The strong Japanese influence on Seattle's dining culture is part of what sets the city apart, and if Shiro Kashiba is an old-school Japanese master, the next generation is well-represented at Adana by Japanese-American Shota Nakajima, a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef. Nakajima was born in Seattle but worked in Osaka before opening his kaiseki-inspired restaurant in Capitol Hill. He jokes that his Japanese is better than his English and his mission is to introduce Seattle to intricate kaiseki cuisine in an accessible fashion, blending Japanese and local ingredients paired with excellent craft cocktails and sake. For example, foraged local chanterelles might accompany American wagyu from Eastern Washington glazed and brûléed with housemade dengaku miso. Three, five and seven-course options are available at Adana, along with a casual street food-inspired a la carte menu in the lounge. Nakajima's second restaurant, Taku, specializing in kushikatsu (fried skewers) opens in November right next to Salt & Straw in Capitol Hill.
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