March 26, 2004
by James Goldsmith

So many choices give FLO a strong advantage in Bellevue
I’d been looking, hoping for an excellent contemporary Japanese restaurant not far from home, maybe toward the north end of downtown Bellevue. Didn’t matter if it were off the mainstream, even in the retail level of a condominium complex. Just so it was special.

Then I found FLO (as in flow). What a nice name. Just try to make it sound unattractive. Can’t. “Where you wanna go?” “I wanna go to FLO!” “Why go to FLO?” “Because, Joe, don’t you know, FLO is special.”

Or so they claim. Beyond sushi, we have our “Cold Specialties” and our “Hot Specialties,” and that’s before we’ve even perused “Special Selections,” and “Today’s Specials!”

Thing is, they’re right. The experience, from the sleek decor (the wall behind the sushi bar looks like a vertical version of curvy raked sand from a Japanese garden) to the patient service to the soothing music ranging from Chet Baker and soft jazz to Hawaiian.

Am I the only one who tends to get flustered when ordering many small plates of food? Recently at FLO, I nearly blew my coolant gasket trying for a spread that would offer complementary variety.