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Zwaeback

Sushi Restaurant Recommendations

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Hello,

My fiance & I are visiting Portland, Seattle and possibly any cities in between this coming weekend - 05/20-05/24.

Could you recommend any sushi restaurants?

We're looking for particular attributes:

1. Not a cafeteria setting or run down - Osaka in Olympia looks nice online - www.osakajapanese.com

2. Traditional & innovative/creative

3. Good Sunomono & possibly green leaf salads

4. Good salmon sashimi & edamame

5. California roll with real crab & light on the mayo

6. Good rainbow with multiple variations on it. Something with one or all of the following ingredients would be great - Shitake mushrooms, scallops, tuna, asparagus, shrimp (grilled or tempera), real crab and advocado. We're not too big on eel, octopus & clam. It depends how they are used.

7. Grilled chicken or similiar hot dishes

8. Light tempera, not heavy & dripping with oil

9. Rolls in the $5.00 - $12.00 range, more or less. $60-$120 for dinner for the two of us.

Thank you to anyone who replies to this message.

We'll be visiting the area again in August.

My fiance just made a big plate of sushi, so I'd better go get started on it.

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Welcome, Zwaeback. The sushi places we've discussed more than any others in Seattle are Shiki and Mashiko (try a search on these), but there are many other highly respected places, including I Love Sushi, Shiro's, Saito's, and Kisaku. Mashiko is a highly eclectic, casual, and modern sushi place that with a huge menu, and it's won a lot of fans here.

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Something to look for no matter where you go: it should also be Copper River Salmon season next week... the only truly memorable salmon nigiri that I've had was Copper River @ Mashiko.

Then again, if it's all frozen, should the season really matter?

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Our two current favorites are Chiso in Fremont, and Chinoise (the Madison Valley location). Neither one has California Roll with fresh crab on the menu, but I have asked the chefs at Chinoise to make it for me twice, and they gladly have.

Also, Chinoise has a number of dragon-style rolls that they make that aren't on the menu... my current favorite is one they call the Seahawk Roll... in the middle is scallop, surrounded by nori, then other varieties of mild fish (salmon, albacore, yellowtail?), a thin layer of rice, more nori. The whole thing is very lightly tempura'd and very lightly fried. The outer layer of fish gets a sear, and the scallop is still very, very cold.

My advice would be to go to Chinoise on a tuesday or wednesday night, sit at the bar, and tell Ken and Jae what you want. They've always been very happy to oblige us with custom stuff. Chiso is equally good, if not better, but further from our house, so we don't go there as often.

~Anita

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The only place I have had California Roll with fresh crab is Sushi Tokyo on Roosevelt (near 64th). It's a neighborhood sushi joint, but I like it.

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9. Rolls in the $5.00 - $12.00 range, more or less. $60-$120 for dinner for the two of us.

That should do you well just about anywhere in Seattle.

You can splurge at Nishino's on Madison.

Had a very good sushi dinner topped off with light tempura at Kisaku in Wallingford.

An unusual place that hasn't been discussed (much?) is Ototo on Queen Anne.

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I really like Ototo on Queen Anne, right across from Chinois. They have beautiful sushi, fantastic service and a great atmosphere.

I'll mention BlueC sushi in Fremont not so much for it's greatness of sushi (it's adverage) but it is very fun to sit at the counter with the conveyer belt and pick your dishes off it!

cheers!

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Whee, my first post, and on a topic I love, Sushi!!

Here's my short list in PDX. I haven't been to every Sushi place in town, but these are my favorites:

  • Obi Sushi - Great atmosphere, lovable older sushi chef (he has his own t-shirt!) - NW 2nd and Couch in downtown PDX
  • Bush Garden - More traditional Japanese restaurant with semi-private rooms, sushi bar, etc. - SW 9th and Morrison in downtown
  • Yoko's Japanese Restaurant - Smaller, neighborhood Sushi place. Good stuff. - SE 28th and Gladstone
  • Kappaya - Another good neighborhood place - SE 33rd and Division

There was another place that I would have recommended: Tani's on SE Woodstock. Sadly they closed in the last year due to the owner of the property wanting to redevelop.

:sad:

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mmmm, sushi! i'm pretty sure i would eat it every single day if i could afford to. my favorite seattle spots:

MANEKI - old school joint in the I.D., some of the best in town

SHIRO'S - shiro has worked his magic all over town but this is the best. expensive, but worth it

SAITO'S- just a couple of blocks away from shiro's, fresh, clean, delicious

AOKI - good for a quick lunch when on capitol hill

a lot of folks seem to really like WASABI (also in belltown, on 2nd avenue) and, although i will eat there on occasion, i think they are too fussy with their ingredients. some of the combinations of ingredients are down right ridiculous. that said, they have a nice rainbow roll and plenty of fancy cocktails.

lemony

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WOW! Thank you for the great replies.

Mashiko's menu looks right on. We'll definitely get the Copper River Salmon. Shiki is also on the top of my list.

