Kaname Izakaya & Shochu Bar

Seattle, WA 98104
The interior of Kaname Izakaya looks like it could've been airlifted from Kyoto, with rice-paper screens and dark wood—some of it left all knotty and unfinished and wabi-sabi. The ramen is mediocre, but the bar's liquid specialty, shochu, is big in Japan—more popular than sake. It's something of a superliquor: low calorie and supposedly actively healthful, purported to prevent heart attacks. Shochu's mildness is also hailed as perfect with food, especially with izakaya, the Japanese improvement on bar snacks. Izakaya small plates tend toward the salty and strong-flavored, the grilled, fried, and odd-textured—Kaname’s versions are pretty standard-issue, but they're cheap, and so are the drinks, and it's fun to be here.

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