THIS WEEK'S FEATURED BARGAIN
900 15th St., Sacramento
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. daily
The real steal: Select from 16 appetizers ranging from $1.50 to $9 during happy hour. The house favorites are the oysters on the half shell; five-piece barbecued albacore, and "Better than Sex," an albacore sashimi with chili oil, ponzu sauce and jalapeños. Drinks? Try sake bombs for $1.99, well drinks for $4, wine by the glass for $4 to $6, and their featured cocktail, the Bermuda Triangle, for $5. They also serve draft beers for $2.99, including the top three Japanese beers Sapporo, Asahi and Kirin as well as Lagunitas IPA and Stella Artois.
The vibe: This restaurant has a loungelike atmosphere. White walls and large windows that let in natural light make the place feel bright and energetic. White leather chairs are scooted up to a white marble bar.
When you enter Zen Sushi, you step directly into the sushi bar and lounge area, and walk through it to the dining area. The sushi bar area goes for a water theme, with blue glass tiles and cutouts of koi on the ceiling, while faux wood tile and tree cutouts on the ceiling give the dining area a more natural, earthy feel. Sliding glass doors can be used to divide the rooms a blue one between the dining area and bar, a yellow one between the dining area and a private dining area.
Signature drink: The Bermuda Triangle is made with Sailor Jerry rum, peach schnapps and orange juice, and costs $5 during happy hour. This sweet, summery cocktail helps remind you of a tropical getaway.
Bathroom break: The elegant, private bathroom is between the bar-lounge and the restaurant. It continues the white theme with textured white tile on the walls and a lighted mirror over the sink. It's spacious and perfect for touch-ups.
Alternative libations: The draft Asahi beer is $2.99 during happy hour and is a good combination with your happy hour roll of choice.
Something extra: Happy hour works only in the sushi bar and lounge area, and the sushi bar offers a more intimate happy hour. If you come with a large group, the oversized white leather couches with sea foam-green cushions are really popular. You also will be near the large windows, so you can enjoy people-watching.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE CHEAP
4071 Howard St., Fair Oaks
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.- midnight Friday and Saturday
Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday
The deals: Select from the house margarita the Carmelita Margarita for $4, or a dollar off all beers and wines during happy hour. Carmelita's also offers appetizers such as nachos, bean dip, and queso fundido for $5.
524 Second St., Davis
Hours:11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. (Closing times can vary.)
Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m.-to-closing Thursday through Saturday
The deals: During Uncle Vito's post-work happy hour, enjoy a dollar off well drinks, draft beers and house wines. They also offer a $5 special that includes any slice of pizza from the menu and a draft beer.
The late-night happy hour is a progressive happy hour that gets better as it gets later at night. They call it the "Blast off happy hour 4, 3, 2, 1" with deals for each of those dollar amounts. From 10 p.m. to closing enjoy the slice-and-a-draft special for $4 instead of $5. After 11 p.m., well drinks are $3, and from midnight to closing time, draft beers are $2. By 1 a.m., all pizza slices are a dollar while supplies last.
All day Monday they also offer $1 slices of cheese, pepperoni and pesto pizza.
195 Blue Ravine Road, No. 700, Folsom
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Happy hour: 2-5 p.m. daily
The deals: Enjoy a dollar off domestic draft beers and half-off select appetizers during happy hour. The appetizers are around $4.50 to $5 and perfect to share; and a few of the house favorites are the taquitos, nachos, and quesadillas.