Tam Nguyen is a busy man. He owns and runs Tamarind Tree, the popular Vietnamese restaurant lodged in an otherwise highly mundane parking lot near 12th Avenue South and Jackson Street. Not long ago, he followed up by opening Long Provincial Vietnamese Restaurant & Jelly Bar; it's downtown, in the space where QUBE briefly served its ill-fated four-component plates. Now he's working on a fresh stroke of genius: an indoor Asian-street-food extravaganza called Emerald Night Market. He has a space at 10th and Jackson, and is deep in the design process. He wants to have a starry ceiling, inspired by the real firmament at outdoor Asian night markets. "I think that Seattle needs to have something like that," he says by phone. "But—you know—Seattle rains a lot. So we create the indoor market, but you feel like outside at night." Multiple food carts will each serve a dish or two from Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam. He's hoping to open in May, but he's not going to rush. "I'm all about the details," he says.

The Jelly Bar's most noteworthy details are the jellyfish: Two of them live in a tank embedded in the wall that separates the bar from Long Provincial. They are Pacific sea nettles, the stinging kind, capable of reproducing both sexually and asexually; they have glowing golden translucent caps with flowing umber tendrils and blue fluffy streamers. They undulate along with the bass of the (not overly loud) down-tempo electronica like a mesmerizing undersea dream. Beyond them you can see, hazily, the lower halves of some of Long's diners among table and chair legs. Over there, it's high ceilings and gauzed windows; you're on the darker, sleeker side at the Jelly Bar.

At its street entrance, the Jelly Bar has a floor-to-ceiling dark curved metal divider, creating intimacy and keeping winter cold at bay. The floor has antique-looking round green tiles; the ceiling is a glossy, deep magenta. Above the bar hangs a row of box-shaped lanterns Nguyen had custom-made in Vietnam with three layers of silk. A bright spot: a single white orchid. The Jelly Bar feels like a way station in a strange but pleasant future in which all transportation is via submarine.

Cocktails incorporate tamarind syrup, fresh kumquat juice, lychee, roasted chilies. If the results aren't as rarefied as those of the city's premier lounges, neither are the prices: Most drinks are $7.50. The bar menu is fantastic: Long Provincial rolls (fresh rice-paper wrapped around basil, egg, caramelized shrimp, and slices of chewy-good pork sausage), tender cinnamon pork meatballs (coated in crispy green rice, served with fresh-shaved coconut), a little pot of long-simmered bone marrow (and lots more, some vegetarian). And the Jelly Bar's happy hours, held both early and late, are a fantastic deal (details here).

Jelly Bar, 1901 Second Ave, 443-6266