95a Bistro and Sushi celebrates its grand opening this week with free food and drinks

After Rob Kukura, former manager of The Mediterranean, took over the old Magnolia and Sushi Mara spots in Lafayette in May, he started slowly slowly making the restaurants his own.

First, he merged the two places into a single identity, and changed the name to 95a Bistro and Sushi in August. Now that 95a is open, he's infusing the menu with his own touches thanks to a new chef, Brian Horton.

And this week, he's celebrating the transformation with a grand opening, complete with freebies and other deals.

"We're offering a complimentary alcoholic beverage and sushi to each guest who comes in through September 18," says an employee. "And we're featuring happy-hour pricing all night each night this week."

The restaurant hopes the deals will bring in diners to sample an eclectic menu that has room for both sushi and bistro fare, including steak frites, gnocchi and lamb-stuffed tortelloni. But while Kukura has kept the menu broad, he's tightened up the prices: Nothing on the tapas menu sells for more than $7; all entrees are priced below $20.

The deals also coincide with a two-month campaign for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. "We're donating $1 from the sale of every bottle of BlackStone Merlot we sell in September and October," explains the employee.

95a Bistro and Sushi is open for dinner nightly and lunch Wednesday through Friday.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk