Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thanks to Bar*food for introducing me to Bimi

I've written at great length about my favorite neighborhood bar, Bar*Food, that currently offers all day happy hour that includes beer, wine and great Irish/English pub fare. Unfortunately last Thursday, Bar*Food was unusually crowded. Apparently there was a party going on that brought in some 120 people. To avoid the crowd, we decided to find alternate dinner plans. My steak and kidney pie would have to wait. We ended up a block away at Japanese restaurant, Bimi. It's been around over a year and I've been meaning to try because I had read that they once served sea urchin fried rice (unfortunately not any more). When we walked in, I was delighted to find that it was still Happy Hour. Monday through Friday from 5.30-9pm, and Saturday from 12-5pm. Score!

It's clean, bright and the decor was modern. They have a sushi bar with a few chefs on hand.

Happy Hour includes drinks (Mimosas, beer, Sake, saketini and wine). Food specials include a good selection of handrolls for $2.50 and a couple small plates. Their regular menu includes sushi, hot dishes and noodles, with very few items priced over $10.

They also have a wine fridge stocked with bottles.

I can't decline mimosas at $5. They didn't skimp on the bubbly either. Since they have happy hour on Saturdays, this would be a great brunch spot.

Fried asparagus with a trio of dripping sauces: spicy mayo, mustard and ranch.

Roast duck breast with yuzu and mustard. This wasn't on the happy hour menu but was affordable at $8. I liked the spicy yuzu sauce with the tender duck breast.

Fries with dipping sauces (ketchup, mustard, aioli). The fries were breaded in a thicker batter than usual, but was not greasy or heavy.

Happy hour handrolls. We ordered unagi/eel and spicy tuna. The sushi was fresh and at $2.50 per roll, a good deal.

Happy Hour chardonnay for $4.

Pork belly with pickled slaw from the regular menu. The pork belly was fatty and tender. I thought the tartness from the slaw was well paired with the salty belly.

Happy hour pop corn chicken. The chicken was tender and juicy and served in respectable pieces. I like fried chicken and thus enjoyed this. They sure do love their dipping sauce. This time, mustard, ranch and ponzu.

I'm pretty excited to have stumbled upon this neighborhood gem. Service was swift and friendly. The food was delicious and the seafood was fresh. Sushi can be pricey so this is definitely a good deal. It's well priced even if you weren't there during happy hour. Sometime when life throws you a crowded bar, you find another great local joint with cheap, good food and drinks.

Hits: HH prices, HH runs late and on Saturdays, mimosas, pork belly, fried asparagus
Misses: nothing
Rating: ****

Bimi Restaurant
11917 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 479-2464


betty said...

Oh! I'm so glad you liked it. Albert and I ate there once, when it first opened, and thought it was great too. But whenever we go past there, it's totally dead. We'are always worried its closing...

Glad you enjoyed!

Diana said...

$8 for duck? Sold! I can't believe I've never heard of this place! Thanks for sharing. :)