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Star Chef Shota Nakajima Is Closing His Restaurant Adana Permanently

The lauded Capitol Hill spot has been around for three years, after shifting from the more upscale Naka in 2017

Adana brings artful presentation to its seasonal dishes, such as white asparagus with egg yolk and rhubarb gelee.
Adana was known for artful presentation and excellent seasonal menus, with Japanese influences.
Adana/Instagram

Sad news for Capitol Hill’s dining scene. On Thursday, star chef Shota Nakajima posted a farewell message on Facebook and Instagram for his popular Japanese restaurant Adana, which is closing permanently after three years under that name (it was previously known as Naka). When reached for comment, Nakajima confirmed the news to Eater Seattle.

“I signed my lease at age 25,” Nakajima wrote in the goodbye post. “So many goddamn good memories here. I want to thank every single person who came through those doors to let me cook and serve you.”

Adana was originally known as a fine-dining oriented spot called Naka when it first opened in 2015 on East Pine Street. After mixed results, chef Nakajima adjusted his focus in 2017 and created a more approachable showcase for his artistic dishes. Soon, the restaurant came into its own, earning critical praise from the Seattle Times and national outlets.

The vibrant, multi-course meals changed monthly, with items such as duck with sunchoke and maple miso and white asparagus with egg yolk and rhubarb gelee. There were also ramen nights and bar snacks like oyster katsu sandwiches, along with an extraordinary cocktail list, and the successful transformation from Naka to Adana earned Nakajima an Eater Young Guns award.

The chef did not elaborate on the decision to shut down Adana for good, but with Washington’s stay-at-home order still in effect, and the future of what sit-down dining will look like in doubt, there were many potential issues. Adana had closed temporarily in mid-March, only reopening briefly for a takeout Mother’s Day meal recently.

When asked about the restaurant a few weeks ago, Nakajima admitted that hosting diners at Adana in a limited capacity during phase two of Washington’s reopening plan would have been a tough call. “The restaurant size is too awkward to try to reopen at 50 percent with the right kind of service expected and not lose money on the awkwardly high percentage on everything that affects the bottom line,” he told Eater Seattle.

Instead, Nakajima said he will give all of his attention to his new kushikatsu spot Taku, which made its debut in the neighborhood right before Washington’s stay-at-home order was implemented. The much-anticipated bar is currently closed for a regroup, but the chef plans to open it back up for takeout order soon. In his recent Facebook comments, Nakajima also mentioned the possibility of doing “pop-ups” down the line.

Adana

1449 East Pine Street, , WA 98122 (206) 294-5230 Visit Website

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