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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Fri 11:30am–1:00am
Sat–Sun 4:00pm–1:00am

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor, BYO
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


2319 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA
(206) 448-2488
Food on a stick is their shtick

Kushibar opened to much fanfare, especially amongst the Japanese community. Finally, a place doing proteins on sticks: yakitori (grilled chicken) and kushiyaki (non-poultry items).

But take a look inside, and you’ll see that it’s the pretty typical Belltown crowd: white people eating white-meat sticks. No chicken tail, no chicken intestines. We’ve often found it hard to get some of the menu’s most interesting conceits, like ox tongue. But if you persevere, you might get hatsu (heart) and kawa (chicken skin), which are certainly more challenging than the plain old sasami (white meat).

There are plenty of non-stick dishes, too, including a lot of the usual izakaya fare that makes for a fine excuse to drink sake, shochu, and soju. All of this happens in a really nice venue, including a unique outdoorish space along the sidewalk. It’s hard to blame a place for its clientele, but when a restaurant’s potential is as great as this one’s, it’s also hard not to lament the fact that Kushibar seems to be more about Belltown boys putting down some beers than about getting the serious Japanese food of which this kitchen is capable out to the community.

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