Happy Hour Guide

Discover the Joys of Japanese Pub Grub

Unleash your sake and biru-loving beast within with some of these exceptional deals.

By Alice Levitt December 28, 2016 Published in the January 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Cocktails at Kuu

Image: Chuck Cook

Aka Sushi House

When: 3–7 p.m. and 9–10:30 p.m. Mon–Thu; 3–7 p.m. and 9–midnight Fri; noon–midnight Sat; noon–10:30 p.m. Sun
What: Daily specials like half-priced bottles of wine and sake on Tuesday are great, but not as impressive as the weekend all-day happy hour at this Upper Kirby hot spot. Stake a claim to a table for a marathon of $2.50 brews, $3.25 kurobuta sausage and $10 combo sushi plates.

Blue Fish

When: 5–7 p.m. daily
What: Nothing exceeds $5 during the Red Sun Hour at this sushi bar in downtown's Bayou Place. That means rolls, mixed seafood tempura and $4 wines and Japanese beers. $3 desserts include mochi ice cream and chocolate-filled spring rolls.

Kuu Restaurant

When: 3:30–6:30 p.m. Mon–Fri
What: Small plates may be inexpensive at this upscale Memorial City spot’s “social hour,” but there’s no skimping on ingredients. Foie gras mousse with apple jam is just $5, while maki—including the soft shell crab Spider Roll—come in at $7. Cocktails are all $7 too, including the sake-splashed Osaka Mule.

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Maki rolls and cocktails such as the Osaka Mule are both $7 at Kuu Restaurant.

Image: Chuck Cook

Oishii Japanese Restaurant 

When: 3–7 p.m. Mon–Fri; 3–6 p.m. Sat
What: This great-granddaddy of Japanese happy hours in Greenway Plaza offers 23 different $4 buy-one-get-one-free items, including a variety of rolls, but also French fries. Domestic beers are $1.25, Japanese imports are $1.75, and wine clocks in at $4.

Soma Sushi

When: 4–10 p.m. Mon; 4–7 p.m. Tue–Sat; noon–10 p.m. Sun
What: Ambitious cocktails such as a strawberry-and-cilantro-infused vodka concoction and a wasabi-spiked gin martini are $6 at this Washington Avenue stalwart, as are fun kitchen bites including Korean wings, a pair of shishito pancake–battered corn dogs, and Japanese oxtail curry with roti.


When: 5–6:30 p.m. daily
What: Like the rest of the intensely seasonal Austin import’s offerings, the happy hour menu at the Montrose location changes daily. What’s always there for the taking? $3 hot or cold sake, $6 maki (add wagyu to the avocado one for another $3), and a sense of adventure.

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