Huntington Beach Roll

Walking Distance Sushi Happy Hour: Maru Sushi

I feel like recently I’ve been behind on my Happy Hours and have been doing them on Thursdays and Fridays. Then I write them over the weekend before posting them on Tuesdays. This Adventure is no exception but luckily I found this restaurant right around the corner from my place and was able to walk there.

Entrance

Maru Sushi Japanese Restaurant is a quick 10-minute walk so it is very convenient from my place. I noticed it when we first moved to the area because they had a giant banner showing they had Happy Hour 4-7 pm. Although it has now changed to 4-6 pm.

Appetizers Section

The top half of the menu is dedicated to all of the appetizers that Maru Sushi offers. They range anywhere from $2.50 up to $6 which is very reasonable. There are a couple of simple sushi rolls that you can spot in this section. I’m not sure if it’s just me but when I typically go out for sushi and am handed one of these papers I tend to order way too many things. This Adventure proves that as you’ll notice all the items that I ordered.

Sushi and Drinks

We are at a place called Maru Sushi so we have to take a peek at the sushi section of the menu. One has two different price points when it comes to ordering sushi, either $6.50 or $9.99. Also, what is Happy Hour without some drink options. Since this is a Japanese eatery it is all about Japanese beer and sake. Everything ranges from $2.50 to $9.99 so you can find some very cheap drinks at this location. One can even get a Sake Bomb for $2.50 but I’ve had one before and I did not enjoy the experience so I steered away from that option.

Sayuri Sake

As I’m not much of a beer drinker I decided to get some sake. Sake is made by fermenting rice and can be served cold or hot depending on how you are feeling that day. For $9 you get this whole bottle of Sayuri Sake, which is a great value because there are not many Happy Hours where you can get a whole bottle of something for that price. Even though the sake was served with a small glass mimicking a shot glass, sake is still meant to be sipped. This sake had a 12.5% alcohol level which is around what wine would be. This particular sake has a milky coloring to it which I would guess is due to the rice fermentation process. I felt that it gave off a slight lemony citrus taste in the background which I thought was pleasant. It was one of the sweeter sakes they served which makes this sake best when served with spicy or sweet foods.

Gangsta Roll

Speaking of spicy food the first roll that came out was the Gangsta Roll. The name I felt did not match what the roll actually was which was a California roll topped with spicy tuna. You get a sweet and creamy flavor profile from the crab mixture and avocado in the center of the roll. Which is the perfect offset for the bright red spicy tuna that tops the roll itself. This was the most simple item that I ordered from Maru Sushi but sometimes the simple items can be the most delicious.

Huntington Beach Roll

We are stepping up the sushi roll game with the over-the-top Huntington Beach roll. I just had to get this roll since I lived in Huntington Beach for a bit so the name alone just called out to me. The first thing you see on this roll is the tempura shrimp that top each piece of sushi. Each tempura shrimp is coated in a sweet chili sauce as well as some spicy mayo. Unfortunately, when you coat something that is battered and fried with a sauce you lose a little bit of that crunch. Instead of your typical seaweed-wrapped sushi, this roll is wrapped in soy paper so that gives off a different texture and taste. In the roll itself, you had spicy tuna, asparagus, and avocado. This was the second time that I’ve had asparagus in a sushi roll for those of you that remember the UCI roll from Ky Sushi. Although I felt there were so many other flavors and textures going on in this roll that I hardly tasted the asparagus.

The Heart Attack

Let’s dive into the fusion world with this next hot appetizer. The Heart Attack is essentially Maru Sushi’s solution for a Japanese Jalapeño Popper. You have the typical makings of a jalapeño popper with the jalapeño stuffed with cream cheese and fried. However the breading on this popper is your panko breading. But the thing that makes this unique is the fact that it is stuffed with spicy tuna. There is also a drizzling of spicy mayo and some sweet sauce to add some moisture.

The jalapeño itself was still slightly crisp as if it was not cooked enough and was still a fresh jalapeño. The cream cheese did not add a lot of flavor to the popper because with a true jalapeño popper I feel like they usually add some other cheese to help enhance the flavor of the cream cheese. The spicy tuna to cream cheese ratio was off so I could hardly taste the flavor of the spicy tuna which was unfortunate.

Takoyaki

I saw Takoyaki on the menu which I’ve only ever had once before at the OC Night Market in 2019. Takoyaki is a popular Japanese street food that is cooked in a special molded pan with half-spheres covering the pan. It is very interesting seeing them cook because of the precision that is required to flip them at certain intervals to be able to pour more batter to create the iconic sphere shape. Takoyaki is flour-based spheres filled with pieces of octopus and green onion. These were also covered in sweet mayo for some additional flavor and bonito flakes which gave off a fishy taste.

For me, I’m not a huge fan of the texture of Takoyaki because at first, you have this crisp outside then you bite into a gooey center which to me almost feels like it is the undercooked batter. It is important to note that you should be very careful when you bite into Takoyaki because it can be boiling in the center. It’s a good thing I knew to be careful from the warning I got at the OC Night Market. The octopus itself was a bit tough which did not make for an enjoyable experience.

Maru Sushi Sign

By the time I got home, I realized that I never did get any pics of the restaurant itself. Overall it is just a small little restaurant within a strip mall of several different eateries. They had several booths with some Japanese artwork on the walls. With any sushi place they had a sushi bar although they did not allow you to sit up at it. There was a little patio that sat next to the parking lot. Mostly everyone was sitting inside which made the patio feel secluded and on this particular Thursday, it was a beautiful day to sit outside.

On my Adventures, I do my best to experience different types of foods and look for something that you may not find elsewhere on Happy Hour. However, with that, you may try some very unusual things but it’s important to have an open mind and try new things.

Website: Maru Sushi

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What is the craziest sushi roll that you ever had? Since this is my second time having sushi with asparagus I’m curious.

Let me know down below in the comments and share with friends who would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!

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