Greetings fellow Chowhounds! I'd promised in a thread I posted yesterday that I would alert the Bay Area community to an amazing food/drink deal. So here it is.....=-D
Fusia in San Mateo (http://www.fusialounge.com), a restaurant that also offers karaoke, just started a promotion they call "Hungry Fridays". Every Friday, from 6PM to 9:30PM, for the incredible price of $20 per person (tax and tip are additional), diners can have all they can eat and drink. The drinks are a bottomless supply of draft beer (Kirin & Anchor Steam are some of the choices), sake (Ozeki) and sodas (Coke, Sprite, etc.). The food choices are ordered off of a menu, and NOT from a buffet station. There are over 50 different food items on the menu, ranging from sushi and seafood to Taiwanese specialities to noodle soups/dishes.
My buddy and I ate there this past Friday, which was the launch of the promotion. We arrived at 8PM to find the place about 3/4 full. By the time 9PM rolled around, it was packed. We were seated in one of the smaller booths (they have several booths designed to accomodate groups of up to 12, along with smaller booths, tables and bar seating), and immediately ordered Kirin, Anchor Steam and a bottle of hot sake. After being surprised at the breadth of the menu, we started off with:
1) Popcorn chicken with deep fried basil - bite-sized chicken that has been lightly deepfried in a salt & pepper batter, accompanied with crunchy leaves of basil that have also been deepfried. Delicious and highly recommended.
2) Beef kalbi - Korean short ribs. Decent quality beef. Good marinade. Recommended.
3) Grilled Chinese sausage - the sweet, fatty sausages that you find vacuum-packed on most Asian market shelves. Hard to mess these up. Tasty and recommended.
4) Seared albacore tataki - slices of albacore tuna that have been quick-seared, so the outside is cooked while the inside is medium rare. Paired with caramelized onions. Delicious and highly recommended.
5) Deluxe CA roll w/unagi - california roll topped with eel. Real crab is used, and the combination with the eel was excellent. We liked this so much, we immediately ordered it again.
6) Spider roll - softshell crab roll. Hard to mess up if you love softshell crab; the kitchen did a fine job with it.
7) Sauteed eggplant - good sauce. Order it if you like other restaurant's versions of sauteed eggplant.
8) Szechwan string beans - see #7.
After my buddy and I plowed thru the above order, along with refills of beer and sake, we flagged down our cute, female server and proceeded to follow up with:
1) Deluxe CA roll w/unagi - the unanimous choice for best dish.
2) Hot and cold tuna roll - interesting attempt to pair ahi tuna sashimi with a deepfried maguro maki, both of which were topped with fresh-cooked seaweed. It wasn't bad, but it was.....different.
By this point, the two of us were beyond stuffed full of food and drink. We proclaimed "uncle" and called it a night. Steve, the proprietor and head chef, came over to chat with us. He plans to run the promotion for a month or two, with plans to expand the menu a bit if the concept takes off. The $20/person is a special offer, but he won't raise the price more than a few dollars as he gets a better sense of what his break-even point is.
The protocol for Hungry Fridays is that you order off the menu, eat your order, then you order more after you've finished. Since this was their first night with the promotion, they were a bit overwhelmed with the response, and service was uneven. We experienced some waits for refills of drinks, and to order additional dishes, but all in all it was a highly enjoyable experience for two guys who both like to eat good food while washing it down with quality beer and OK-quality hot sake. Fusia does have a full bar and wine list, for those who wouldn't mind going beyond the parameters of the all you can eat/drink. Total price tag for my buddy and I for stuffing ourselves to the gills, 2 16oz. drafts apiece and 3 large bottles of hot sake was $55 with tax and tip (25%). Suffice to say that we would have spent twice that for comparable-quality food and alcohol elsewhere. Oh, and the karaoke didn't begin until 9:30PM.....=-D
I'm pasting (with misspellings) the complete sections of food items that are available. I'm not certain if they take reservations, so call ahead. If not, GET THERE EARLY! As word spreads about this, I can guarantee there will be long waits. Cheers!!
dry-fried FUSIA WINGS
salt n pepper WINGS
CRAB & ARTICHOKE DIP
fried BREADED OYSTERS
Korean BEEF SHORT RIBS
grilled CHINESE SAUSAGE
saltn pepper PRAWNS
grilled WHOLE CALAMARI
fried CALAMARI BALLS
HOT and COLD TUNA ROLL
seared ALBACORE TATAKI
CRAB BAKED MUSSELS
incredible ALBACORE TOWER
sizzling MUSHU SHRIMP
deluxe CA ROLL w/ Unagi
Fried TUNA POKI ROLL
LITTLE DRAGON BUNS
pork and veg. POTSTICKERS
steamed WATER DUMPLINGS
fried MINI BUNS
steamed rice w/ minced pork
Szechwan beef noodle soup
sautéed Shanghai rice cake
sautéed Taiwanese rice noodle
combination fried rice
Fusias garlic egg noodles
SPINACH OHITASHI w/ Enoki
garlic BLACK PEPPER edamamme
Szechwan STRING BEANS
crispy TOFU CUBES
cold ASPARAGUS SPEARS
seasoned SEAWEED SALAD
STEWED ITEMS (choose below)
spicy beef tendon
PS - this would be a great idea for a Chowdown dinner, as it would be impossible for a small group to sample most everything on the menu.