Spend Your Next Special Occasion at Nara-Ya

Everything about Nara-Ya feels special. From the moment guests walk into the elevator lobby area where they are greeted by trippy purple and yellow neon art, to the elevator ride to floor “3.1”, and the spectacular views of Washington Channel.  It feels like a special night out at the Wharf. 

The cocktail game is strong at Nara-Ya, and to get things going, we started off with two of the signature drinks. “The Old Fashioned from the East ” features toasted brown rice-infused Ichiros whiskey, brown Okinawa syrup, black walnut bitters and chocolate bitters, with a single large ice cube, and an orange garnish finish.  This is a solid take on the traditional Old Fashioned with flavors that pop and linger on the tongue.  

“The Ballad of Yasuke 2.0” is a super refreshing cocktail made with Uncle Nearest 1856, choya umeshu, blackberry syrup, fresh lemon, fresh pineapple, WaterFire, and ginger beer. Don’t worry, we didn’t know what half of the ingredients meant either, but caution was thrown to the wind, and every sip was savored.  

An item that caught our attention is the cocktail “Why Is It Floor 3.1???” which is exactly what we were also wondering. Unfortunately, this remains a mystery, but the ingredients include Patron reposado tequila, mezcal, peach liquor, passionfruit syrup, pineapple, lemon, and a habanero tincture.  

The appetizer course included quite the show when the smoked Zuke tuna arrived at the table.  It is presented in a smoking cloche of cherry wood chips. Fragrant smoke filled the air and our senses as the elegant glass dome was lifted and the sashimi-style tuna was eventually revealed. 

We also went with the innovative and delicious edamame hummus. It includes Japanese rice crackers, pickled fresno pepper, and chili drops.  Edamame, which has become an appetizer staple for many, has never been so good.  

We also had a sushi course that included the Nara-Ya and the District Spice rolls. At this point,   we shifted our drink game to Nagara – Gawa sparkling Nigori sake. There is a lot going on here and one sip goes a long way. This is an exceptionally dry, yet refreshing saki with natural carbonation that  paired well with each piece of sushi.  Getting back to the sushi, the Nara-Ya roll is made with spicy salmon, asparagus, and topped with salmon avocado with a dollop of lemongrass miso glaze. This roll is delicious.The District Spice is a spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber roll, finished with a house-made furikake and spicy mayo. Both rolls were satisfying and delicious. 

As we moved into the entrees, we settled on the green tea soba noodles and the pan-seared scallops from the a la carte menu. The noodles and vegetables were presented in a large bowl and the broth was poured on top, table side. The intense flavor of the broth mixed well with the more delicate noodles, making for a rich and tasty dish. The scallops are truly beyond the normal scallop experience, accompanied with sunchoke-miso puree, candy kumquat, and umami dust.  

We finished up with a green tea tiramisu that truly completed the meal and the experience.  The not-too-sweet dessert was light and creamy with green tea and matcha flavors. We paired the tiramisu with a nice dry glass of sake.  

Nara-ya is a foodie experience that provides outstanding service, flavors, and views. Reservations can be made via Opentable.  

NARA-YA Photo Gallery


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