Drunk After Work: Chomp Sushi
The Place: Chomp Rockin' Sushi and Teppan Grills, 181 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton; (714) 738-3511; chompfullerton.com.
The Hours: Mon.-Fri., 3-6 p.m.
The Deal: $3 beer specials, sushi and food specials.
The Scene: Chomp is a lot larger inside than it looks; there's a lounge in the back (to the left as you walk in), a raised dais with booths, a huge sushi bar with (decorative, not utilitarian) fish tanks in the middle, and teppan tables scattered hither and yon. The inside is dark and slightly too neon-'80s, but it's filled with the gamut of Fullertonians: CSUF and Fullerton College students, rich folks who moved to Fullerton for Troy High School, and folks who took the train to work from the nearby Metrolink station.
The Sauce: The bar is actually quite capable, and they make a mean sake cocktail. They've got a list of "martinis" the length of your arm, but none of them are happy hour specials. If you don't drink Sapporo, Kirin or Asahi (which are, let's face it, interchangeable and practically indistinguishable after the first one) you are going to be paying rack rate for your drinks.
The Food: No one is going to mistake this for Abe or Shibucho, but the new-age rolls taste good for what they are. The issue with the sushi is its construction: try as I might, I could not keep the rolls together on the way from the plate to my mouth; the damn things fell apart eight times out of ten. The non-sushi happy hour specials are quite good and good portions, especially the cucumber salad with octopus and the crab-stuffed jalapeño chiles.
The Verdict: There's a list of rules that reads like a Big Bang Theory-type roommate contract, designed to keep desperate Fullertonians and the odd Metrolink commuter from pillaging the cashbox; it's jarring and unnecessarily Soup Nazi-esque. The reason to go to Chomp is for the Hawaiian brunch; but if you've got to have their food on non-Sundays, happy hour is the time to go so you're not overpaying.
The Grade: B.
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