I Love Sushi is on my list because they have one in Bellevue, where we'll be spending 1/2 of our time in the Seattle area. Also on my Bellevue list are Tuna House and Taste of Tokyo. I know very little about either of them.

Chiso and Nishino are on my list. I'd like to know more about Nishino's menu.

I'm wondering about whether we should try Ototo. I'm not sure about it.

In Portland I'm interested in Mio Sushi and Sin Ju.

All together we should be able to try out 3-4 sushi joints this coming weekend.

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I've eaten there a few times at Tuna House in Bellevue and they serve nothing but quality, quality sushi/sashimi. They located in part of a strip mall that was based on a now-closed K-Mart--but they have surprisingly nice decor inside and serve quality, quality sushi/sashimi, and other specialties. They hours can be kind of odd sometimes so I would call before heading over there. Dinner can be a little spendier--prices you would normally see in downtown Seattle--but once you taste their large slices of sashimi, you know you will be paying appropriately. If you are interested for lunch, they have reasonably priced lunch/bento specials as well.

BTW If you are interested in Nishino--I've only eaten there once (excellent though)--my sister's friend used to be a waiter there and always recommends the black cod with ponzu sauce, but I'm not sure if it is on the menu anymore.


Edited by Nana_Kat (log)

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I'm wondering about whether we should try Ototo. I'm not sure about it.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with Ototo. We've eaten there a couple of times, and thought that the prices were high for what you got, quality, freshness, and quantity-wise. The fish isn't any better than at Chiso or Chinoise on Madison, but their pretensions are loftier, and you pay for that.

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In Portland I'm interested in Mio Sushi and Sin Ju.

I would avoid Mio Sushi. The location on Hawthorne serves okay salads and entrees, but the sushi is not very interesting. Everytime I've been I've wondered why the fish was so tasteless. There are much better places in Portland; Syun, and Yoko's are all better than Mio Sushi.

Sarah

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Thank you for the reviews on Mio Sushi, Ototo & Tuna House.

So far I've found only good reviews on Tuna House, abeit only a small handful of reviews. Maybe we'll try out Tuna House for lunch on Friday, since they are less than 4 miles from the hotel.

I was going to try the Mio Sushi on Johnson St in Portland. It looks like they have at least a few creative rolls.

I'm gradually becoming less interested in Ototo.

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Another thing about Ototo--the noise level is unbearably loud. (unless they changed something).

Also, Chinoise... on 45th the sushi isn't very good, and I don't remember one way or the other about Queen Anne. Is the Madison restaurant an exception? I don't remember anything about it, which is probably neutral (I don't generally order sushi there. Or go that often.)

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Also, Chinoise... on 45th the sushi isn't very good, and I don't remember one way or the other about Queen Anne. Is the Madison restaurant an exception? I don't remember anything about it, which is probably neutral (I don't generally order sushi there. Or go that often.)

I do think the one on Madison is an exception. Jae (the executive chef of the chainlet) is usually in residence, and even when he's not, Ken (his sous chef) holds down the fort. The only bad sushi chef there is the younger woman.

That said, there's nothing there -- not even the potstickers -- that I would recommend off the non-sushi menu. And I also think you don't get anywhere near the quality of sushi at the tables as you do at the bar (a phenomenon I've noticed all over Seattle).

<edited for a bizarre typo>


Edited by ScorchedPalate (log)

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I think compared to the other sushi places on 45th, Chinoise is the best (though it's been awhile since I've been to Sushi Kuma). I think the other three sushi places on 45th (their names escape me) tend to be on the cheap side and it shows in their decor. The only other CHinoise I've been to is the one attached to Uwajimaya in the I-District and I found the food identical in taste. Is the Madison one that much better?

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The only other CHinoise I've been to is the one attached to Uwajimaya in the I-District and I found the food identical in taste. Is the Madison one that much better?

Yes.

The original on Madison serves really great sushi--among the best I can remember having the pleasure of putting in my mouth. The few times I've eaten at branches, I've found them to be fairly standard pan-asian places--good food, but nothing exceptional.

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The edamame at Chiniose on Madison also happen to be fantastic--nicely al dente with neither too much nor too little salt. They stopped the conversation at my table when they came out because all we couldn't stop eating them long enough for anything but a quick swig of beer.

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Nishino has good sushi, no question about it, but what their real feature dishes are the hot nouveau-Japanese dishes. They are the sort of thing you find at Nobu--remarkably similar in fact, but at a slightly lower price point and in a decidedly more casual atmosphere. Squid with morels and mushrooms, crab with creamy spicy sauce, and new-style sashimi lightly cooked by pouring hot oil over it, were all well executed. They also did a nice light crispy tempura of maitaki mushrooms.

They also have a really smooth diaginjo sake called Ken that I highly recommend. Ask for it very slightly chilled, between white wine and room temperature, for optimal enjoyment.

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