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Sake Balm Sushi Lounge: Not Many Raw Options, But Priced Right

With the holidays upon us, money is tight. What better time than now to take advantage of the many happy hour food specials available throughout the city? Several Dallas restaurants are feeling the pinch, too, and are offering up great discounted food specials to bring in the happy hour crowds.

Each week, Happy Eating will highlight a different restaurant happy hour food menu, keeping you informed of what deals there are out there. (You can pair it with Jesse Hughey's Quittin' Time for a low-cost guide to drinks and dinner.) Of course, Happy Eating will extend past the holidays because, let's face it, there's nothing wrong with being year-round lushes and saving some money.

Where: Sake Balm Sushi Lounge When: 5-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday The Scene: Happy hour is in the bar only. There is, however, lounge area seating in the bar. Seeing as how Sake Balm is relatively young at 2 months old, the place still is pretty quiet. Thursdays are its busiest happy hour day. The Deal: 40 percent off on specialty rolls. With more than 20 rolls from which to choose, variety is a key perk that sets Sake Balm apart from other happy hour-serving restaurants. Perennial sushi roll favorites such as the eel roll, the volcano roll, and the caterpillar roll are all represented. The Steals: After the discount, a tuna "domo" tower of raw tuna, avocado, rice and crab meat will set you back $8.37. Sushi restaurants regularly charge anywhere from $14 to $18 for the same dish.

The Con: The majority of their specialty rolls are made with cooked fish. Raw-fish lovers won't have many options. Eat: The Jacob Roll. A flash-fried yellowtail, avocado, cream cheese, and jalapeno roll with a slightly crunchy exterior and a splash of lime. Skip: The Monkey Brain. Besides the obvious, there is so much wrong with this. Avocado halves filled with cooked tuna and artificial crab. Ew. Lushworthy: The Pama-bear tini. Liquor+Gummi Bears= Try it. (Especially since it's only $5 during happy hour.) The bottom line: Saved more than $15 for three sushi rolls, so not too shabby. However, the excess of "fried" rolls and lack of raw sushi on the specialty roll menu is a turn off. Fans of cooked rolls and unconventional martinis will love this happy hour spot.

Sake Balm Sushi Lounge 2800 Routh St., No. 155 214-745-5554

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