So many things about Soberfish would suggest a lack of focus. The Seward neighborhood restaurant has all the hallmarks of pan-Asian fusion confusion. Except, that is, for where it counts the most.
The name, first announced as Drunken Sake, and then Drunken Fish, finally landed on something that not only makes no sense, but gives a diner very little idea of what to expect. The space is organized better than its previous tenant, True Thai, but the decor is curious. Accent walls in salmon pink brighten up a design scheme that’s a combination of “vaguely nautical” and “Thai restaurant garage sale.” Then there’s the menu: half Thai, half Japanese, with a smattering of Indian and Szechuan thrown in at random intervals. This is all going off the rails, right?
Happily, the kitchen is where the confusion stops. Our first few visits have confirmed that both the sushi and Thai aspects of Soberfish are executed with a sobering hand. Nothing is game-changing but it’s all very competent. For a menu so diverse, that’s a huge victory in itself.
So Let’s Get Happy because a sushi restaurant will always have a menu section of things to nibble on, like edamame, gyoza and tempura. So happy hours are a fine chance for them to offer attractive value (see: Masu Sushi & Robata for the current champion of sushi happy hour). Soberfish does it right: a couple bucks off those snacks, as well as egg rolls, satay and tataki. 5-piece basic rolls (California, dynamite, spicy tuna etc.) are $4.50-$5.50. They also discount a few of the most common stir-fry entrees (Pad Thai, curry, sweet and sour) to around $7-8.
For drinks: $3 rail drinks, house wine and mimosas. $2 off tap beer (a small selection including Lagunitas, Fulton and Rush River) and saké. And next week would be an excellent time to check out Soberfish. They’re throwing a grand opening event week, July 15th-22nd, discounting all their food by 30%.
Soberfish, 2627 E. Franklin Ave. Minneapolis, 612-354-2544. Happy Hours: 2-6pm & 9-close daily. Sat-Sun, noon-6pm & 9-close.
Because if there’s anything we like more than beer, it’s cheap beer, we present our new segment Let’s Get Happy! in which an area restaurant is viewed partly through the lens of its happy hour offerings. Have a favorite drink special we should highlight? Email [email protected].