THE HAPPIEST HOUR






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Publication: The Stranger
Author: Jonjak, Marti
Date published: May 11, 2011

KANAME IZAKAYA

610 S Jackson St, 682-1828

Description: A family-owned Japanese restaurant and lounge in the International District with a spare and cozy interior of glossy wood and tidy white walls.

Saturday night's marvelously disparate scene: In the back, a table of girlfriends, young and thoroughly styled and pretty with laughter-all of them poised for something delightful to happen. At the bar, a man with a tattooed face waits alone, watching the strange music videos of singsong Japanese pop. In the corner, a man in an argyle sweater points himself out in the baseball team photograph from 1938 that's framed on the wall.

About him: He's the owner's grandfather, and his classic old-man kindness will churn your blood into a foam made of sunshine and honey. "You're nice-looking, and you sound like a hard worker," he says. "Please be careful, I'll worry about you if you're alone."

Happy hours: Daily 5-6:30 pm.

Happy-hour drink specials: $3 Sapporo drafts, $3.95 Chuhai (a fruitflavored alcoholic drink) cans, $3.95 select cocktails (apple martini), $2.50/$3.50 small/large house sake, $5.95 draftsake.

Happy-hour food specials: A nice selection of appetizers and sushi from $2 to $4.50 ($3.50 tuna roll, $3 beef with potato croquettes). MARTI JONJAK

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