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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Thu 4:30pm–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 4:30pm–11:00pm

Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted


5324 Ballard Ave.
Seattle, WA
(206) 971-7424
Moshi Moshi
The rolls may not rock you, but the cocktails will

Most of the buzz surrounding Moshi Moshi is thanks to bartender Erik Carlson. The food is solid, the fish is fresh, and happy hour is great, but the only thing that makes this spot stand out from other good Seattle Japanese restaurants is the long menu of carefully balanced cocktails. The “Sweet Savage” (rye, aperol, maple, grapefruit) and the “Naughty Sven” (gin, aquavit, Cynar, amaro nonino, elderflower) are two highlights.

Moshi Moshi does a good job on snacks and cooked items (tempuras, short ribs, katsu); the kitchen also does oshizushi (sushi that is pressed together in a wooden box instead of wrapped in seaweed), which is something you don’t see often. The long list of Japanese-American sushi rolls, on the other hand, can get a little fussy and lacking in subtlety; for example, rolls that include jalapeño (like the “Ginger-san,” with avocado, hamachi, red jalapeño, cilantro, and ginger) always have too much of the pepper.

Except for a large artificial tree with LED cherry blossoms that looks like it’s sprouting from the bar, the dining room is unmemorable, with white walls, light woods, and paper lanterns. Like so many Seattle restaurants, it makes some overtures toward being a special place, and then stops just short of fulfilling that goal—for example, that showcase tree has to compete for attention with a big-screen TV.

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