The place: Miru 8691, 9162 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills (310-777-8378)
The hours: Daily, 5-9:30pm
The deals: From the website, “Drive off town to search for cheap eats or put your self out on the street with food truck or Drive back to Beverly Hills and enjoy 16 oz Sapporo for $2 and much more.” (The “much more” includes 50% off on the majority of the food.)
Turn the page to see what we thought.
The Digs: With purple mood lighting, slick white tables and the constant buzz of elevator pop, happy hour at this Korean-Japanese hybrid is a bit like flying Virgin America while staying at sea level. That self-conscious styling is extended with (faux) Louis Vuitton logo-upholstered banquettes and a smattering of flatscreen TVs playing muted K-pop videos. While the decor screams tween Gossip Girl fanatic, the clientele is older, tamer and seemingly more interested in fusion than fashion.
The Verdict: The massive seven-page food menu — which ranges from a surf-and-turf combo of filet mingon and shrimp tails ($22.99 during happy hour) to a trio of Korean pizzas ($7.99) — is overwhelming in breadth and depth. There are five types of cut rolls: riceless, fresh, crunch, baked and house. The explanations for each read like cryptic haikus, a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated ingredients and sauces rolled up into one. Take for example the Baked Eel: “IN: crunch shrimp, kosher crab, cucumber OUT: eel, garlic aioli, mint pineapple.” Though the majority of the menu offerings are up to 50% off for happy hour, since that window runs through the better part of the dinner rush (and even with the discount most of the dishes will set you back between $8 and $13) the happy hour nomenclature feels a bit like a ruse.
What the happy hour food lacks in deals, however, it makes up for in quantity and creativity. Building on the fashion theme, many of the rolls are named for luxe designers. Love Ferragamo? Try his namesake roll, an improbable assemblage of mango, avocado, asparagus, salmon, caviar, miso mustard and fruit salsa. More of a Chanel fan? Perhaps a maki of crunchy shrimp, cucumber, gobo, white tuna, garlic aioli and kabayaki. (Both are $9.99 at happy hour.)
The cut rolls are massive as are the other dishes, such as the 3 spicy tuna fries, a guilty pleasure covered poutine-style in cheese sauce, spicy tuna, salsa and jalapenos. (The gut buster is also available as nachos or as a quesadilla.) None of the dishes are a culinary knock-out, but they're tasty and filling and amusingly wacky. A bit more Forever 21 than Prada, they're good for a cheap night out but not exactly show pieces.
Compared to the epic food options, the happy hour booze choices are more limited. Though the drink menu includes a handful of the obligatory fruit fusion drinks — there's a “cusil tini” of cucumber, Kir red and a lychee sangria ($6 during happy hour) — there are better deals on the beer. Sapporo draughts are $2 a glass or $12 for a pitcher. A decent list of California wines is more expensive, averaging $6 by the glass.
Though we were drawn to Miru 8691 at the promise of dirt cheap happy hour deals, they don't deliver. But if you're looking to satisfy your inner passion for fashion (or for what is probably the city's only poutine-nachos-sushi combo), this may be your happy hour.
Overall grade: C