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Best Seattle Sushi?

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I am moving to Seattle (from Miami) and was hoping to get locals' views on where to get the absolutely best sushi.

Its not so much a question of traditional vs inventive just the place with the freshest fish and wide variety of rolls.

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  1. I think if you do a search on this board for sushi, you will find many recommendations

      1. I really enjoy Kisaku.


        Kisaku Sushi Restaurant
        2101 N 55th St Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98103

        3 Replies
        1. re: not the bad Steve

          I have not tried all of the "top 4" mentioned elsewhere, but I love Kisaku. Everything I've had has been excellent. My wife and I regularly make the drive from Bellevue to dine at Kisaku.

          1. re: Jim Geldmacher

            Hey, Geldmacher, good to hear from you. We met at a mid-90s Halloween party at your place not far from Kisaku while a certain Mr. Faber was in town.


            1. re: not the bad Steve

              Heya Steve,

              I'm hoping to talk Mr. Faber into coming up to Seattle in July. Perhaps a Kisaku trip would be in order.


        2. I've scoured the Miami area for sushi just several months ago. I think that, truthfully, any dive here would be better than most places in southern Florida. (That's not to disparage your hometown, but it's just that we can get much better fish due to geography).

          I second the recs for Kisaku and Nishino. Izumi in Kirkland or Sushi Zen in Mill Creek if over on the eastside.

          1. Mashiko in West Seattle. Ask for the omakase menu.

            2 Replies
              1. re: adeptation

                Meh. I've gone several times (it's close to home) and never been that impressed. I'll make the drive to Shiro or -- particularly -- Nishino.

            1. I'll second Nishino for the best sushi. The close second is Shiro's in Belltown.

                1. Wasabi Bistro has a great selection of innovative rolls. For more traditional fare, I'd head to Shiro's. Both are within a block of each other in Belltown.

                  1. I love Umi Sake House in Belltown. Inventive rolls, fresh fish, cheap sashimi at happy hours.

                    1. If you scour Chowhound’s Pacific Northwest board, you will discover that there are four leading contenders for “best sushi in Seattle.” They are (in alphabetical order) Kisaku, Kappo, Nishino, and Shiro. Each has their advocates. All are good. None of them is cheap. These places focus on traditional Edo-style sushi (edomae nigirizushi), although they will also serve you a California roll or other American-style sushi if you want it. If you mostly want Americanized sushi, like a smoked salmon and cream cheese roll, your choices are much broader, and will include places like Mashiko in West Seattle, although the quality will not be as high as the four leading contenders listed above..

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Tom Armitage

                        I agree re Edo vs. American. Of the American places I've tried, I like Umi Sake House the best.

                      2. Ototo is definitely the best choice for omakase. They always have incredibly fresh fish and the service is great. Wasabi bistro is also really good, and a few blocks down. If you're in Bellevue, Flo is really good.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Moll91

                          I tried Flo today for lunch at the sushi bar, and enjoyed it. The amberjack sashimi was excellent, and the white salmon was very good. The hamachi was a tad leaner than the better stuff I've had, and very cold (colder than the other fish) for some reason. The unagi nigiri was top notch, really tasted like eel right off a grill on the street, as opposed to the lukewarm average; saba nigiri was average. Complimentary smoked squid salad was very nice touch. Service was incredibly attenttive, nearly overbearing. One thing to look out for is the unlisted price of sashimi: we assumed it would be the same as the nigiri, as it often is, but it was about triple that. The sashimi servings consisted of six large pieces, probably more the twice the size of what is typically served.

                          1. re: equinoise

                            Equinoise and others: Which do you prefer: Flo or Kisaku? Looking for good nigiri, not necessarily sashimi, and no rolls. Maybe a hot dish or two.

                            1. re: dimsumfan

                              I prefer Kisaku. I think they will have more obscure fish, the quality is probably higher than Flo, and the experience of interacting with the chefs at Kisaku is warmer and more interesting. Also, Kisaku exceeds on atmosphere; Flo has a more sterile environment. Though this is comparing several dinners at Kisaku to one lunch at Flo.

                              Note that some posters dislike Kisaku's sushi rice for its seasoning, though I've personally never found anything wrong with it. That may be my preference as I don't like rice with prominent seasoning, and I also eat just as much or more sashimi than sushi.

                              1. re: equinoise

                                On another Chowhound thread regarding sushi in Seattle (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/497472), Terrier wrote that the rice at Kisaku was “crunchy (undercooked or inadequate resting time) and underseasoned.” My own experience, aided by some research on the subject of sushi rice, is that most good sushi chefs prepare rice that is chewy and firm, so that the vinegar dressing coats the grains of rice rather than soaking in. I understand that all likes and dislikes regarding food are ultimately a matter of personal preference, and Terrier is certainly entitled to his preference, but I have found the sushi rice at Kisaku to be classically prepared and perfectly fine.

                              2. re: dimsumfan

                                Never been to Flo but I am always ready to eat at Kisaku. I also prefer nigiri and sashimi although their caterpillar roll is gaudily exciting. They have good horenso and sunomono with either octopus or crab and tofu either agedashi or red bean. The last time I went the salmon collar was a great starter.

                            2. re: Moll91

                              I'll disagree about Ototo, after a first visit last night. Interactive sushi chefs are a necessary precondition for a good omakase experience IMO, and the two gentlemen working at Ototo basically avoided all eye contact for about 15 minutes after we sat at the bar. At that point, our order was taken by the server, and there was no mention of omakase or "chef's choice" on the menu. I noticed that there were only two other people sitting at the bar while several tables were full. At the places I favor for omakase, the opposite if often true. Maybe it depends on the night.

                              I will say that the sushi quality was good, esp. the unagi, spicy scallop and the spanish mackerel, but not better than Kisaku, Nishino, Shiro's or Chiso. Factor in the service and the selection, and Saito's bests it too. Keep in mind that I tend to be a sushi traditionalist, and not super into crazy roll combos, and it seems that Ototo specializes in that. I did like the eponymous Ototo roll.

                            3. I'd agree with the post below about the top4, but for a casual option, I highly recommend Shun by U village. Very straightforward, good quality. It's a no-nonsense replica of a normal japanese restaurant (in Japan).

                              1. "Sushi in Joy" in Bellevue (located in a strip mall :) next to QFC. Excellent quality, price, and great green tea with some sort of brown rice floating in it to give it a nutty taste.
                                "Saito's Japanese Cafe" in Belltown

                                  1. Has anyone had Omakase at Saito's? We're visiting in a few weeks from out of town and have decided to eat at Saito. Thanks.


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Pinkfoodie10

                                      I tried omakase at Saito's once. THey did not offer anything beyond the normal run of the mill sushi and made no effort to prepare anything special or showcase what they might be capable of.

                                      1. re: Pinkfoodie10

                                        Best to sit at the bar and put yourself in Saito's hands; it's his version of Omakase. If I had a last sushi on this planet, I'd be at Saito's.

                                        The best set menu Omakase we've had is at Nishino, and well worth it, too.