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Apr 18, 2007 07:59 PM

Seattle: Teriyaki Wonderland

I just spent 2 days driving all over Seattle testing restaurant POI's and was dumbfounded by the exorbitant amount of teriyaki places. I don't think there was a time when one was out of view. Anyone know the reason behind this? I mean besides the obvious delectability when paired with coffee.

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    1. I know why it's popular: it's delicious, cheap, healthy fast food. But I too wonder why no other American city (as far as I know) has this phenomenon. Certainly not the Bay Area or NY. Perhaps it's a critical mass thing -- few people would bother visiting a teriyaki restaurant in a new city, but somehow Seattle got enough of them that everyone feels safe trying it? But that doesn't really make sense to me.

      Anyone know its origins? I don't recall seeing terikyaki in the 4+ weeks I've spent in Japan. I've never seen a terikyaki shop, it's not in the list of starndard types of Japanese restaurants, and I don't recall seeing other people eating it anywhere. But perhaps I just didn't notice it; we foreigners miss a lot in Japan.

      2 Replies
      1. re: BruceB

        I mentioned this phenomenon to a friend visiting from LA. After spending the week here, she pronounced there are no more teriyaki places here, than there. She also lived in SF for 20 years before moving to LA. She thought there were as many teriyaki places there as here too. I chalked it up to what we choose to notice.

        1. re: Lauren

          Out of the cities I have lived in, including L.A., Seattle seems to have more than others. I think many of them were started around the same time and built off of each others success. I remember in the mid 90's when their were 4 or 5 different places, with different owners that had the name toshi's or toshios or some other derivative of that name.

      2. With all of the posts about the proliferation of terriyaki joints around Seattle, I'm wondering which ones really stand out for quality. Any opinions?

        6 Replies
        1. re: savorlicious

          Teryaki Bistro in Issaquah stands out as one of the Best Teryaki places in the area in my opinion - they have a GREAT Garlic Teryaki sauce that they sell....

          (It is the sister restaurant of Wasabi Bistro in Belltown so it has it's roots in a more serious restaurant)

          1. re: savorlicious

            I've been looking for tips lately as well:

            I mentioned in the other post that I used to love Tokyo Garden back in the day, and I see that this place was the only teriyaki mentioned in the recent restaurant guide from the Seattle Weekly. The portions were absurdly large, but the quality was high, and their pungent garlic salad dressing was addictive (and enduring on the breath). I guess I'll have to do a return visit.

            1. re: savorlicious

              There are an abundance of teriyaki joints in the U-district.

              Standouts are the bone-in-chicken teriyaki from Kiku (this is amazing - having the bone in makes it so much more tender and juicy) and the katsu from Sakura.

              1. re: clearskies0810

                Is the katsu from Sakura white meat or dark meat? thanks

                1. re: barleywino

                  You know, I actually never took notice of which one it was... but I do know it is better than most other teriyaki joints in the area.

              2. re: savorlicious

                In the Redmond area, my personal favorite is Niko Teriyaki (near the QFC on Redmond Way.) Me and my family have been longtime customers there for years now. I also like Tanpopo in Crossroads mall, (which makes an excellent chicken yakisoba,) and although I haven't been there in a while, Kami Teriyaki in Kirkland (on 124th in the Totem Lake area, near the 7-Eleven) was pretty good too.