Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lunch #3: Kaname

Kaname We hit a milestone for MSG150 today, we crossed our first street. Yay! We moved a block up Jackson crossing 6th to the next spot. For those of you playing along at home, we still don't have a pattern agreed upon. The current working plan is to do a spiral. This is not a perfect plan because it misses a bunch of blocks. We'll figure something out because a pattern is crucial. Without a pattern that forces the next choice, we will end up eating at all of the good places first and be left with months of undesirables at the end.

Just east of 6th and Jackson, the cozy, authentic Takohachi has been replaced with the new, hip Kaname: restaurant, Izakaya, and Shochu bar. I'll miss the Takahachi sign, a happy octopus with a bandanna. Was it a sushi chef octopus or a samurai octopus? Does anyone have a photo? It should be part of this Flikr group.

We showed up today with a hungry group of seven and were seated right away. Well, we were seated right away after we showed the wait staff how to turn a six top into a seven top by adding a chair at the end. They seemed surprised that it worked.

Kaname, Seattle
Address: 610 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104
Cuisine: Japanese
Average rating: 3.3 chopsticks
Lunch date: 11/9/2007 @ 12:00:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 1.25 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 20 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 64 minutes
Chopstix quality: Smooth Wood
Do they use MSG?: No
Where is the owner/chef from?: Seattle (3rd Generation Japanese-American)
Number of tables: 17
Number of occupied tables: 12 (70%)
Number of business lunch tables: 4 (33%)
Number of "local" tables: 4 (33%)
Healthcode Score: n/a
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon

Luncher: Geary

Lunch: Saba Shioyaki - $8.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Geary's Review
Kaname opened only a couple of weeks ago and it shows. The food was mostly good but the service needs some work. It was less than half full when we showed up and they took our order promptly, but it took them twenty minutes to get all the food out and we had to remind them to bring the miso.

I have to admit that when the food finally showed up I had some order envy. I really wanted to order the Katsu Don, but since it was on the back of the menu and I am trying to abide by rule #2 I went with one of the proponent lunch entrées even though they sounded a little boring. I went with the Saba Shioyaki (broiled mackerel), served with salad, rice, miso (if they remember) and noodles. The mackerel was good although a bit overcooked. The salad was typical, green leaf lettuce with tomatoes and a very light dressing. I've never understood the salad served with Japanese lunches. Is this done in Japan or is this something that has been adopted by Japanese-Americans restaurateur?

Kaname shows potential, but is not there yet. Since we still have over a hundred restaurants on our list it's not likely I'll be back soon, but I'll give it another try someday when they have had a chance to iron out some of the kinks. Good luck Kaname. I wish you well.

Luncher: Adam

Lunch: Tori Nabe - $8.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

I had no idea what Tori Nabe was (or how to pronounce it) before we went to Kaname, but it was listed next to the Sukiyaki (with beef), so I figured it was similar. It is, but its made with chicken. The cabbage in the dish was cooked to perfection and was by far the most delicious part. Unfortunately the chicken was chewier than I would have hoped for, but I guess that would be expected in a soup.

This place is a little more expensive than I like for lunch places, so that put a bit of a sour taste in my mouth before the lunch even started. Aside from just being cheap, I'm also really impatient. Therefore waiting 20 minutes to get our food put another bad taste in my mouth. Even with these preconceived tastes in my mouth, this place still seems like a decent lunch spot.

High prices. Slow service. Great ambiance. Awesome music videos being shown.

Luncher: Joey

Lunch: Sukiyaki - $8.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Joey's Review
Pretty tasty sukiyaki, but small portions. I liked the thick bean thread noodle they had in there. If they had given more, I may have given it a 4/5.

Luncher: Michael

Lunch: Gyu Don - $7.95
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Michael's Review
The music videos they're showing are awesome

Luncher: Rob

Lunch: Salmon with House Special Miso Cream Sauce - $8.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Rob's Review
I liked the special miso cream sauce quite a bit. Light and tasty. Wasn't quite sure what to make of the salad, though -- there didn't seem to be any dressing aside from a small dollop of something I didn't find particularly inspiring on the one piece of broccoli. Also, my dish was the one that pushed the food prep time out to 20 minutes. Most of the other MSG150 crowd were a good ways into their meals by the time mine arrived. Aside from all that, the salmon was pretty good, I thought.

Luncher: Al

Lunch: Sukiyaki - $8.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Luncher: Anthea

Lunch: Saba Shioyaki - $8.50
Rating: 2.5 Chopsticks

Luncher: Emmett

Lunch: Saba - $8.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

I had a conflict when the rest of the team went to Kaname, and I was eager to try it. The reviews were quite mixed, maybe reflecting the newness of the establishment. I was visiting over a month later, on December 19th. It was a cold day, and I was visiting with my buddy Sam.

The space is quite nice, definitely an upgrade since Takohachi, which was dark, cramped, yet awesome. This place is well lit, got some nice wood finishes, that sorta thing. I ordered the House Special Deep Fried Mackerel, (Saba Age). It came with Miso Soup, a salad, some cold noodles, and some white rice on the side. It was delicious. Deep fried, piping hot, nicely seasoned. It had a great flavor, and the accompaniments rounded out the meal. Sam ordered the deep fried oysters, which I tried, and were also fantastic.

Service was quick and friendly. I'll definitely be back.

Kaname Photos

Kename - Grand Opening
Kename - Grand Opening


Menu cover
Menu cover

Magnum with Tori Nabe
Magnum with Tori Nabe

Joey's Sukiyaki
Joey's Sukiyaki

Geary's Saba Shioyaki
Geary's Saba Shioyaki


Anonymous said...

I miss the Takohachi! Here is a pic of the happy octopus!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link!

Brad said...

salad = typical japanese fare. (Breakfast salads were hard to get used to when traveling there.)

Kaname is awesome.

Anonymous said...

I went to Kaname on Saturday night, and while the food was pretty good, the service was horrible! This made for a laughably bad experience. First, they were out of ramen even though my friend and I were the only people in the restaurant. Then, they didn't refill our water glasses when they were left empty for some time, while all 5 of the staff talked in the kitchen. When my friend finally asked for some water, the server came out and refilled the water glasses of another party who had just arrived, then returned to the kitchen to talk with the other servers some more. No water for us! The kicker was that we had to ask for change when paying in cash, and the server returned with a large bill as our change -- as if we were going to leave her that big of a tip! I will never return there.

Anonymous said...

Normally I don't leave comments to commentors, but Anonymous is an idiot. You report bad service but then only show one problem with the service: the water. It's free - it's not like you were going to order another soda or beer. That might be something about which you could complain. Maybe they make a few days' worth of ramen. Big deal on them being out.

But when a server returns with a large bill as change, that's them showing they do not expect much of a tip.
I am annoyed when servers return with 15 one dollar bills. As though I'm going to tip anywhere close to that. When I delivered pizza, I would give back large bills and let the customer ask for me to break it. It's not to get a bigger tip, it's to show that I'm not expecting a big tip. Being humble doesn't come naturally to some people. And Anonymous, you could use it.