Sushi is my weakness. Well-priced sushi during happy hour is my greater weakness. Equally, less-than-par sushi can pretty much kill off any fish cravings for months. Fortunately, Amanda is an advocate of greater-than-good sushi, so when she keenly suggested Hanabi for happy hour, my answer could only be "yes."
Hanabi Modern Japanese Cuisine is a small establishment located on the corner of Burnet and W. Anderson, tucked in the Northcross Mall strip across from Walmart. Happy hour occurs every day between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30pm. Nigiri on the happy hour menu is listed to about $0.75 off their typical dinner prices. Averaging at around $2 a piece, it very roughly equates to "buy 3, eat 1 free." And if you appreciate quality-cut fresh fish, this is a hands-down solid deal.
We ordered 7 different types of sushi, ranging from o-toro to hotategai, and we consistently found each piece delicious. The rice is well-seasoned and the texture of the fish is smooth. I went light on the soy sauce and wasabi, because for me... it really wasn't necessary. The flavors of the originally presented sushi stands strong on its own.
We also ordered Hanabi's signature appetizer Ahi Tower ($15), which unfortunately isn't part of the happy hour menu. Nevertheless, this is one you wouldn't want to miss. This stunning tower of ahi tuna, crabmeat, avocado, and rice is served with seaweed paper on the side for wrapping.
Once you are ready to eat (in case you wanted to take photos first), your server will do the honors of blending the tower, the caviar trio, and the honey wasabi into an even mixture. If you are skilled, you may decide to create an ahi tuna hand roll with the accompanying seaweed paper. As for us, it's safe to say our rolls looked more like ahi tuna tacos. Sweet, smooth, and slightly spicy– the ahi tower was definitely an evening favorite.
We ended up leaving Hanabi rosy-cheeked and our bellies fully satisfied. If you haven't dined here yet, Hanabi is definitely one to add to the list. For sushi lovers, it may even make it to your Austin Favorites list. After all, it is likely the best value sushi you'll find in the city today.
Hanabi Modern Japanese Cuisine
2525 West Anderson Lane #120
Austin, TX 78757