Yesterday I met up with a high school friend for happy hour and then First Thursday at the SAM.  It was a much needed get together as I haven’t seen her since May.  I love how we eat/talk/catch up at least once a quarter, and how even though we rarely do see each other, every time we get together, it’s like we always have been.  That’s what you call a good friend since sixth grade! 🙂

She met me downtown and we went to happy hour at the new sushi bar, Japonessa, on First and Union.  Billy Beach, who used to be the chef at Umi’s (another amazing sushi bar), opened this “cocina” to be a fusion of Japanese and Latin flavors.  It is definitely seen in his special rolls, with the use of pico de gallo salsa and lots of other interesting yet delicious combinations.  The decor is really nice (check it out on their yelp page), and is super sleek and chic.  Since it was their first week open, the chef gave us a complimentary appetizer of salmon wrapped crab on a cucumber slice (I forgot the name and forgot to take a picture!).  It might’ve been my favorite of the night.

Prisca ordered the Cassanova roll; I don’t remember what was in it exactly except that it was topped with pico de gallo and was super huge and pretty!

I ordered the calamari to compare it with Umi’s, and it’s pretty much the same.  Delectable squid rings tempura fried and drizzled with a sweet chili aioli sauce over a salad.  SOOOO good.  I WAS going to order the Seattle Crunch or Cali Crunch roll, but wanted to be somewhat healthy after eating something fried, so I went with the classic California roll.  Still delicious!  The crab was really fresh and the rolls were made to perfection!

I cannot WAIT to go back and try more rolls and appetizers!  Happy hour runs in the restaurant from 11:30 to 6:30 (I’m NOT kidding) and then from 6:30 to 8:30 in the bar.  Has to be one of the best happy hours around!

Then we headed over to the SAM since neither of us had seen the Warhol exhibit yet.  It was smaller than I had imagined, but still thought provoking nonetheless.  I like hearing about art from Prisca because she has a lot to say and is super opinionated.  I’m definitely not intellectually in-tune with art per se, but listening to her comments always makes me more aware of what the artists might be trying to say.

What a wonderful way to spend a Thursday evening!  Good friends, good food, good art.

P.S. 22 days!