Expert tips on saving money at sushi restaurants

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston Restaurant Weeks are coming up and we are showing you how to save even more when you want sushi!

We sat down with Carl Rosa, the president of the Houston Sushi Club with nearly 17,000 members. He's an expert in sushi and teaches his Sushi 101 classes all across the country.

We met up with him at one of his favorite sushi spots in the city - Kubo's in Rice Village. In addition to being one of the most delicious, there are a couple options to help sushi lovers save.

"One example of a great deal that people automatically do not know about is here at Kubo's Sushi Bar and Grill. If you actually have your smartphone and take a photo, and check in at Kubo's, for example on Facebook, and post an image of the item you're eating, they give you 20 percent off that item just for doing that. People do not know that."

Kubo's also has a frequent diner reward program. You can earn points every time you dine and redeem them for more food and discounts

For the best bang for your buck, Carl recommends headed to Redfish Sushi Grill in Cypress. They specialize in fusion sushi rolls that are big enough to share!

"The rolls are enormous, in some cases 13 and 14 pieces long. In some cases, the rolls may be $11 and $12 and literally span three inches off your plate," Rosa said. "If you sit down with someone, you can share one, maybe two. But I don't know if you can devour one all by yourself."

If you want to cut the costs of your bill when you eat out, Rosa recommends avoiding a few items on the menu. Fatty tuna, shiitake mushrooms, and uni are some of the most expensive items, but not necessarily the best.

"A lot of people make the mistake that fatty tuna because it's more expensive is better, and that's not the case. Lean tuna, the red tuna that everyone's familiar with, provides additional levels of flavor. The experts even choose that over fatty tuna any day," Rosa said.

One of the best items on the menu is also one of the cheapest and you may not even know it exists.

"Tamago is one of the most traditional forms of sushi you can find in Japan. It's a cooked, sweetened egg added to sushi rice. In Japan it's very important, but Houstonians simply don't know about it," Rosa said. "It's quite surprising. It's a really good flavor, and it's one of the cheapest items on the menu."

It always pays to do a little research to make sure you're going to the right spots to get what you enjoy.

"Some provide a happy hour in exactly what you love. Some provide a happy hour that doesn't interest you at all. A little research online makes a big difference," Rosa said.

To purchase a Groupon for one of Carl Rosa's Sushi 101 classes, click here.

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