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i heard about this bar in capitol hill over a year ago, when my vietnamese friend from wisconsin raved about their sushi.  i thought to myself, what does a white-washed asian from manitowoc know about sushi??  nevertheless, it struck my curiosity and so i added it on the cocktail thursday list.  when we arrived, i was slightly blown away by the compendium of cocktails that were presented in their drink list (with so many pages, novella is a more accurate account).  how could this hybrid of a lounge/dive bar have such a complex range of offerings, all neatly categorized by base spirits?  after some further research. i soon discovered that the owner of said establishment was none other than andrew friedman, president and founder of the washington state bartender’s guild.   no wonder the mixology was so diverse and the cataloging of beverages one drop shy of a dewey decimal system.  and the sushi?  i wouldnt necessarily funnel visitors from japan to a tasting here, but it was solid for americanized sushi and more than adequate for happy hour fare.  in closing, id like to note the conundrum of a critic: how can one fairly judge the quality of an experience without taking into account preconceived notions?   19th-century author henry james has this to offer:

“to take what there is, and use it, without waiting forever in vain for the preconceived – to dig deep into the actual and get something out of it – this doubtless is the right way to live.”


life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness