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Best Sushi: Bellevue or Seattle

I am a sushi lover, but I dont like paying too much for just plain sushi. I like FRESH fish, good variety and a pleasant, creative sushi chef. Where do you like the best in the Seattle/Bellevue area?

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  1. I reccomend Shun, just outside of U village. They have three sushi chefs, one of which is far better than the others. All the food is reasonably priced and they have lots of great stuff (little of which is on the menu, you should ask about it). The good chef is from Japan and came here to work with Shiro, now works there.

    5 Replies
    1. re: dagoose

      Kisaku and Nishino in Seattle.

      In the eastside, Blue Ginger actually serves some pretty decent rolls (better than their Korean food, IMO - and they're a Korean restaurant!). Tuna House is pretty nice (haven't been there in years, though). Sushi Ten used to offer a $23 all you can get at the sushi bar. Although the chef gets really pissed if you order too much food. The quality is pretty good, but I haven't been in years. I live further north, so sometimes I drive up to Sushi Zen in Mill Creek (same owners as Umi in Belltown).

      I wrote an unfavorable review about Koi in Redmond a few months ago. Yesterday, I saw that they had hired a sandwich board guy on 148th advertising "$1 sushi". Good lord. Also stay away from Ken Zaburo in Kirkland.

      1. re: HungWeiLo

        I've always had good sushi at Yama (at the Galleria) in Bellevue - it's not super cheap, but the fish is excellent and they're pretty creative.

        1. re: northwestkiwi

          WHOA.
          I'm gonna have to stop you there.

          Both times I've gone to Yama (both at lunch), the sushi has been unacceptably sub-par. The first time, the octopus was super tough and nearly inedible, and the tuna was cut funny so that it was. The second time, the tuna was cut incorrectly again, and the roll I was not tightly rolled enough. It seems that sushi here is simply about raw fish on rice, without the care and technique that good sushi demands.

          They also do some "non-traditonal" rolls, which is a personal pet peeve of mine, since it usually reflect a sushi chef who strives for "creativity" as opposed to honing the craft. I think they even threw a "fried sushi" on as part of my sushi platter. I accept that this is a personal bias from a Japanese person looking for some authenticity, and not even close to actual objective criticism, but I felt that it needed to be said.

          There are very few restaurants I refuse to go to, but Yama is one of them...

          1. re: GreenYoshi

            I'll have to offer a different opinion. I often eat sushi, 2+ times a week, and the two times I've gone to Yama, they served the freshest salmon and tuna that I've had in the Seattle area in a long time.

      2. Fuji Sushi in the old Japantown area of the ID is my call for a good value on sushi.
        It's not spectacular in a Saito kind of way, but they get all the little things right, and it's a solid price.

        I also like Hiroshi's on Eastlake.

        Both of these places are more on the traditional, authentic side though. It's fresh and they have a great variety, but they don't do much on the creative side, if that's what you're really after.

        2 Replies
        1. re: GreenYoshi

          I haven been to Hiroshi's for years, but I still remember the high quality of ingredients that they use.

          1. re: GreenYoshi

            dang, I thought fuji sushi was my secret ... my favorite value sushi place is hana on broadway + they have great age dashi tofu

            1. Has anyone tried Ginza in Old Bellevue? Almost had dinner there tonight, but we were too early and too hungry to wait for them to open for dinner...Never been there before, but have heard good things..

              1 Reply
              1. re: soypower

                i also heard good things about Ginza from a Japanese at a recent sake tasting at Sake Nomi (on Washington st in Pioneer square). The sushi that was catered in to the tasting event was from J-sushi in the ID, which was surprisingly decent although not Nishino quality. If you find yourself in Queen Anne, Ototo is not bad. Kappo (above Chiso in Wallingford) is decent for cooked foods and is a great setting, their sushi is not spectacular tho.

              2. Not in Bellevue, but a short drive up 405 is Izumi (off exit 124th), very solid traditional sushi, good variety and the sushi bar chef is always willing to get creative if you ask so. I'm also surprised to see no mention of Shiro's, which a few Japanese friends (well, and myself :-) find to be one of the best in Seattle, and more on the creative side than Izumi. Overall I had better experiences at Shiro's than Nishino, even if Nishino is always a great choice

                1 Reply
                1. re: robca

                  That's good to know. I'll be starting a new job on Willow Rd. fairly soon and it looks like a big wasteland of corporate delis. I hope they're open for lunch!