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Best Seattle Sushi?

xppo Jan 8, 2009 12:39 PM

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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    PAO RE: xppo Jan 8, 2009 01:14 PM

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

    1. terrier RE: xppo Jan 8, 2009 04:29 PM


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        not the bad Steve RE: xppo Jan 8, 2009 05:40 PM

        I really enjoy Kisaku.


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

        3 Replies
        1. re: not the bad Steve
          Jim Geldmacher RE: not the bad Steve Mar 3, 2009 12:30 PM

          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
            not the bad Steve RE: Jim Geldmacher Mar 4, 2009 08:48 AM

            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
              Jim Geldmacher RE: not the bad Steve Mar 4, 2009 01:35 PM

              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. h
          HungWeiLo RE: xppo Jan 8, 2009 11:01 PM

          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. RandyB RE: xppo Jan 9, 2009 09:29 AM

            Mashiko in West Seattle. Ask for the omakase menu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: RandyB
              adeptation RE: RandyB Feb 16, 2009 04:26 PM

              I second this place.

              1. re: adeptation
                missliss RE: adeptation Mar 5, 2009 07:33 PM

                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.

            2. k
              kisa101 RE: xppo Jan 9, 2009 12:50 PM

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

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                firecracker RE: xppo Jan 9, 2009 01:49 PM

                Izumi in Kirkland

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                  ladeeluk RE: xppo Jan 10, 2009 11:07 PM

                  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. b
                    burritobelle RE: xppo Jan 11, 2009 01:31 PM

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

                    1. Tom Armitage RE: xppo Jan 14, 2009 12:06 PM

                      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
                        not the bad Steve RE: Tom Armitage Jan 15, 2009 08:57 AM

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

                      2. m
                        Moll91 RE: xppo Jan 14, 2009 07:32 PM

                        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
                          equinoise RE: Moll91 Feb 16, 2009 03:47 PM

                          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
                            dimsumfan RE: equinoise Feb 22, 2009 05:45 AM

                            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
                              equinoise RE: dimsumfan Feb 23, 2009 08:03 AM

                              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
                                Tom Armitage RE: equinoise Mar 3, 2009 11:34 AM

                                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
                                forkit RE: dimsumfan Feb 23, 2009 09:47 AM

                                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
                              equinoise RE: Moll91 Apr 23, 2009 10:42 AM

                              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. d
                              dnamj RE: xppo Feb 16, 2009 06:00 PM

                              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. seabee RE: xppo Mar 4, 2009 09:27 PM

                                "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. celtic_tiger RE: xppo Mar 14, 2009 08:59 PM

                                  I am a fan of Umi Sake.

                                  1. p
                                    Pinkfoodie10 RE: xppo Apr 17, 2009 11:44 AM

                                    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
                                      barleywino RE: Pinkfoodie10 Apr 19, 2009 02:46 AM

                                      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
                                        tbilisi RE: Pinkfoodie10 Apr 20, 2009 05:03 PM

                                        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.

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