In the West Woodland area around Northwest 65th Street sit a French-and-Italian-inspired spot named Joli and a convenience-store-turned-beer-bar with teriyaki called Choice Deli & Grocery. They’re both worth a visit.
Happy hour this week is a twofer in the West Woodland area around Northwest 65th Street, where one of the city’s best soccer and beer bars resides: The Dray.
But this isn’t about the well-known Dray. This is more about its new neighbors, Joli and a revamped Choice Deli & Grocery. The latter is not exactly what its name implies.
From Janet Eicher of Chocolat Vitale and chef Amy Beaumier formerly of Bell + Whete and Local 360, Joli looks like a bistro plucked from Capitol Hill or from the main commercial strip of Ballard. Its industrial chic décor is more contemporary than its counterparts along this Northwest 65th Street bar drag. If its French-and-Italian-inspired concept sounds too high brow, there’s always happy hour. It boasts some of the city’s best deviled eggs, creamy morsels with fried potato and speck on top. Egg also shows up on the mushroom flatbread, cured yolk bits that play like cheese. Resist the urge to order the ubiquitous happy-hour burger. That’s the most boring thing on an exciting bar menu — from fried pork-cheek terrine to a bowl of mussels, all good values ($3-$10). Also, Robert Rowland, who made Oliver’s Twist in Phinney Ridge a cocktail destination, now runs the bar program. He’s starting to put together a craft-cocktail menu.
Joli offers happy hour 4-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday at 618 N.W. 65th St., Seattle (206-420-7259, joliseattle.com).
Choice Deli & Grocery
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Choice Deli & Grocery is a convenience store that has 30 beer taps next to the Rockstar energy drinks and the cashier selling lottery tickets.
Choice doesn’t have as many cult microbrews as Stoggies n Hops in Lynnwood or Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood, which Choice seems to be modeled after. But it’s an improving beer lineup — on a recent visit, a couple of stellar pilsners from the esteemed Chuckanut Brewery and Crux Fermentation Project, and a long list of IPAs, including those from the acclaimed Reuben’s and Bale Breaker. Locals treat it like a bar, pulling up a chair to watch the game on the flat-screen while nursing a pint.
Choice has been under the same ownership for the past 15 years but reinvented itself recently as a beer haven with teriyaki and greasy grub. It’s some of the best teriyaki chicken I’ve tasted in Seattle — charred bites of caramelized white and dark meat, over copious amounts of white rice. It’s not as syrupy sweet as other teriyaki takes, more smoky. Its yakisoba is something you would easily find in the best msg-haunts in the Chinatown International District — noodles slicked with oil, perfumery with wok hay and served with so much beef that there’s lots of leftover meat for the side of rice.
The best testimony is that on a recent Saturday, the kitchen sold out of teriyaki chicken and needed another 40 minutes to prep. But the dozen of customers didn’t bail for a number of teriyaki joints within a four-mile radius. They waited here for their takeout.
Choice Deli & Grocery, 6415 Eighth Ave. N.W., Seattle (ballardchoice.com).