See Sound Lounge

Sea turtles, anemones, and artichoke dip, oh my!

During a recent happy hour (8–10 p.m. every day), the ultrahip See Sound Lounge was practically empty, its white walls gleaming. Settled into low couches, some friends and I became entranced by ocean scenes projected above the bar: a giant sea turtle paddling along, an anemone pulsing, an octopus flashing its colors. The menu, doing double duty as a lampshade on our low table, was not so easy to navigate. Our waitress gamely crouched down to read it with us. The food was varied and cheap (artichoke and Dungeness crab dip, cucumber shrimp, steak medallions, and crab cakes) at a happy $5 across the board. Some of the rotating $3 drink specials—Miller High Life and Lite, and various fruity shots—would fit better in a dive bar on the Ave. instead of at this scene-y Belltown spot. Though, to be fair, two of my favorite brews, Pilsner Urquell and Stella, rounded out the list. Straying from the specials, I enjoyed an $8 Cosmo (different from the fancy $12 one on the menu), which was perfectly pink and sweet but not cloying. My friends sipped a nicely made raspberry mojito ($10) and a Hoegaarden ($5). Ordering several small plates (including a second round of the artichoke dip), we sat back waiting for the well-heeled crowds to show. ADRIANA GRANT 115 Blanchard St., 206-374-3733, BELLTOWN

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