Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Japonessa is a Japanese-fusion sushi restaurant located at the corner of 1st Avenue and Union Street in downtown Seattle, Washington.

The menu's foundation is Japanese cuisine (namely sushi), but several dishes insert Latin flavors. A few dishes also have a bunch of spice added, including habanero-infused items.

Amazing interior. Feels and looks like an upscale Japanese sushi bar.

I was in town for a conference two weeks ago and stopped here for my sushi and spice fix. The prices are steep for their signature sushi rolls, usually ranging from $15 to $20. Unfortunately, I wasn't available to go at happy hour, when prices are generally cheaper.

I scanned the menu for the spiciest option and got the Diablo Say ($19): Spicy tuna, cilantro, yama gobo, topped with 7-spice tuna, habanero citrus, scallions, and habanero tobiko. This dish had three chile peppers next to the menu item (the others at most had two chiles). Being in a rush to get back to the conference, I had to place a to-go order.

Intense habanero flavors from the get-go. The gobo brought awesome crunch. Good heat as well; certainly more than what a lot of sushi lovers would be accustomed to. This isn't wasabi spice. You'll definitely get habanero flavor and heat. If you're a fan of habaneros, this is for you.

Obviously for me, this would not be an everyday item to get, setting me back over $20 with tax and tip included. The portion size, at least for me, was more appetizer-sized. If I'm in Seattle again and in the mood for sushi, I hope to come back for their happy hour.

Japonessa is a popular sushi spot in downtown. If you're a fan of sushi and spicy food, this may be the stop for you. 7/10

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