The Bar Belle: Nooshi Happy

Nooshi Happy Hour
1120 19th St. N.W.

Tropical drinks with the after-work crowd on L Street isn’t exactly the craziest evening I can imagine. Cut the price of those tropical drinks in half, though, and we might be getting somewhere. Nooshi calls this phenomenon “Crazy Hour,” a happy-four-hours it advertises with this inexplicable catchphrase: “Eat Drink Men Women.”

So on Tuesday, a group of us “Men Women” stopped for some “Eat Drink” at Nooshi at around 5 p.m. Nooshi, short for “Oodles Noodles and Sushi,” is a long restaurant with a front patio and a side sushi bar that’s regularly packed for lunch and dinner. The waiters, who are nice to a fault, serve up a pan-Asian menu that’s heavy on – you guessed it – noodles and sushi, and is grounded in a very American palate. That means a lot of mild, sweet dishes and even more mild, sweet booze.

Crazy Hour at Nooshi is long and cheap – it lasts from 3 to 7 p.m. and makes half-off all drinks, alcoholic and non. The long drink menu is packed with bright and fruity concoctions: tropical fruit margaritas, super-sweet mojitos, bright pink woo woos and golden plum wines. We did what anyone would do on a warm Tuesday afternoon – we sat inside, ordered a dozen drinks, and got crazy.

This is what we figured out: the kiwi gets lost in the margarita, but is tasty mixed in a milkshake-rich colada – though the seeds will tickle your throat. Anything that has “dragon” in its title is powerful and delicious. Just because something is pink, doesn’t mean it’s not lethal. For those who prefer to chug, even the oversized beers are served in style – the silver-canned Sapporo curves like a woman’s body and a dragon dances down the length of Kirin’s gold can. And if you’re really serious about Crazy Hour, I suggest a shot of sake bombed in a glass of Kirin. It’ll ruin the beer, but it’s perfect for a final seven o’clock round before the bar ups its prices again.

The drinks at Nooshi are so fun, you might find yourself getting drunk just off the excitement of ordering the next ridiculous thing. But the menu and the happy hour are so long, you’ll end up getting drunk for real, and before sundown. So be careful – the drinks at Nooshi are half off, but the food’s not. We had had enough drinks that it didn’t matter – we ended up stuffing ourselves with so many oodles of noodles on top of all the booze that we had to rest a while before mounting a secondary expedition up to Adam’s Morgan, where we would scrap the “Eat” and simply “Drink Men Women.”

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