By Michele Laudig
People in the East Valley really must have an insatiable appetite for sushi -- how else to explain the constant influx of new sushi restaurants to the area?
Haru Sushi (9845 S. Priest Dr., 480-705-9825), and it seems to be going for the budget-minded customer. (Sushi Eye in Motion, in Chandler, was the area's first such restaurant.) None of the sushi dishes go for more than $3.25, while the cheapest selections -- inarizushi, crab salad roll, etc -- are $1.25. Your final tab is determined by how many color-coded plates you stack up. If you haven't been to one of these conveyor-belt places (known as "kaitenzushi" in Japan), they're quite a hoot.
And in Gilbert, Sushiya opened about a month ago (2531 S. Gilbert Rd., 480-294-4886). In Japanese, "sushiya" means "sushi restaurant," so it doesn't get any more straightforward a name than that. A week from today, on June 25th, owner Sung Yoon and his wife Jeewon will host a grand opening party from 5 to 9:30 p.m., offering discounted menu prices for everyone, as well as $40 gift certificates for ten lucky winners.
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On a related Japanese-y note, I just found out about Sake2Me, a new sparkling sake that's hitting the Phoenix-area as we speak. Turns out, The Orange Table in Scottsdale is doing a free tasting tonight from 7 to 9 p.m.
For the lowdown on more local cocktail culture, check out tomorrow's Meal Ticket -- our new weekly dining newsletter. (If you haven't signed up for Meal Ticket yet, click here and select "dining newsletter.")