The happy-hour prices are tough to beat.
The sign of the new Capitol Hill sushi joint reads “Gokan by Musashi.” But this certainly isn’t like Musashi.
Located at the corner of East Union Street and 10th Avenue, Gokan is the glammed-up younger sibling of that haunt in Wallingford.
Sorry, Musashi fans. Gokan doesn’t do $1.80 sushi.
With Gokan, Musashi investors instead seem to be channeling Wasabi Bistro, circa 2000.
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With polished stone and glossy wood, Gokan aims for the young and the hip. And it’s bent on winning the happy-hour war on the Hill.
Gokan runs discounted drinks and sushi early and late everyday, even offering happy hour during the party time of 10 p.m. to closing on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cheap, footlong fat rolls ($4-$8) of sushi stuffed with avocado, cream cheese or spicy mayo are what the young crowd tend to favor during happy hour.
Purists will gladly shell out a few bucks more for the $10 plate of sashimi (pieces of tuna, salmon, hamachi, albacore). You should follow suit.
Or settle on the izakaya menu ($2-$7) — fatty chunks of grilled pork belly, followed by crispy pork katsu and a $3 Sapporo lager to wash them down. It’s as good a happy-hour deal as you will find on the Hill on a busy Saturday.
Veteran barman Michael Kostin was also brought in recently to do craft cocktails, but this crowd seems more the candy-cocktail set who favor fruity drinks with muddled shiso leaves and other Asian ingredients. Or at least that was the case on a recent weekend, when the bar was filled with 20-something women who were starting their night on the town. Some squeezed into the tables by the accordion windows, bobbing their heads to the pulsing dance music. Even at 6 p.m., the bar at Gokan feels a bit like a nightclub.
Gokan, 954 E. Union St., offers happy hour 5-7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to closing Sunday-Thursday and 5-7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing Friday and Saturday, with sushi and rolls from $4 to $8. Grilled pork belly and other non-sushi bar snacks range from $2 to $7. Beers are $3-$4 and sake, wine and well drinks are $5 (206-325-3534 or thegokan.com).