Remember those days when I was practically living at Kobachi Izakaya Dining? When I’d be in dining bliss from six to ten rounds of glorious omakase? I was *so bummed* when they closed, although I understood why. It’s hard to run two restaurants when the chefs are needed at both simultaneously.
Ahi has served me well, although the izakaya was just a shadow of the Kobachi past, with the limited menu and no more magic late nights sitting with friends, sipping shochu and oolong tea, sharing plates amongst ourselves or even with the tables of friendly strangers near us.
Well, have I got news for you. Starting on 13 November, Ahi rolled out the late night izakaya, Kobachi style! And I couldn’t be more pleased. Honestly, these last couple years I’ve felt like I was in a daze without Kobachi, wandering aimlessly from restaurant to restaurant. My existing favorite places still are favorites, but Kobachi/Ahi hold a special place in my heart.
But enough of the maudlin weepy blither. What are the details?
Here’s what they posted on their Facebook page.
“Beginning November 13,2013: AHI Sushi will stay open later for dinner and will have a special dinner menu.
The new hours are only Wednesday to Saturday 5:30pm to 12 midnight and the new late night dinner menu starts at 8:30pm.
Last call for orders will be at 11:30pm.
Please come join us and try our new IZAKAYA DISHES!!”
On top of that, for this week’s unveiling of the izakaya nights and menu, they have a special promotion of some items, each $0.99, plus trays of uni for $10 when available. I nicked the photo from their FB page, saves me from typing it all out.
I went on the night of the 13th, promptly at 8:30 to check out the izakaya menu, which I had not yet seen. Oooh yes, it’s very much like the Kobachi menu, I am in heaven! All the usual suspects back on the menu…but only after 8:30 PM, Wednesday – Saturday. Remember, that Kobachi only had the izakaya at night as well, although it started when they first opening for service in the evening. This will take some getting used to, but I can do it.
I went with one friend the first night, and we maxed out on food pretty quickly, izakaya definitely should be shared with a small group. We managed to put down half a dozen oysters, a California roll and an avocado roll from the limited 99 cent menu.
From the izakaya menu, we got:
Tsukune renkon shiitake-an, and Nasu dengaku. The former is chicken meatballs stuffed in lotus root slices and it’s served in a mushroom sauce. The Nasu is broiled eggplant with a rich miso glaze. Both have been long time favorites, and as in the past, I recommend slicing up the eggplant and then letting it sit a few minutes to cool off – it is very hot and liquidy.
And what traditional night of izakaya is complete without a plate of aburi saba? Seared and sliced mackerel with ginger, spring onions and a light broth. Oooh so good, and Scott had never had this before, it was his favorite of the night.
I’m going back before the weekend. I can only hope that if enough people enthusiastically support the izakaya menu, it might become available before 8:30 pm. Pleeeease.
Last year Blue Nami had a late night happy hour with a small menu of half price rolls. I guess the recession is still in full swing because the cheap rolls menu is now available all day. We didn’t know that and rolled in around 10 pm, but we could have gone earlier.
This one’s going to be short and sweet: we ate a lot of rolls and I don’t remember what they were. We were very tired after a long drive.
We rolled into town late, too late to make it to another local sushi place, so this was suggested.
Service was very attentive and quite good. Multiple people looking after us, bringing our food, checking on refills, asking how things are going. I was very happy with the service.
The rolls, while all different, like the rainbow roll, shooting star, jack’s special and oh, yes, as well as several others, began to taste the same, because they were all drizzled with the same sweet teriyaki and spicy mayo sauce. That was the downside of the sushi. I really have to think about it to pick out the flavors of the green onion, or cashew, or lemon of the individual rolls. In the end, the oh yes roll stood out because it had the least of the teriyaki spicy mayo sauce.
The prices were dead cheap. Seven rolls for under $50, including tea, miso soup and some fountain drinks.
The atmosphere of the late night happy hour was also pleasant. The lights go down, the music turns up. The dark wood of the bars and tables is elegant, dappled with candles and fairy lights in the branches of the decorative barewood tree at the entrance. It soon fills up with young people mostly, happy to have a place to go in Roseville at the ungodly late hours of 10 pm or later. And they were dressed up and looking nice.
Sounds good to me.