Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Raw Deal

Japanese on the cheap at Billy Beach


Some things start suspicious, only to end up legendary.

And for the first time, "inexpensive sushi" belongs in this category.

Unlike most happy hours and all-you-can-eat buffets catering to the hungry yet indiscriminant, Billy Beach Sushi in Ballard serves up buttery sashimi and umami-rich rolls at seriously affordable prices.

The happy hour menu, which only disappears for prime time (7:30-10p) and is offered all day Sunday, tops out at $15 for a generous selection of omakase sashimi. That means chef’s choice and Billy Beach, also co-owner and executive chef at downtown’s Japonessa, definitely knows his stuff.

Other menu standouts include the agedashi tofu, a deep-fried delicacy served atop silky dashi sauce. Tempura, fried oysters, and chicken kara age round out the Japanese comfort-food classics.

Drinks are cheap, too — $3 hot sake and Sapporo, $4 house wines — but feel free to opt for spendier cocktails heavy on housemade ingredients. Bonus: Through May 23, happy hour is all evening long.

Legendary indeed.

Billy Beach Sushi & Bar billybeachsushi.com
463 Leary Ave NW, Ballard
(206) 257-4616

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Best bets: Ballard Crunch roll; chicken kara age; agedashi tofu
Nearby: The Walrus & The Carpenter; Hazlewood; Pestle Rock

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