We're heading to my neighborhood (more or less) this week, where you can chow down on some truffled mushroom pizza, a tomato mozzarella basil pizza, and a two lil' pigs andouille and fennel sausage topped one, plus some nice vinaigrette dressed greek salad and maybe some wings.
There's a play pit for the tiny kids, if you're bringing any, and a free-to-play multiple-game arcade setup, and a crusty pinball machine. But mostly you'll want to speak Japanese with interesting people, so come and do that!
If you have any dietary restrictions, please let me know in advance so that I can try to accommodate. There is a vegan cheese option and a gluten-free crust option, but I'll only order those if needed.
If you're into beer or wine, we'll order some that you can elect to share. Drinks will be separate.
It sounds like they'll have us in the front room this time, which is the area near the bar and the kid play area (always convenient when they're close together).
Bring plenty of cash. It's usually about $20/person for food with tax/tip, though it sometimes works out a bit cheaper when lots of people show up. Credit cards make paying the bill harder, and there likely will be a cranky toddler increasing the urgency of settling the bill efficiently around the time we wrap up, so don't be "that person."
Parking is usually fairly painless in this neighborhood. Bus access is easy with route 2, and convenient enough with routes 3 and 8.
Nijikai may be at the wine bar next door or maybe the Madrona Ale House.
I'll probably pre-kai at the little bar at St. Clouds, but if that's too full, I'll stop in at the Madrona Ale House.