Wasabi Bistro

We sake connoisseurs were not swayed by Wasabi Bistro's offer of hot sake for $2 or $4 at happy hour (4 to 6 p.m. daily and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday), but the fact that we also consider ourselves sushi connoisseurs did not preclude us from enjoying—and I mean really enjoying—their "Seattle tempura roll." Premium sake is served just slightly chilled; only lower-grade sake is heated, and while cream cheese has no business in a proper sushi roll, the decadent, rich fluffiness achieved by layering and rolling it with salmon and avocado on top of sweet, sticky sushi rice and nori was pretty difficult to resist. At dinner, this irreverent treat goes for $8; during happy hour, it's half price. Although it was difficult to determine, over the pervasive flavor of fry, exactly which sea critters we were tasting in the seafood spring rolls (served with a zesty, Buffalo wing–esque dipping sauce for $5), these snacks were similarly enjoyable. Think twice, however, about ordering the fried oysters ($5). Soggy and tasteless, they were the biggest disappointment of the evening. You might also think twice about ordering the nigiri set (albacore, salmon, tuna, and shrimp; $6). After a few bland bites, we left the very obviously day-old assortment untouched. Your server will bring you a gratis bowl of edamame even though you're there for the cheap eats and drinks, and if you stick to draft beer ($3), the decent-enough house wines ($3), and that delicious tempura roll, your hours will certainly be happy enough. 2311 Second Ave., 206-441-6044. BELLTOWN

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