Paris Ryan / Special to The Bee

Sung Kim, head chef at Mikuni Kaizen in Roseville, applies soy dressing to albacore pepperfin. Mmmm-mmmm.

Night Life: Mikuni Kaizen in Roseville

Published: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 35TICKET

Mikuni Kaizen

1017 Galleria Blvd., Roseville

(916) 780-2119

www.mikunisushi.com/en

Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

Dinner: 4-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4-9 p.m. Sunday

Happy hour: 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday

The real steal: Drinks such as Kaizen's four draft beers and Geikkekan hot sake are $3.50. Domaine St. Michelle sparkling wine and Beringer Founders Estate wine, as well as house wines by the glass, are $5. For $7, Kaizen offers chilled Sho Chiku Bai Nigori Sake, which is unfiltered, and Haiku Chilled Sake, which is filtered.

Appetizers include the $3 wakame seaweed salad, $4 crispy gyoza and California roll and $5 Fair Oaks roll. The barbecue albacore tuna appetizer runs $6 and albacore pepperfin is $9.

The vibe: The restaurant is family-friendly, but still hip and playful, with colorful walls, plenty of paintings and an oversized, hand-carved, metallic octopus hovering above.

Artwork featuring Japanese words for "hope," "dream," and "mikuni" – which means kingdom of God – were drawn by Mikuni founder Koki Arai, and painted by David Garibaldi, a recent finalist on "America's Got Talent." Other Garibaldi paintings at the restaurant include an image of Albert Einstein.

Garibaldi created a separate "Hope" painting as part of a fundraiser for tsunami survivors in Japan. Mikuni and Bayside Church in Roseville teamed up for this fundraiser and auctioned off this painting. A loyal restaurant patron purchased the image, then returned it to the restaurant. Even now, Garibaldi gets requests for duplicates.

The one-of-a-kind sushi and alcohol bar is composed of coins and knickknacks – including a piece of a wristwatch – from Koki Arai's travels.

Signature drink: A beer-and-sake combo. Sapporo and Kirin beer are $3.50, and often are paired with the $3.50 Geikkekan hot sake or the $7 chilled Sho Chiku Bai Nigori Sake.

Alternative libations: Kaizen's cocktails are not part of happy hour, but these $8 to $8.50 drinks are not something you will find elsewhere. Options include sake cocktails such as the momo, or a drink that comes with an edible flower bud on the side – the lychee shock. The lychee shock is made with Absolut vodka, triple sec, sweet and sour, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and fresh lychee juice. It is garnished with a lychee and comes with an umami bud on the side.

This sweet drink can be served as a shooter, but the best way to have it is to sip it, then nibble on the flower bud. The flower bud creates a sort of numbing sensation in your mouth, along with a slightly salty taste to complement the sweetness of the exotic fruit.

Hideaway Bar & Grill

2565 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento

(916) 455-1331

www.facebook.com/ SactoHideaway

Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Friday, noon- 2 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Sunday

Happy hour: 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 p.m.-close Sunday

The deals: Well drinks and Olympia draft beers are $2. Appetizers are full-priced but affordable. Olympia-battered onion rings are $5; and the mac 'n' cheese is $8.

Do you know of a bar that has amazingly good deals on drinks and food? Share the scoop with The Bee, and we'll highlight it as part of Night Life. Email sacbeenightlife@gmail.com.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Paris Ryan



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