Happy Hour Hunt: RA Sushi
5829 SW 73rd Street, South Miami
The Deal: RA offers a lot of options, including half off thirteen different sushi rolls and fifteen appetizers. Drink specials include $1 Sake, $2 Buds, $3 wells & Coronas, and $4 varieties of margaritas, martinis, & signatures. My sampling included the Viva Las Vegas Roll (crab, cream cheese, spicy tuna, and a sweet eel sauce), the Pineapple Cheese Wontons, the "RA"ckin Shrimp (crispy shrimp on mixed greens with a ginger teriyaki sauce), and the Blushing Geisha (lemonade with Raspberry Sky Vodka, raspberry liqueur, and lemon-lime soda.) All that for a mere $21 and change, plus tip.
The Digs: Located across from The Shops at Sunset, RA's signature color blocked, red and black decor provides just enough pop to lure the trendy-spot seeker but is still simple enough to welcome the jeans & t-shirt foodie. Round, red lanterns hang from the ceilings, while scattered bamboo stacks cleverly fill the space throughout. The music goes anywhere from Bon Jovi to Biggie, as if someone plugged in an iPod shuffle and just let it ride. The ambiance is just as vibrant as the delightfully random music selection; take a look around and you are just as likely to find a family munching on the outside terrace as you are to find a college couple canoodling on a date (or even better, a group of Sex and the City, Cosmo-sipping wannabes at the bar.)
The Verdict: The juxtapositions at RA work and it seems to offer something for everyone. The "RA"ckin' Shrimp hit the jackpot with my colleague and I. It has a crispy, seasoned breading and a light, but flavorful dipping sauce. By the end of the visit, we were stuffed beyond our waistlines but still couldn't seem to stop picking at our leftover shrimp. The Viva Las Vegas Roll met the perfect balance of spice, crunch, and sweetness...and it looks pretty damn cool when it comes out too. The Pineapple Cheese Wontons provided an interesting, fruity twist to my favorite Asian snack, but I prefer to stick with the original idea of just cheese wontons. My drink, the Blushing Geisha, was quite the sneaky lady. She seemed like an innocent cocktail (I could barely taste the alcohol), until I stood up and suddenly felt like a lightweight. In the end, my trip to RA surely won't be my last. The spot is bang for your buck and your taste buds.
Overall Grade: A