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First Bite: Anything But Fishy

A sushi chain in The Veranda serves up fresh and affordable offerings.


Mikuni Sushi

Tucked next to Veranda Luxe Cinema and IMAX in Concord’s ever-growing shopping center sits the modern Japanese spot Mikuni Sushi. At first we were wary of the large California chain, but seeing the decently priced, quality fish on the restaurant’s overwhelming menu helped to ease our apprehensions.

The lofty space offers plenty of seating, including at the 14-seat sushi bar, where attentive chefs prepare everything alongside an illuminated display case highlighting the day’s fresh catches.

From the vast selection of rolls, the Fiesta—filled with spicy tuna, crab, and shrimp and topped with white tuna and cilantro, accompanied by a spicy ponzu sauce—had a nice kick, while the Aerojet was a more subtle showcase for the clean yellowtail and tuna inside its cucumber and soy bean paper wrapper.

Despite this initial success, the tempura batter on the Puff Daddy appetizer—fried, crab mix–stuffed shrimp—felt heavy, with the lingering funk of stale oil. All was forgiven, however, when the Lucky 7 Combo nigiri plate arrived, brimming with generous slices of fresh, melt-in-your-mouth fish draped over perfectly portioned sushi rice.

A worthy spot for an evening out, Mikuni proved delightful—even for a chain.

2075 Diamond Blvd., Ste. 100, Concord, (925) 265-7660, mikunisushi.com.

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Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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