Musashi’s Sushi & Grill (1400 N. 45th St., 206/633-0212, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 4–10 p.m. Sun., $15) is an always-crowded, friendly little place with inexpensive fresh sushi (the main attraction), chicken teriyaki, and bento box lunches.
Kabul (2301 N. 45th St., 206/545-9000, www.kabulrestaurant.com, 5–11 p.m. daily, $18) creates reasonably priced Afghan cuisine, including quite a few vegetarian dishes such as sautéed eggplant with a tomato, yogurt, and mint sauce. The food has obvious Indian influences but is distinctively different. The basmati rice spiced with saffron and pepper and topped with raisins and nuts is a treat in itself.
Fremont’s El Camino Restaurant (607 N. 35th St., 206/632-7303, www.elcaminorestaurant.com, 5–10 p.m. Tues.–Thurs., 5–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 5–9 p.m. Sun., happy hour 5–6 p.m. Tues.–Fri. and 3–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun., closed Mon., $15) is a great little nouvelle Mexican place that serves chiles rellenos, baby back ribs, and fantastic margaritas.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition