New Japanese Restaurant: 4649 Yoroshiku


Opened by Keisuke Kobayashi last November in the space that once housed Joule (before Joule moved to the Fremont Collective), 4649 is sparsely decorated, modern and well lit, with a menu focusing on the traditional foods of Hokkaido, the large northern Japanese island from which the chef hails. You’ll find expertly grilled yakitori (especially the tsukune, a tender chicken meatball that’s skewered and grilled; $2.50) and ramen (the cha shu pork shio ramen is quite good; $11.50). But delve deeper to taste regional specialties such as zin gis kan ($16), grilled lamb over sautéed veggies; it’s a dish named for the favorite food (mutton) of Genghis Khan. Kobayashi makes a good version of okonomiyaki ($13), a savory cabbage, ginger and pork pancake, but even better is the agedashi tofu, lightly fried and set in a pool of dashi, then drizzled with a creamy tuna sauce ($6). It’s so good, you may want to order two. Also quite good: the ruibe salad ($6.45) of thinly sliced raw beef with ponzu sauce over shredded veggies. Service can be a little green, but generally well informed on the menu. Next time, I’ll bring a bigger group to taste even more of the menu. Lunch and dinner Tue.–Sun. Wallingford, 1913 N 45th St.; 206.547.4649;