Wann

$$ Japanese

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Seattle has its sushi, teppanyaki, and sake bars—but until now it hasn’t had a single representative of that most beloved of Japanese watering holes, the izakaya bar. Wann, the first American outpost of a popular Japanese chain, now adds that notch to the bedpost of Seattle’s Pacific Rim cred. But whereas the textbook Japanese izakaya is a rollicking nightspot filled with off-duty wage slaves slamming beers and munching fried things off small plates—a hot-blooded collision of Japanese cuisine, comfort food, tapas, and attitude—Wann inhabits a sleek Belltown address whose dark wood and cool white light express something more austere, especially on the restaurant side. The bar, aided by a soundtrack full of Beastie Boys and a screen full of anime, gets more lively, especially when the fried food starts hitting the table: fat wedge fries speckled with nori, Japanese chicken nuggets, and Kurobuta sausage: the sweet, heavy meat of Japanese black hogs raised on sweet potatoes. Liquid merriment comes in the form of sake, shochu, and a full bar—till 2am daily. Kanpai!

Last updated: 06/13/2012