Chef Shota Nakajima To Open Banzai Teriyaki in Cle Elum Spring 2022


Banzai Teriyaki will serve grilled chicken, short ribs, shrimp, and vegetables using Chef Shota’s signature teriyaki sauce

SEATTLE—Three-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and Bravo “Top Chef” Season 18 finalist Chef Shota Nakajima will open a new restaurant in Cle Elum, Washington this spring called Banzai Teriyaki. His new restaurant is located about 90 miles east of Seattle in an area that Nakajima frequents for mushroom foraging.

Banzai Teriyaki will bring the flavors of Nakajima’s nationally acclaimed Japanese cooking to Central Washington and feature his sought-after signature teriyaki sauce. The restaurant will offer grilled teriyaki chicken, short ribs, shrimp, and vegetables, along with a selection of Japanese sides, appetizers, and desserts, as well as a full cocktail menu.

“I’m stoked to bring teriyaki to Cle Elum! It’s an area I love and I’m excited to share my cooking in a new place and spread happiness through good food,” Nakajima said. “I grew up loving Seattle style teriyaki created by Toshi Kasahara. The menu at Banzai is inspired by that style but with my spin on it—I’m adding some fun new items like duck spring rolls, baby corn fritters, and fried cauliflower miso hummus, along with classics like gyoza and tempura,” he continued.

Nakajima is opening Banzai in partnership with Eric Bolstad a resident of both Cle Elum and Bellevue, WA, who partners with Nakajima on his teriyaki sauce line Make Umami. Bolstad had the vision to expand on the popularity of the sauce and bring teriyaki to Cle Elum’s downtown area to offer something new and delicious for locals and tourists to enjoy. They both want the space to serve as an exciting new gathering space that offers an experiential dining memory with great food and drinks for adults and is also family friendly.

The space features seating for 38 and a bar area indoors, plus a large seasonal rooftop deck (the first rooftop deck in the Cle Elum and Roslyn area!) that seats 90 guests with 26 VIP seats. The rooftop deck is 21-and-over only. Banzai Teriyaki’s design is vibrant and fun with a 30-foot-wide hand painted mural of the Banzai logo by Seattle artist Shogo Ota of Tireman Studios, anchoring the space. Ota also designed the logo and branding for Taku, Nakajima’s Seattle karaage restaurant.

Banzai Teriyaki Menu

  • Teriyaki: Chicken, Shrimp, Short Rib or Vegetable available with three heat levels: regular, spicy and good luck. Order a la carte or as a combo plate with sides.
  • Appetizers: Duck Spring Roll, Baby Corn Fritter, Prawn Tempura, Green Bean Tempura, Gyoza, Wings, Fries, Edamame, Fried Rice, Fried Cauliflower Miso Hummus
  • Sides: Miso Soup, House Salad, House Salad with Shrimp, Cucumber Salad, White Rice
  • Kids: Chicken Teriyaki Plate, Vegetarian Teriyaki Plate
  • Desserts: Tempura Ice Cream, Mochi Ice Cream Parfait, Campfire Banana Smores
  • Beverages: created by Elmer Dulla
    • Signature Cocktails: Umeboshi Martini with Gin, Vermouth, Pickled Plum; Shiso Mojito with Mint, Shiso, Rum, Lime; Miso Old Fashioned with Miso, Bourbon, Bitters; Umami Highball with Shio Koji, Whiskey, Soda; Honey Yuzu Mule with Honey, Yuzu, Vodka, Lime, Ginger; Peach Cosmo with Vodka, Peach, Citrus, Cranberry; Lychee Margarita with Tequila, Lychee, Lime, Orange
    • Banzai Sake ‘Drops’: Yuzu, Peach, Calpico, Mango, Grape, Strawberry, Lychee
    • Banzai Spirits: Suntory Haku Vodka, Suntory Roku Gin, Suntory Toki Whisky, Nikki Coffey Gin, Nikki Coffey Vodka, Legent Straight Bourbon, Dewar’s Blended Scotch Japanese Mizunara Oak Cask Finish 8 Year
    • 16 Draft Beers: Featuring the coldest draft beer system on the market with local beer from Roslyn Brewing Company, Taneum Creek, Georgetown Brewing Co., and more.

Banzai Teriyaki hours for dine-in and takeout:
Wednesday-Thursday 4-11pm
Friday 4pm-12am
Saturday 12pm-12am
Sunday 12-10pm
Monday-Tuesday closed

To-go orders can be made online in advance at Seasonal outdoor dining will be available on the rooftop bar (weather dependent) and the opening date will be announced this spring.

Find Banzai Teriyaki at 219 1st Street, Cle Elum, WA 98922 and online at

About Banzai Teriyaki
Acclaimed Chef Shota Nakajima and Eric Bolstad bring smoky-sweet teriyaki chicken, short ribs and shrimp to Cle Elum with Banzai Teriyaki. Inspired by his love of Seattle style teriyaki, Nakajima offers classic preparations featuring his housemade teriyaki sauce alongside favorite Japanese sides and appetizers. Dine-in and takeout available.

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