The composed amberjack sushi ($6) at Moshi Moshi, which opened on Ballard Avenue in February, is picture-perfect: a fine finger of sticky rice dressed with a frilly green shiso leaf under a sliver of sweet, rosy amberjack and finished with a dot of momiji sauce, which provides just a blink of tongue-searing heat. Kevin and Tracy Erickson, who also own the sultry Bricco wine bar atop Queen Anne hill, are serious about their sushi: Dave Nakamura, a Shiro’s alum, leads the sushi bar, where beautifully balanced bites of glistening yellowtail belly, Spanish mackerel and impossibly sweet hunks of king crab ($3.50–$7 for two pieces) are crafted while Nakamura chats casually with guests.
But this is no hushed sushi temple: During happy hours (Mon.–Sat., 4:30–6 p.m.; Mon.–Thu., 10–11:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.–1 a.m.), people-pleasers such as the crab- and cream-cheese-stuffed tiger rolls are just $3.75, and PBR is $2. Think twice before ordering that beer, though. Bartender Erik Carlson (late of San Francisco’s illustrious Slanted Door) has crafted a cocktail list well worth investigating (especially good: the Carlotta, a summery mix of gin, cherry bitters, lemon and French peach liqueur). All this in an airy, contemporary space anchored by an 18-foot sculpted metal tree lit with hundreds of LED-certified lights, which twinkle and sparkle late into the night.
Moshi Moshi; dinner Mon.–Sat. Ballard, 5324 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.971.7424; $$