Happenin’ Happy Hour: Kushibar

You’ve heard of wine pairing. Now, enter the world of Olympia pairing.

I’m lucky enough to have some Hawaiian friends, and they happen to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to matters of the Pacific. This is true of sandals, mocha skinned women and Japanese food.

With regard to the latter, it didn’t take me long to get them down from Capitol Hill (their home away from home) and into the wood-centric booths of Kushibar, the frisky next door neighbor of Wasabi Bistro. I’ll never forget their excitement as they flipped through the menu, pointing at favorites from home like kids ripping through the Sears’ catalog before Christmas.

“Buta kimchee, tako yaki, shiro maguro,” one marveled. “This is all the stuff you find on the streets in Hawaii!”

Now, we still spend random Sunday nights taking in Kushi’s late happy hour. I fancy a hot bowl of Yaki Udon ($7 during HH) filling my belly with soft noodles, pork (other choices include tofu, chicken, and shrimp) and a pile of veggies and ginger.

Per the Asian tradition, waiters fill the communal table with various skewers, such as heart, liver, tongue and scallops wrapped in bacon (all under $2). The lightly spiced popcorn is even worth a mention. Even if you don’t have Hawaiians dining with you, Kushi’s menu is easily discernible.

Naturally, drinks are a must with such spicy food. The Happy Hour specials include standard fare like well drinks and beers below the $5 mark. What sets Kushibar apart from the rest is a simple offering: pints of Olympia for $2.

There are two elements here that make this fantastic: A $2 pint of beer in a bar and Olympia on tap. Kushibar is still the only place I know that has one of our region’s original concoctions on tap, and I know it’s not the best tasting beer around, but there’s just something so damn sentimental about it (insert Olympia quote here).

Is Kushibar better than the revamped Wasabi Bistro? I plan on finding out soon. Until then, I know I’ll never be disappointed spending time under the long, blue line with a bowl of tangy popcorn in front of me.

Happy Hour at Kushibar goes from 4 – 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Kushibar |  2319 2nd Ave, Seattle  |  (206) 448-2488

Food + Travel Aficionado Jon Meyer will share his choice Happy Hour destinations every Thursday.