I was a fan of the classy restaurant Yoroshiku 4649 when it occupied only 1913 N 45th Street. Over the summer, they expanded to occupy the space next door (1911), where Tea House Kuan Yin was. They are now called just Yoroshiku, and that’s not the only thing that is different.
The decor has substantially changed. The entrance has moved to the newer side, which is a bar, while the older side is more like a restaurant. The bar side has a very long bar with a small selection of microbrews and a larger variety of cocktails. Sake and Japanese whisky are clearly the signature options, however. Aside from the seats at the bar, there are wooden bench tables, which remind me of the seating you would find at a German beer hall.
One of those bench tables is also on the restaurant side. A few of the tables on the restaurant side have been replaced with four-person tables of the same materials as the bench tables. The walls are black and the music is hip. I’m not sure if it’s long-term, but my menu was not in a booklet like before, but was a bright blue piece of copy paper.
Please excuse me for focusing on things that have no bearing on the food and drink, but I was kind of shocked by the transformation of the space into a more casual atmosphere.
I ordered the veggie spicy ramen, my usual order. It is the same delicious, rich broth that I’ve come to appreciate over the years. The presentation of the bowl has not changed. The al dente noodles are cooked perfectly. I recommend adding an extra egg and corn.
I also ordered the Tako Kimcheese, described as “kimchi, gruyere cheese, scallions.” It was a mistake. I didn’t know tako was “octopus” in Japanese, and I don’t eat meat. It would be great if they could denote veggie items in the future. Our server let us know they wouldn’t charge us for it though.
As for the bar? It’s really cool. If my choices for a drink (sadly, not after a movie at the Guild anymore) are Murphy’s, Changes, and the Octopus Bar, I think Yoroshiku would share the top place along with Murphy’s. I had a really good citrus IPA, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. As a completely separate entity from the restaurant, it is awesome. For those clinging to the past, it’s an adjustment.
I observed out loud how good the place smelled. The person seated to the right of me chimed in with, “It’s me.” That’s how I knew I was in a good place. A place where we defy the “Seattle Freeze” and enjoy good drinks, good food, good conversation, and good friends.
I asked the server what people thought of the changes. She said some were disappointed with the menu when their favorite item disappeared. I noticed fewer veggie options than before. In the fall they hope to revamp the menu a bit, based on the feedback they’ve been getting.
Three highchairs near the desk, I take to be a sign that kids are welcome.
So call it an izakaya or a gastropub, but Yoroshiku is definitely not the same place you’ve been to before.