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Two Under $25 in Pasadena (Part 1): Ari-ya Sushi

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We've got two spots we've recently hit up in Pasadena that let you feast on fantastic fare for less than $25 a person. Today's spot is sushi, at a little spot on Colorado in Old Town called Ari-ya.

Most likely as a reaction to the neverending "half-price" sushi special down the street at the chain restaurant Kabuki, this hole-in-the-wall has extended their happy hour sushi pricing to all the time, which works out well for us. We surveyed the order sheet like hungry pros, ticked off some nigiri selections (salmon, tuna, snapper, and eel) and opted to try their crunchy roll, spicy tuna roll, as well as their Rose roll. The chefs at Ari-ya are fun and personable, and during other visits have kept a watchful eye on our progress before making the last items on our list (he was right, too--we were too full for that last roll!). This time we knew better our limits, and filled up on the tasty, generous nigiri cuts, as well as the savory crunchy roll, and the hot and spicy Rose roll (shrimp tempura and avocado topped with very spicy tuna and spicy sauce, picutred). We washed down our sushi with a Kirin, and our dining companion sipped on their mojito. When the bill came we were stuffed, and happy--made happier by the fact that we were out of there for less than $25 each. While we know that Pasadena isn't known for sushi restaurants (they have the highly contested Sushi Roku, the aforementioned Kabuki, and the generally disliked A'float), we like that we've found an independent spot there with great prices, great service, and great sushi.

Ari-ya Japanese Restaurant 58 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena (626) 578-9203