Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Issian: Japanese stone grill

It's hard to believe, but I think it's true: I hadn't had sushi since I moved from San Francisco in JUNE. This past weekend, one of Chris's friends told him that the very best and most authentic izakaya in Seattle was right in our own neighborhood, so last night we tried it for ourselves. Issian is now Chris's favorite Seattle restaurant thus far.

We got there during Happy Hour (4:30-6:30), when you can order yakitori (grilled chicken) and yakiton (grilled pork) for $1 a skewer, gyoza for $3, edamame for $2 -- which is what we started with -- but they also have a bunch of other small plates (seaweed salad, fries with wasabi mayo, crispy chicken wings, agedashi tofu, korokke (croquettes) ...). Obviously you could make a whole meal out of these appetizers, but I really wanted sushi, so we also had some of that (sadly, not at Happy Hour prices). The stone grill method of cooking kept the meat juicy and tender. Yum!

There's a big menu of saki and beer, but I wanted to try something new, so I ordered Takara Plum Wine. It comes on the rocks, and I LOVE it -- and truthfully, I was actually expecting to hate it. The taste reminded me of a Shirley Temple (though it's not fizzy), and while it's definitely sweet, I didn't think it was overly sweet. Oscar had a Ramune, a lemon-lime soft drink that comes in a glass bottle stopped with a marble. Anyway, every scrap of food was consumed. Oishii -- delicious! We will definitely be back!

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