I'd like to talk about one of my favorite restaurants I love to go to for happy hour. It's called Ohana, located in the heart of the Belltown neighborhood in downtown Seattle.
Happy hour is pretty big here in Seattle, so it's important to find those places that offer great food for great happy hour prices. Ohana just happens to be one of those places. You'll find an extensive happy hour menu filled with delicious dishes like beef robata (basically skewered chunks of marinated, grilled, tender beef....you can also get chicken), crunchy shrimp tempura rolls, spicy salmon hand rolls, gyoza, spam musubi, etc....all for just a couple of bucks each!
The atmosphere is very relaxed and family friendly. Occasionally, the establishment will host live music (usually later in the night) or even karaoke. The staff is always friendly and do their best to check up on you as often as they can, even when they're packed with patrons.
The decor is what really makes this place different. Inside you'll think you're in Hawaii after taking a look at all of the Island-inspired decorations and trinkets hanging from the ceiling and walls. It's very dimly lit inside, which offers a very cozy and relaxing feeling.
Salmon Skin Roll, California Roll, & Crunchy Salmon Hand Roll:
OK, here comes my famous (not really) 5-"NOM" rating system (5 being the highest):
SERVICE, 4.5 NOMs= The service is great at Ohana. My party is usually promptly seated whenever we arrive. They're very attentive throughout the dining experience and extremely friendly with the patrons. I give them credit for keeping up with each and every table on a busy night.
ATMOSPHERE/LOCATION, 3.5 NOMs= Ohana is located right in the heart of Belltown on a main street, nestled between a couple of restaurants. So, as you might expect in a downtown environment, there isn't any parking dedicated to the restaurant. Downtown parking can be a chore to find in this particular area, which is the only downside. The upside is that you definitely can't miss the place with all the brightly lit signs and the colorful lights lining the outside patio fence area. For those cold nights, you'll be pleased to hear they have outdoor heaters on the patio. The atmosphere inside is very fun and inviting.
FOOD PRESENTATION, 3.5 NOMs= I usually come here for happy hour, so I can say they are definitely well presented. I had dinner here once and the presentation was just "ok". The happy hour plates are generally pleasantly presented on small, decorative plates. I think the robata plates are presented the best, with grilled meats covered in a teriyaki glaze, served on top of a small bed of lettuce and grilled asparagus on the side.
TASTE, 4.5 NOMs= Like I said, the reason I go here is because they serve up great food. I think the only thing that could be improved is the California roll. It's a little too mayonnaisey. Other than that, everything I've tried at Ohana is absolutely delicious. Again......BEEF ROBATA!!!
VALUE, 4.5 NOMs= $3 happy hour plates in downtown Seattle is fine by me. I can get full and it'll still work for my budget.
ORIGINALITY, 5 NOMs= Not too many Hawaiian restaurants in the city with a great menu, accommodating hours, and fun nightlife.
OVERALL, 4.2 NOMs= Ohana, I will definitely be back here for many happy hours to come. As of now, you are my #1 happy hour spot in the city!
**Before I start my first review from my year-long hiatus, I'd like to say "Hello again!" to everyone. I'm glad to get back into food blogging and hope it'll be as much fun as I remembered it was. Now, on to the good stuff.**
Working in certain neighborhoods in downtown Seattle can have its advantages. During lunchtime I'm surrounded by many places where I can get my fill to my delight. One of these establishments is called Pie and, as the name implies, they sell pie!
At Pie you can get handmade, handheld savory or sweet pies. I've tried almost every single pie flavor they have, since I visit often and I usually get one sweet and one savory pie every time. The savory flavors include steak & potato, English meat, broccoli & cheese, smoked turkey, etc. Some sweet pies include: maple bacon, key lime, mixed berries, coconut cream, etc. My favorite savory pie would have to be the pepper steak. It's almost like a beef stew in a handheld pie (but not as messy). My favorite sweet pie would have to be the maple bacon. Unfortunately, this pie is seasonal and so they don't have it everytime I go in for a visit. Image a maple cream filling topped with crispy bacon bits. Simply delicious!
The awesome bakers at Pie usually have a few rotating pies and some seasonal ones as well. The staff at Pie are very laid back and hospitable. They're also open to any ideas for potential pie flavors you might have. Trust me, I've got food ideas. :)
The establishment is nestled in a really good location on a main road in the Fremont neighborhood. It's not a huge place inside, but it will accommodate a small to medium party if you have one. There are also a couple of outside tables for those nice, sunny days (yes, we have those in Seattle). I love that they stay open late during the weekends. They have a side window that's open until 2am!! Perfect for those late-night party-goers looking for a tasty treat.
OK, here's the breakdown using my 5-"Nom" system (5 being the highest):
Service, 5-NOMs= The staff is pretty awesome there. They truly stand behind their product. If it looks anything but picture perfect or appetizing they'll give you a discount. And, if you're a regular, they've been known to hook up customers with free pies.
Atmosphere/Location, 2.5-NOMs= Downtown is always busy and along with that is the usual horrible parking problem. Pie does not have its own parking, so you'll have to find streetside (good luck during busy hours). If you work or live nearby, then no worries. It's right in the heart of Fremont. The inside is very fitting for this establishment. It's open so you can see the bakers doing their thing.
Food Presentation, 3.5 NOMs= I think Pie is a great concept. Who wouldn't like a handheld meal on the go. The product looks great. There is that one chance that it'll collapse on you while you're on the go, but that's why it's in a container too. Each pie is unique and has a different look depending on what it is. Very cool.
Taste, 4 NOMs= I've liked all the pies I've tried with the exception of probably only one. For the most part, they're delicious, well-seasoned, and full of flavor.
Value, 5 NOMs= Under $5 for a hearty, flavorful, mobile meal. You can't beat that really. They even have mini pies, if you just want a taste and don't really want to dish out that much. They even have a lunch deal where you can get a Pie combo for a pretty good price.
Originality, 5 NOMs= There isn't any other place around here that I know of that serves up handheld sweet and savory pies.
Overall, 4.1 NOMs= Not bad, Pie. Not bad at all. Keep dishing out new and original flavors and I assure you I'll be coming back for more. First there was the cupcake craze. Now, I think it's going to be a handheld pie craze.