Most overheard remark at the recent Neodandi fashion show: "I've never been to a fashion show before." This was invariably delivered in a deeply impressed, gee-whiz kind of way; the thought seeped through the packed Pioneer Square club Trinity as the local designers' work circulated.

The models began in an electric-blue, super-stylized room with a balcony, moved through a lounge that was decorated in ornate Orient Express style, and ended up on an actual runway in another room altogether. Menswear was of the deconstructed-and-meticulously-sewn-back-together ilk, with a sort of foppish Frankenstein/postmodern Adam Ant aesthetic. The women wore skirts that looked like pincushions or luxurious upholstery; fabrics were shirred and glowy, and some outfits looked like mermaids from the future.

I, of course, fixated on the snacks—an arrangement of sushi set up on the bar and posted with aggressive "MEDIA ONLY" signage. This made me feel weird, so I lurked nearby, darting in for pieces instead of properly loading up a plate. The sushi was damn good, even though it was awkwardly consumed in the half-dark. A friend who doesn't eat sushi ate a lot. It was from Nijo, a semi-new place down near the waterfront. Though I'd heard their fish was quite good, I'd been variously prejudiced by the chef being from Mashiko (a West Seattle sushi place that everyone in the world but me is wild about) and by Nijo's location on a dull block that tends to be an energy vortex.

I took my sushi-opposed friend and we sat in Nijo's tiny, modern bar, which is as purple as the blue room at Trinity is blue. The energy vortex was in effect; staff wandered to and fro, looking bored as can be, and we were privy to a discussion about "weird B.S." regarding their schedules. A glass clamshell held boxes of matches from McCormick and Schmick's, the Bookstore Bar, and Chapel. The bartender confessed cheerfully that since they didn't have their own matches, they had to steal them.

I ordered some training-wheels sushi. An Evergreen roll ($7)—a perfect spear of tempura asparagus, green onion, julienned cucumber, avocado, and peppery radish sprouts wrapped in pale, unintimidating mamenori—was pronounced with deep approval to be just like eating a great salad. Unagi nigiri ($4.50), a gateway sushi if ever there was one, had meltingly tender broiled eel and just-sweet-enough sauce, and who can resist the way it's belted to its rice with a seaweed band? The Flamin' Fire roll ($11) proved to be an overreach; the fact that it arrived on fire and was loaded with spicy tuna failed to distract my initiate from the raw fish on top. We scaled back to a California roll ($6), drank some pricey, refined sake decanted from what looked like a beautiful bong, and called it a night. ■

Support The Stranger

Trinity is at 111 Yesler Way, 447-4140; Nijo is at 83 Spring St, 340-8880; and Neodandi's under-construction yet over-the-top website is www.neodandi.com.

bethany@thestranger.com