Where “Gourmet meets Glamour” is perhaps the best way to sum up Japonessa, undeniably one of the most happening spots in Seattle. Located in the heart of downtown and boasting a Happy Hour schedule that many have pointed out would be easier to state when it isn’t going on, versus when it is, Japonessa offers a chic and delectable downtown escape, day or night.
Must Have Eats: The Happy Hour menu is extensive, offering a range of sushi bar bites, traditional and eclectic rolls, and Kitchen/Cocina plates, which are best described as Japanese tapas. For the sushi purist, the absolute stand out is the Chef’s Choice Sashimi ($15), which is the Happy Hour rendition of Chef Billy Beach’s renowned Omikase and features the freshest of the daily catch ranging from more traditional offerings such as spot prawns and scallops, to the more adventurous like mackerel and surf clam. Beautifully presented and offering a welcome relief from the typically monotonous sashimi plates, for the sushi die-hard it doesn’t get better than this. For those who are willing to throw their sushi street cred out the window and simply enjoy one of the most indulgent rolls in town, look no further than the Super Bad Boy Roll ($6.50). A decadent mix of eel, snow crab, avocado, and cream cheese, it is then tempura’d, topped with a spicy seared crab, and drizzled with a chili aioli and soy glaze. Last, but by no means least, is the Takoyaki ($5), a traditional Japanese street food of octopus that is mixed with a wheat-flour based batter, formed into little balls, and then fried, turning constantly so as to render a perfectly crisp bite of lusciousness. Think of it like a Japanese Hushpuppy.
Must Have Drinks: Admittedly the Drink Menu lacks some of the inspiration and grandeur of the Eats, but with $4 draft beers including Sapporo, Manny’s, and a local IPA, $5 house sakes, and $5 house wines and bubbly you certainly won’t go home thirsty.
Happy Times: Weekdays 11:30am – 6:30pm | Weekends 12:00pm – 6:30pm | Everyday 11:30am – 8:00pm in the BAR | Sunday – Thursday 10:00pm – 11:00pm | Friday – Saturday 10:00pm – 1:00am
The Inside Scoop: Japonessa’s lunch and late night happy hour are a rare find, making this the perfect weekday dining option or post-party-pit-stop. Also, reservations are accepted throughout the restaurant during Happy Hour, save for the Bar lounge which is first come, first serve.
Japonessa | 1400 1st Avenue, Seattle| (206) 971-7979