Something about sushi makes me a happy camper.
It wasn’t always that way. Growing up, I absolutely hated it. I was that person who always had the chicken katsu or teriyaki dishes while everyone else imbibed in roll after roll.
Thankfully, taste buds evolve and so did my love for this artful meal, so when I had heard such good reviews and commentary on Sakebomber I decided to try it out.
A lot of Tempe restaurants have a college vibe and Sakebomber is definitely no different. Case in point: I was carded at the entrance and was awarded a wrist band. I get it, as a college town, it makes sense. It is just a strange thing to be asked “How many people in your party?” and “Are you drinking tonight?” upon arrival.
The atmosphere is fun, upbeat and very casual. The service is quick and efficient but, most notably, friendly and in no rush to push you out the door. In fact, my dining companion and I sat for about an hour after our meal just talking. They kept coming over and filling up our waters without any hesitation or obvious push to get us out. These days, that type of service is very rare.
They do have a bigger regular menu to choose from but what sets this sushi restaurant apart from the others is the almost constant happy hour. It starts at 5 p.m. and goes to 9 p.m., to only be replaced by a smaller reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close. They are currently running this as a summer special and will eventually return to a more normal 5-7 p.m. happy hour time slot, but you simply can’t beat this kind of deal.
Other restaurant happy hours typically include a couple of appetizers and a few of the slightly bigger menu items, but this is a page-long list of apps, rolls, sashimi, etc. Not to be forgotten, of course, are the drinks with, you guessed it, a sakebomber available at a reduced price.
We ordered a couple of rolls, some sashimi and the usual edamame. Staring off with the edamame, we chose the typical salted version but they do have a garlic version if you aren’t planning on getting romantic with anyone after dinner.
The tootsie roll incorporates, among other things, tempura shrimp and eel sauce drizzled on top — incredibly satisfying and with six to seven pieces is a nice staple on the happy hour menu.
The crispy California roll is a typical California roll but sprinkled with tempura flakes on top. The tempura does add a little crunch factor and a little sweetness.
Lastly, we tried the Hawaiian tuna sashimi roll, the special for the night. Amazing grade tuna with just a touch of sweetness placed on top, it was easy to down both pieces very quickly.
There were many other rolls that sounded so intriguing I could have sat there all night ordering roll after roll. I plan on returning and taking advantage of this great summer pricing.
If you happen to be in Tempe looking for a different and wallet-friendly sushi place, Sakebomber is definitely worth a try this summer.