Seattle >Bars & Clubs > Kushi Bar Restaurant
2319 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812147.614450 -122.346345
Weekdays: 11:30 am 1am
Weekends: 4 pm 1am
Happy hour at 4pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Belltown
Great spot for bar cocktails – Good food, nice waiters, appetizers, bar food, etc. Great for cocktails late night and it adds a flair to the Seattle restaurant and bar scene as it's unique. Good Japanese street food. Nice sushi too
Love it - Lunch – I have been here for lunch a few times. Enjoyed the unintrusive service and cucumber water. Will 100% be returning.
Recommend: Ramen (Tried House, heard others are good), skewers (fun for appetizers to share - try something you haven't before).
Didn't Like: Kimchi Fried Rice, order Kimchi at an authentic Korean place instead.
Spent 11 USD + Tax and Tip for Ramen (took home half, 8 USD) and shared skewers (3 USD).
Good Idea - Poor Execution – I didn't go here to review this place. I only right reviews when something is significantly wrong or right. This place is a little of both.
First, Kushi is essentially Japanese skewers - the restaurant is essentially a Japanese Tapas Bar. In a Downtown with dozens of Sushi bars, Asian Fusion, and Italian restaurants, it's nice to see Japanese food presented in a different niche. Prices are reasonable and staff is attentive. But that's about where the 'right' ends.
The food is very hitt and miss. The kitchen is staffed by a bunch of Mexicans like most restaurants these days. I have nothing against Mexican kitchen staff, some of the best sushi places I've eaten hand Mexican Sushi Chefs. But it is painfully obvious someone has not taught these guys how to grill skewers over an open flame properly. Most of the skewers we ate such as prawns and shrimp were WAY overcooked and DRY.
This is a newer restaurant and it we were there at 7PM on a weekday and it was virtually empty. You would think to ensure the success of the place staff would always be questioning how you liked the food and drinks. There didn't seem to be very much interest, at least from the bartender. It like they maybe assume the place will be a success and haven't gotten into desperate survival mode yet?
To cap it off we had a coupon and because we sat at the bar, the bartender refused the coupon because it was happy hour until 8. The restaurant was virtually empty. If it were me, I'd want these first time customers to come back and say, what the heck, I'll honor it anyway. If I had asked how the food was and we said the skewers were way overcooked to the point the prawns and chicken were almost inedible, then DEFINITELY I'd honor the coupon if they didn't take the off the bill in the first place!
This place is BIG, especially considering the outdoor area which unfortunately only has a view of 2nd Ave one way and the alley/parking log/1st ave the other. But it should provide some attraction in the summer.
Lastly, the bathrooms are tiny at this place. They handle one person at a time and this place sits A LOT of people.
Overall it seems someone didn't think this place through completely and still isn't thinking. I'd be surprised if it survives through the end of this year unless someone does some serious thinking and makes some necessary changes.
P.S. Why is the word ' h i t ' deemed an inappropriate word on CitySearch???
Fun – This is a fun place and a great idea. I loved kushikatsu and yakitori while living in Japan. From what I remember, it was fun and full of great flavor. I enjoyed Kushibar and I'll go back but the chicken skewers didn't have the same complex flavors that I hoped. Some of the other dishes were really good.
Pleasant service, the food was horrible – The only thing really good about this place was the people who worked there. If you have to sit in the area near the grill, be prepared to be smoked out. A couple hours there was like smoking a pack of cigerattes. The food was awful. We had something around 12 different dishes and the only ones that were ok, was the fried rice and pork pancakes. They're beef had almost no flavor and the texture of erasers, I'm not talking about the beef tongue, though the same could be said about that. The grilled tuna...was aged. The salmon and mayo tasted, well like mayo, and the salmon had the texture of what I'd imagine a slugs texture would be. Other dishes we had tasted like salt. I love the idea, but the food was so bad, we would never go there again. Don't bring coats you have to dry clean, they're going to reek of smoke. I suppose there drinks were fine. And again, the only thing good about the place are the people who work there. Our friend insists that the first time they went the food was excellent, but after that experience, I'm done. Specially since there are so many good japanese restraunts around that area.
Yes, these were the exact words from the manager at Kushibar, after I made my complaints. So, what?s the agony all about? Well, 20 of us were at Kushibar on a Sat night in Oct to celebrate my wife's birthday. I made the reservation 5 days prior and the "manager" recommended to sit us inside the restaurant rather than the enclosed patio section, because it can pretty "cold" out there. I was thankful for suggestion, then I asked when would be the best time to fit a large group like us in? "Anytime" he responded, "we only have 1 reservation on the book now". "Great", I said, "let's make it for 7:30 pm and I will give you a call ahead of time to give you a final head count" and I did. So, 22 of us how up at Kushibar on Sat night, there was no table setup in the restaurant; the "manager" then decided to sit us out on the patio section in 4 separate tables? I asked him what was the deal? and the response was, "I must have not written it down?" I told him that this is totally not acceptable and finally he said it, "Well, you are free to leave if you like!"
Great happy hour – The food is great. My bartender Joe was awesome. I love the Street Style pork fried rice. They play music that is very hip and current. Most of the songs I've heard on KEXP. Downside was that I paid $3 bucks for 1 large shrimp on a stick. I thought I was going to get like 2 skewers with 2-3 med size shrimp. On myself I spent $20 during happy hour for 2 miso soups, 2 sakes and 1 fried rice that was before the tip. I love the curry power over the popcorn.
Where else can I get simple, common Japanese style food? – I lived in Japan for over ten years and developed a love for their common or street style food. Thankfully, Kushibar delivers. From the moment the staff staff greeted me the the obligatory "Irashaimase!" I knew things were looking up. The complimentary curry seasoned popcorn was a pleasant surprise to get things started also.
The ramen is easily best in Seattle. The kimchi nabe (kinda Korean) is wonderful. Make no mistake, though, the kushi (skewers) shine through. Just salty enough to go with some pitchers of beer in true otsumami style. Hanging there recently with some of my friends was the closest I've felt to being in Japan in some time.
I look forward to going there again soon, and i definitely recommend the gyuma - thin sliced beef wrapped around scallion... Simple yet delicious.
PS. They have cheap pitchers and a nice happy hour.
Editorial Review by Whitney Ricketts – Following in Txori's footsteps is Kushibar -- also open on Second Ave, also offering small plates and open daily until 2am. Kushibar's specialty is Japanese street food, and--for the adventurous--the menu includes chicken feet.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Kushi Bar Restaurant on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.