Sushi Rei is one of your best bets in Mammoth for fresh fish, innovative cocktails and competent service, plus, if you play your cards right, you can get out of their for less than an arm and a leg.
Happy hour is an optimal time to go, from 4-5 p.m. daily, late night on Fridays and Saturdays from 9-10 p.m., and all night on Sunday (your best option for a leisurely but still affordable meal, otherwise you’re slamming down hand rolls to squeak in under 5 p.m.)
Share with a crowd and take advantage of the hand roll plus small sake for $5, and Tiger beer plus large sake for $10. Signs posted around the sushi bar at Sushi Rei remind you to pour sake for your friends as a sign of o-shaku (Japanese manners that dictate that people should not pour drinks for themselves).
Speaking of drinks, Sushi Rei’s huge bar features cocktails made from infused sakes made in-house, such as the Thai me up, Thai me down (thai basil-infused sake, vodka, lime, and yuzu bitters). They also have “boozie boba” drinks, as well as a great wine and beer selection and, of course, an extensive sake list.
Sushi Rei has a great collection of specialty rolls and a pretty competent contingent of sushi chefs for a town as small as Mammoth, but be prepared to throw down. The Volcano Roll is $27, and that’s pretty indicative of prices in general, which is what makes happy hour such a good deal. Unfortunately, save a few specials, speciality rolls aren’t offered on that menu (which changes from time to time).
A favorite is the Avi Bombs, which is snow car, ahi, garlic and green onions stuff into tofu pockets and deep fried, then drizzled with eel sauce. They’re to die for.
Try to his Sushi Rei early or late, or better yet, midweek. Its location in The Village at Mammoth makes it a popular go-to for the tourist crowd, and servers and cooks can get overwhelmed when it’s very busy. It’s also owned by Levy, which is the concessionaire for Mammoth Mountain, so you can use your Pass Cash there, just like at Campo or Kitchen 53.
Sushi Rei is located at 6201 Minaret Road in Mammoth Lakes. It’s open daily from 4 p.m. Happy hour is 4-5 p.m. plus all night Sunday and late night (9-10 p.m.) on Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made at 760.934.0774. Visit sushirei.com for more information.
Sarah Rea is a freelance dirtbag-turned-journalist who has been living in the Sierra on and off for twenty years, with eight spent in Yosemite National Park and five in Mammoth Lakes. She likes dogs, rocks, good food and jumping into cold water.