In this month’s Sippin’ Social, members of the public accompanied staff of Tucson Local Media for happy hour and conversation at Sushi Garden, located at 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.

With two locations in town, Sushi Garden features an extensive front and back stand-alone happy hour menu with dozens of discounted food and drink items. Sushi Garden’s happy hour spans from 4-7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. 

A decent-sized crowd filled the bar and outer tables upon arrival, but our group was nonetheless seated and ordering within minutes.

Sushi Garden features a well-lit, casual atmosphere that makes creative use of Japanese-style décor throughout the facility. 

To kick the afternoon off, I began with a locally brewed 32-ounce Barrio IPA draft ($5.75), which, due to its volume, comes with a glass and pitcher. Yes, I was thirsty.  

The draft was perfectly chilled, making its hoppy, clean flavor that much more refreshing considering the day’s heat. 

To go with our first round of beverages, my coworker JD and I ordered shrimp and vegetable tempura ($5) and a plate of California Roll sushi ($3.50). 

The tempura was among the tastiest I’ve had at a local eatery. Its bread was fresh, airy, and had a slight crunch, complementing the tender shrimp-inside. A dabble of soy sauce was a great way to top the dish off, but the tempura could easily stand on its own as an enjoyable appetizer. 

The California roll, containing cucumber, crab meat, and avocado, was equally well-prepared and fresh, and it wasn’t long before they were gone.

To finish the afternoon off, and because we were after all at a Japanese restaurant, I ordered a round of bottled Asahi beer ($3.75).  This Japanese-style lager beer comes in a 21-ounce serving, and has continued to become more popular in the states. While this beer is often complemented with a round of sake, I opted not to get too rowdy and enjoyed the beer on its own. 

Given its quick, courteous customer service, extensive menu selection, longer-than-normal happy hour, and economical pricing, I highly recommend Sushi Garden as a place to try out. 

For more information on Sushi Garden, visit

(Editor’s Note: Keep an eye on next week’s Explorer publication to see where the newspaper staff will head next. Sippin’ Social takes place on the third Thursday of each month. If you have an idea for a place to try out, email All members of the public are invited and encouraged to join. Sippin’ Social serves as a platform for members of the public to pitch story ideas, address concerns, or discuss current news.)

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