Sometimes after a long day, the last thing I want to do is come home and slave away in the kitchen. Last night was one of those times. I sent a quick text to Zeb, “happy hour?” His response, “sushi.” Perfect. By five thirty we were walking in the door of Origami Sushi in the heart of the warehouse district in Downtown Minneapolis.
Origami Sushi is located in the Market Hotel building which was constructed in 1867 and was later rebuilt into a hotel in 1880. The Market Hotel functioned as a Hotel until 1960. Eventually, it was purchased and made into a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine, including sushi. November of 1990 Origami officially opened it’s doors to the public and has remained one of the best Sushi restaurants in the area.
When we arrived, the hostess quickly ushered us upstairs to a table. Along the stairway we found several framed awards and signed words of praise by the many famous people who have eaten at Origami.
We were soon greeted by our waiter holding warm washcloths for us to clean our hands with. We then quickly ordered our drinks. The prices at Origami are very affordable. House wines $3.75/glass, beers ranging from $3-5, cocktails $5 and $6, and sakes from $3.25 all the way to $7.55. Zeb and I remained stingy and stuck with the cheaper beers. The beers came and we were able to slowly peruse the menu before our waiter came to take our order. The wait was clearly due to a seasoned staff versus an overwhelmed, slow one. He was always willing to help when we needed, yet wasn’t hovering over our table. This gave us time to really enjoy each other and our conversation.
When it came time for us to order our food, we weren’t as quick to decide. Not only are the Happy Hour food specials well-priced, but the menu is fairly extensive. There are many times when I attend a happy hour and the menu consists of four or five items, all of which are a little over-priced. This is not the case at Origami Sushi. They offer about ten choices priced between $4-$8. We picked three items off the menu: Shrimp Harumaki ($4), Japanese Hot Wings ($5), and the Sushi/Sashimi Combo ($7.95.)
Each dish was really tasty. My favorite was the Sushi/Sashimi Combo. We chose the spicy salmon roll. I took one bite and I was in heaven. It had been way too long since my last bite of sushi. The roll was perfect. Just the right amount of rice, rolled with the veggies and the salmon. The texture of the rice also impressed me. Too often sushi rice tastes either too old or not cooked properly. Making the sushi roll taste dry and stale or spongy.
Next up, the Shrimp Harumaki. These were mini Japanese egg rolls served with Origami’s sweet and sour sauce. The egg rolls were good, but not great. Both Zeb and I thought the texture was off. The inside was a little too mushy. We also agreed that the flavor in these was not the best we had ever had. We both enjoyed the sweet and spicy flavors in the dipping sauce.
Finally, we tasted the Japanese Hot Wings. We both thought the flavors worked well together. When the wing hit our tongues we tasted a sweet, tang. As we swallowed, a slight burning took that place. The only thing we would change would be less of a fried, battery taste and have the sauce have more presence.
It didn’t take long for our bill to come. After each ordering a beer and three appetizers to share, our bill came to $26 before tip. Not bad for a sushi happy hour. We both left feeling perfectly full and we were both excited to stop by again soon.
A trendy restaurant in an old building. It’s a great place to go for a fancy dinner or a quick bite.
Friendly and efficient.
Plated beautifully, each dish luring you into sneaking that first bite.
Delicious. The sushi has been voted some of the best in the city, I’d have to agree.
Value for Dollars
Great Happy Hour prices. Can’t beat $26 for a meal and drinks for two.
But don’t take my word for it!
30 North First Street
Mpls, MN 55401
Happy Hour: 5-6:30 everyday
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