Blue happy hour celebrates the social experience


By Joe Shearer, Photo Editor

Achieving a sort of Western cult status, sushi dining in the modern United States is popular. Tables full of people engage in mastication of the world’s slimiest water-dwelling beings, usually while taking part in warm, genuine conversation. Experience has shown me that those with more adventurous tastes are capable of more eclectic social interaction.

    However, this Japanese delicacy can be somewhat expensive if it is fresh, prepared right and served in a premier location. Also, not everyone enjoys raw fish wrapped in seaweed or prepared in similarly odd fashion.

    Fortunately, tucked into the heart of downtown’s Old Market is Blue Sushi, and they offer a Monday through Friday happy hour that is not only cost effective for the average student, but also comprised of items that suit a wide range of tastes.

    Located between Howard and Harney on 12th street, in the 2nd floor space that’s usually the Red Sake Bombers Lounge, Blue Sushi serves up cheap drinks, rolls and more from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. during the workweek in a hip, modernly decorated dining area. Open to all ages, this popular destination attracts legions of young people seeking a cheap, delicious bite while enjoying warm conversation with friends.

    My girlfriend and I attended the happy hour about five times over the summer. Each time we occupied a table with at least 10 people. On a recent August trip, we decided to go alone and dine in private.

    We arrived just as the happy hour had commenced, and the dining area was nearly empty. Our waitress greeted us promptly and took our drink and appetizer orders. We both chose the house margaritas ($3.00) and decided to split an order of spicy edamame, also $3. A salted version of the edamame is offered for $2.50.

    The drinks came out right away and were accompanied by cucumber-garnished ice waters. The extremely sweet and heavy margaritas were an interesting counterpart to the plainer, lightly seasoned edamame beans. Edamame is a refreshing appetizer to snack on before the main course.

    My girlfriend and I split orders of the cabo rolls ($4.50/8 pcs.), calamari ($4.50) and the chicken satay ($4.00). We were asked if we wanted our entire order to arrive at once or if we wanted it to come out as each dish was ready. We opted to have our orders delivered as fresh as possible, and in no particular order. This style of food delivery is great for patrons who are aiming to share their selections with the table they’re conversing with.

    The calamari was the first dish to arrive. I’m not the biggest fan of fried squid, but the presentation of the perfectly sizzled bits of the oceanic delicacy looked very inviting. This dish can be chewy and overly fishy tasting, but Blue’s version is very easy to get down. The calamari bits were properly prepared and texture was no issue. Excellent complements to the plate were the mixed in tempura fried carrot and red pepper slices.

    The chicken satay and cabo rolls were delivered promptly after our finishing of the calamari. Our waitress executed near-perfect timing throughout our whole dining experience, which is always a bonus.

    Both of our main dishes were fantastic. The simplicity and spicy edge of the cabo rolls make them a very versatile selection for a wide range of sushi consumers. They are comprised of spicy tuna, crab and cucumber, which is a very refreshing combination. The chicken satay always satisfies. I’ve ordered it for about half of all my summer happy hour visits. Four generously stabbed skewers of bird are presented over a halved red bell pepper and are accompanied by a rich peanut sauce. The chicken is drizzled with a mild yogurt sauce, giving the poultry a sweet kick.

    As usual, both Katie and I were pleased with our visit to Blue downtown. Though we weren’t in the company of numerous friends during this trip, we still had a genuinely pleasant experience, littered with endearing dialogue and top-notch eats.

    The greatest feature of Blue’s happy hour is its ability to suit any party, from 1 to a dozen. Loners could sit at the bar and have a nice meal and/or a drink and chat it up with locals and bartenders. At the same time, 10 people can get a private, long table on the opposite side of the room for their party.

    Whether you’re a drinker or not, the Old Market Blue Sushi happy hour is an event that should be experienced by any student or other looking for a well-priced, quality meal in a highly social environment.

I know we’ll be back for more.


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