Best Seattle Sushi
- JT Sep 27, 2002 09:45 PM
My girlfriend and I have one night in Seattle. We're staying at the Inn at the Market (but have a car) and we want a unique Northwest sushi experience. Price is no object. A view would be great. Thoughts?
Josh, scroll down and read my post about Ototo. Best new Sushi in Seattle and very inventive. Shiro's would be my second chioce.
In my opinion Shiro's (Belltown) is the best in town. Saito's (Downtown), Nishino (Madison Park), Kisaku (Greenlake) and Chiso (Fremont) are excellent as well.
You can get very good sushi at Sushiman in Issaquah, an upscale community 15 minutes east of Seattle (directly east on I-90, very easy to find). I've pasted the link below. Before Sushiman moved into their new building, about 3 years ago, I was a regular and enjoyed the fresh sushi as well as the box lunches at about $12 a pop. The reputation of this place steadily grew and given the high number of million dollar homes all around Issaquah, it was maybe a good idea for them to make the move down the street into a new building. It seems they made their food even better, with a very high standard, but the pricing basically makes it a deal-killer for me. Even my old boss, who probably pays himself 300k/yr, mentioned that he no longer takes his family there because it's just too darn spendy. Last time I ate there, it was nearly $100 for four, and it was lunch (but we ate quite a lot). Two for dinner can easily be $100, but you said price is no object, so if that's the case then I'd give it consideration. Issaquah is located in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, and it's surrounded by beautiful "Issaquah Alps" (a range of three peaks--Squak, Tiger, and Cougar). Now through end of October there are giant salmon spawning in Issaquah creek, there is a beautiful public hatchery, and the first weekend of October is the annual Issaquah Salmon Days. You just might have a great time in Issaquah, with Sushiman and everything else going on.
If you want to spend alot of money for mediocre sushi, I would recommend Shiro's. For excellent sushi at a reasonable price, I would recommend "I Love Sushi" in Bellevue or "Tokyo" in Factoria. Shiro's offers nothing over these two places buy many Seattlelites are afraid to wander east on I90. So, Shiros charges more money for sushi which is nothing special.
May I suggest trying Shiros but in "another way".
It has been my experience that you can have a fabulous dining experience at Shiros by setting at the bar and not ordering anything from the menu.
Instead, give Shiro permission to control your sushi experience and your dinner sequence.
More often than not, your food experience will be completely different than any other sushi bar in Seattle. (Monk fish foie gras, salmon cartiledge, etc.) I think you will come away with a different impression of Shiros. I know I did.
Since you'll be downtown, I'd walk to Shiro's, getting there early so you can sit in front of Shiro's station at the sushi bar, and ask him to take care of you. I think the sushi at I Love Sushi is just as good, the prices are a little lower, it's more casual, and I love some of their inauthentic rolls. But Shiro is a master and you can taste some more unusual things.
Someone mentioned I Love Sushi in Bellevue. Huh? That's their original place, but the one in Lake Union has identical food and infinitely nicer atmosphere, not to mention that you don't have to cross Lake Washington to get there.
I don't get all the excitement over Ototo. I live a block away so I go there a lot, but their sushi, while good, is noticeably less wonderful than the other places mentioned here.