Happy Hour

Clever Koi in Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card

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See Also: The Clever Koi in Midtown Opens With a Splash

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered Monday through Saturday from 3 until 6 p.m.

The Interior: Jared Porter has already brought chic to pizza with The Parlor, so it's no wonder that his newest venture, Clever Koi, is a knockout. Modern, clean, simple, but with just the right amount of kitschy hipster touches, Clever Koi is the kind of place that Phoenix needs to establish its relevancy in the restaurant world. Sit at the bar, on the patio or at a table inside to enjoy the happy hour menu and find out if all of this style has the substance to back it.

The Food: With three $5 options on the happy hour menu, Clever Koi doesn't have an overwhelming selection for deal seekers. However, the roasted beet salad, chicken wings and roasted pork ramen all seem solid enough to carry the menu from their descriptions alone. The beet salad, with crispy tempura bean curd, mizuna, cucumber and pickled ginger, is easily the kind of dish you'd spend $8 on at another restaurant. Fresh ingredients make the salad pop, though we did notice the tempura on the bean curd was a little too salty for our taste and the dressing a bit too acidic.

Normally those two factors wouldn't raise much concern in an otherwise delicious salad, but the roasted pork ramen seemed to suffer from the same heavy hand with salt and acid. While the pork, bacon, noodles, poached egg, hearty slices of shitake mushrooms and pickled mustard greens were all great components with the surprisingly peanutty broth, there was just a little too much salt all together, as if each had been treated to seasoning on its own, rather than as part of a dish. Overall, those small issues aren't enough to condemn the place. We mean, where else in town can you get a bowl of ramen that great for only $5?

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch