It seems Seattle is turning Japanese. At least it looks that way, when you see the straight-out-of-Kyoto stylings of Momiji, a blissed-out new oasis in Capitol Hill. Woodworker Craig Yamamoto constructed East-meets-Pacific Northwest furniture, including elegant tables hewn from brawny maple. Installation artist Yuri Kinoshita added whimsy, with cloudlike chandeliers and back-lit woven murals. And landscape architect Junji Miki designed a serene courtyard that's all whispering bamboo and gurgling water.
But what will really transport you is the menu. There's sushi and udon, of course, yet Momiji also offers kaiseki, Japan's artfully presented answer to Western tasting menus. Tokyo native chef Chikako Watanabe draws inspiration from Washington ingredients for dishes such as tempura seasonal vegetables with green tea salt and somen noodles with salmon roe and fresh sliced tuna. Simple and fresh, elegant and playful. Seattle and Kyoto were made for each other.
Photo: Courtesy of Momiji