Chow Bella

Sake and Sushi in Arcadia for Under $10

An assortment of fresh sushi from Sushiholic.
An assortment of fresh sushi from Sushiholic. Dillon Rosenblatt

Each week we venture to a new restaurant to check out what the spot has to offer during our favorite time of day — happy hour. Whether it's affordable appetizers, delicious drinks, jaw-dropping deals, or none of the above, we'll check out the situation and report back.

The Spot: Sushiholic
3957 East Camelback Road

The Hours: Happy hour is practically all day Monday through Saturday, and Sunday they're closed. Regular happy hour is 2 to 8 p.m., and reverse happy hour runs from 8 p.m. to closing time.

Perfect For: A casual hangout with friends or co-workers and fulfilling your sushi cravings without breaking the bank.

The Interior: As of two months ago, the shop expanded from a small room of around 10 booths, a few high-tops, and less than a dozen seats at the sushi bar, taking over the neighboring building so as to provide more seating, which translates into little or no wait time.

click to enlarge Spicy garlic edamame - DILLON ROSENBLATT
Spicy garlic edamame
Dillon Rosenblatt
The Food: Sushiholic gives you plenty of items to choose from on the happy hour menu. Select from just under 20 types of sushi, roughly 14 appetizers, and about a dozen or so cocktails. We ordered the spicy garlic edamame ($5.25). Covered in hot chili sauce that will catch you off guard with the first bite, and topped with minced garlic that pairs well with the spice, it was a great drinking snack.

Service was excellent. The moment we finished the last pod of edamame, our sushi arrived. We ordered a Rainbow roll, which is essentially a California roll topped with an assortment of fish (8.25), spicy tuna (4.25), crunchy roll featuring shrimp tempura, cucumber, and crab drizzled with eel sauce (6.25), salmon nigiri (4.25), and my personal favorite, the Tootsie Roll. Nothing like the candy, it featured crab, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, crunch, and a drizzle of eel sauce (4.25). Each roll was super fresh-tasting, and here, a good rule of thumb is that if there's eel sauce involved, the roll will be delicious.

The Drinks: During happy hour, drinks range from $4 to $9 for the sake sangria. We opted for a small hot sake ($4) and a Naughty Ninja ($7). The Ninja tasted like five shots of Malibu rum over ice, enhanced with food coloring, with no perceivable flavor other than coconut-flavored sugar water. That said, you definitely can't go wrong with a sushi and sake combo for less than 10 bucks.
click to enlarge The main interior during a Wednesday night reverse happy hour. - DILLON ROSENBLATT
The main interior during a Wednesday night reverse happy hour.
Dillon Rosenblatt

Conclusion: You've probably driven by this place many times without ever noticing. It's in a small, unattractive strip mall, with limited parking, but it's a place worth checking out. You won't get sushi as fresh or as good for the price anywhere else in Arcadia, let alone central Phoenix. The servers and hosts are fast, friendly, and attentive, and there's plenty of seating. Fresh sushi and sake might be the perfect way to forget about the workday.

Don’t Miss: The spicy garlic edamame. Who doesn't love spice and garlic? And great deals on classic sushi rolls and sake.

Skip This: Ordering off the full menu. There's a reason they have happy hour all day. They are basically telling you not to order from that other menu. Listen to them. And unless you are a die-hard Malibu fan, skip the Ninja.

Grade: A-
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Dillon Rosenblatt was the social media editor at Phoenix New Times from 2016 to 2018. Originally from New Jersey, he is a graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.