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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Seattle
Food
Feel
Price
7.5
6.5
$30
Japanese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Tue–Sun 5:30pm–10:30pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted

www.manekirestaurant.com

International District
304 6th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA
(206) 622-2631
Maneki
A great I.D. standby for cooked Japanese snacks that has withstood the test of time

One of the oldest Japanese restaurants in the city is still one of the best—especially when it comes to cooked food rather than sushi. Maneki excels at snacks like agedashi tofu, mozuku (seaweed and cucumber salad in vinegary sauce), and soups like the nabeyaki udon, with noodles, egg, chicken, and assorted vegetables are excellent. A must-try is the miso black cod collar. Two must-avoids, on the other hand, are the croquettes and the “octopus donuts.” (Nobody’s perfect.)

Getting a seat in this place is a mystery to many; it seems to be based on whether the hostess—who can switch from grumpy to cheery in a moment—likes you. (But once you’re seated, the service is top-notch.)

Layout and decoration also seem to follow no rhyme or reason: the main appointments are ceramic maneki nekos (good luck cats) and some shoji screens. There’s also a tiny sushi bar purveying fresh and affordable fish; the structure resembles a homemade basement bar that you might find at a drunken uncle’s house, and the quirky ‘70s vibe is kind of cool in its own right.

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