say late here, I don't mean 12 midnight or later. I mean 9 something or 10. My girl and I were having trouble finding a place to eat besides Wokcano. I hadn't updated Club N' Grub for the Pasadena area that much, so we had to drive up and down Colorado Blvd. We passed Mi Piace, but I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, so we considered it a backup if we didn't find anything else. We didn't find anything else.

Fug it. Mi Piace it is. I don't know why I don't like Italian food that much. It's cool, but I never crave it. For me it's sushi, Peruvian, Indian, Caribbean, or Mexican. This place is a little pricey for me-- but I make shit paychecks. It's a trendy spot with outside dining for yuppies. Actually that whole area of Pasadena is largely made of yuppies. Maybe even the whole city itself is. But who am I to judge? My girlfriend's a yuppie. j/k. Inside you'll listen to some dance music while you look at the modern-ish design.

I don't remember much about the menu. Just that if you don't know Italian you better read the descriptions or ask. Oh, if you're hungry and you want something to eat right away, you can order free bread. Free bread is always good when you're hungry or if you don't wanna eat a lot from the menu.

the good things in life are free

For the appetizer we got the torre di tonno ($14.95) which is an ahi tuna tower made with wonton chips and other stuff. I don't know. It was good but I've had similar at other places.

tuna tower

My notes say I ordered the gnocchi di spinaci e ricotta salata. I don't think that was it. I just know I had some juicy salmon with steamed broccoli. The broccoli was good. I think it was cooked with some kind of sauce. Although it was good, I had better salmon at Alpenrose and The Terrace Pointe Cafe at the Wynn. I think it was expensive too.

My girlfriend got the pappardelle con scamponi e gamberi ($19.50). It's a pasta dish with flat, wide noodles with prawns and two large shrimps. Also some celery and carrot slices were included in the mix. The cream sauce was a little sweet for her taste, but I think it was cool with me. It looks small but it could get you full. She said she wouldn't get it again.

pappardelle con scamponi e gamberi. look it up son.

For Italian food lovers, you'll probably like this place if the cost doesn't matter too much. It's not super duper expensive, but like I said, I don't like Italian food that much. It was cool (my homie Marlon hates when I say that) but I would prefer anything else that's cheaper than this place. I would eat sushi that's more expensive than this any day-- when I can afford it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sushi Cruise - Claremont

Sushi Cruise
962 W Foothill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 398-4415
Type: sushi / japanese food / all-you-can-eat

I heard my friends talking about going to some all-you-can-eat sushi place. They said it was fun with $1 sake shots, and they were flirting with the waitress and all that. How was I left out of this trip? Next time they went, I made sure I was with there.

The place they went to was called Sushi Cruise in the city of Claremont near Upland and the 210 freeway. The place outside looks like a big boat-- hence the name. I was pretty excited and hungry when we got there. If you want the all-you-can-eat deal, fork over $24.95 plus tax, drinks, and other stuff. The way it works is that you get 3 rounds of ordering. You can order as much as you want in any single round but you gotta finish it, or do a great job of hiding it. The items in the deal aren't all the items they have on their full menu. I wanted some rolls that weren't part of it, but oh well.

can you read it?

Aight. So good thing the dynamite appetizer is on the list. That one wasn't bad. I ordered two by the end of the night.

dynamite appetizer.

The rainbow roll was not great. I think the hard rice killed it. It wasn't like uncooked-rice-hard. But it was noticeable for a sushi roll fanatic like myself. By the way, I just noticed I haven't been explaining what the rolls consist of. Tough luck. I'm too lazy to explain every single time. Go to Wikipedia and look it up.

Rainbow Roll. No thank you.

The green mussels were whatevers. I had better at Joe's Sushi in Lakewood.

green mussels.

The Pizza Roll had baked scallops and mayo on top of a California Roll. Rice was supbar again. That was the theme for the rolls and sushi for the night. I wasn't feeling it. It looked really good when it came to the table, but forget about it.

Pizza Roll??? looks can be deceiving

The spider roll was good. I don't know if the picture below is it, but it was cool. I think this one missed the hard rice batch.

could be the Spider Roll

I ordered the usual three sushis: salmon, yellowtail, and albacore. They were decent, but again, the rice was just messing up the flow of things.

salmon, albacore, and yellowtail sushis

The Volcano Roll sounded good. I usually order that roll wherever I go. It's either that or Dynamite Rolls, or both. This one I gave an "eh" rating. It was just not close to what I expected or wanted. Plus, I had to eat most of it cuz nobody wanted any more-- which made me hate it even more.

from front to back: Volcano Roll? Spider Roll, 2 hand rolls, my friend's elbow. bad manners Bub.

So that's all the pics I took. I think I got some miso soup too. As for the drinking, the sake shots or bombs are only a dollar or two during their Happy Hours which you'll have to call them for. I think we had to pay full price for them this time.

This place was probably one of the not-so-great all-you-can-eat sushi places I've been to. It's on par with one I had in Fountain Valley or something off Magnolia and the 405. I found the quality of most of their stuff 2nd rate. The rice made it worse, but that can be overlooked. If you're not picky I guess it's a cool spot. I definitely wouldn't want to come here only to eat. So the next time my friends are going to Sushi Cruise to hang out, will I be there? Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. We'll see.