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Originally published Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:07 PM

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Dining Deals

Gambas: A mix of Japanese, French delights in Belltown

Gambas in Belltown offers a wonderful array of Japanese and French choices, from delicious sushi, king salmon and escargot to seared duck breast ceviche and gyu no tataki (Black Angus beef seared with garlic butter and served in ponzu sauce).

Seattle Times staff reporter

Gambas

Japanese fusion

2230 Third Ave., Seattle 206-728-5092

gambasrestaurant.com

Hours: Lunch noon-3 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; dinner 5-10 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; happy hour 5-7 p.m. daily, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays.

Etc: Visa and MasterCard accepted; no obstacles to access; street parking; full bar.

Prices: $-$$

It's one of those days when you're hungry for seafood but not quite sure what you want.

Check out Gambas Japanese & French Restaurant in Belltown for delicious sushi, king salmon and escargot.

The restaurant offers a wonderful array of choices, including meat options as well as happy-hour prices for Belltown revelers.

Note: Gambas is in the process of dropping the "French" from its name and replacing it with "Fusion," a manager said, but they plan to keep French cuisine on the menu.

The menu: Meat lovers can rejoice at the range of house specials, such as seared duck breast ceviche ($9.50) and gyu no tataki ($10) — Black Angus beef seared with garlic butter and served in ponzu sauce. Gambas also offers miso soup, salads, sushi-and-meat lunch platters ($10.50-$12.50) and a long list of sushi rolls, plus nearly a dozen vegetable rolls.

What to write home about: Try the sunomono salad ($6.50) — a mound of pickled cucumbers topped with shrimp (or octopus if you prefer). The seared scallop divers (three for $8.50) came in a butter and mushroom sauce with julienne asparagus strips and shiitake mushrooms.

Also check out the volcano roll ($12) — salmon, cream cheese and avocado deep-fried, topped with scallops, then torched and drizzled with a special spicy sauce. Finish up with Kahlua crème brûlée ($4.50).

The setting: Dark interiors, colorful artwork and a shiny sushi bar make this restaurant a comfortable spot in an otherwise rundown commercial strip on Third Avenue. The setting will be more enjoyable once construction next door is finished.

Summing up: Gambas offers the late-night diner or the business lunch crowd a great selection of Japanese and French cuisine, served with a smile. We had the sunomono salad, volcano roll, sushi (mackerel, yellowtail, tuna, unagi and salmon roe) and Kahlua crème brûlée for $49, including tax and tip.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com

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