What used to be a quiet sushi bar on Wilshire has quickly transformed into a hot spot for young patrons in West Lost Angeles. The recently renovated and expanded Hara Sushi on Wilshire draws a lively evening crowd with its sushi specials and convenient location. Upon arrival, each person is served a bowl of miso soup and a handsome serving of edamame to share with their table. The miso is just broth, lacking any tofu or seaweed pieces but, because it’s free, it’s hard to complain.
What draws the regulars however is a long menu of specialty rolls, maki, sushi, and other Japanese specialties that won’t break the bank.
Each night, Hara runs Happy Hour sushi and drink specials for half the usual price. This cheap pricing makes it easy to order enough food to fill you with money to spare.
Half-off deals apply to sake and beer, making this a popular place for Sake Bombs.
I would advise you to read the menu carefully and order with caution, because while the restaurant advertises “half-off sushi,” this discount only applies to certain plain sushi rolls--not any of the specialty rolls.
However, most of the specialty rolls run for about $10, and are stuffed and topped with enough fish to maximize each dollar spent. If you stick to the happy hour menu, $10 can easily pay for two to three cut rolls, from spicy tuna to eel and even scallop.
Instead of employing an ample host staff and taking party names, Hara uses the old take-a-number system.
When you take a number, make sure to say when you whether you plan on drinking alcohol because after its recent expansion, the restaurant’s alcohol license is only valid for half of the restaurant--so make sure to take a seat on the right side.
While the wait staff is friendly, during the dinner rush they don’t drop by to update any orders or see how your meal is going. When a server does come to your table, have your order ready because you never know when, or if, they’re coming back.
At Hara Sushi, the fun, lively crowd and low prices for thick cuts of sushi, ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck. However, come expecting an often cramped space and average service during peak hours.
Hara Sushi is located at 12222 Wilshire Blvd. in Brentwood, and has an underground parking lot.