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Apr 7, 2009 03:06 PM

Seattle sea food & sushi?

Hi. I'm planning on taking a trip up to Seattle with a friend. I'm thinking about Ray's Boathouse and Elliott's Oyster bars. How are they... are they too touristy? Also, do you have any recommendation for Sushi? I'm Japanese, and I tend to go for the traditional sushi, not the fancy rolls. I heard Shiro isn't what it used to be. Any recommendations and opinions would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. Ray's isn't. Elliot's can be.
    I don't mind Elliot's like some others, but I'll agree that it can be kind of boring depending on what you choose.

    1. I like Kisaku in Tangletown for sushi. Fairly traditional.

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

      8 Replies
      1. re: not the bad Steve

        While Elliots can be touristy, I don't hesitate to recommend it for oysters. For a seafood dinner, you can count on Rays, upstairs cafe or downstairs fine dining. Nothing outrageously creative, but relaiably good fish.

        Try maneki for traditional sushi. has been in business for 100+ years. also chiso kappa in freemont is excellent.

        1. re: bluedog67

          A japanese person (I speak as one of them...) might be dissappointed with Maneki.

          It's a nice "home-style" japanese place, that's very comfortable, but I don't know that you're going to get sushi experience you want out of it.

          Nothing wrong with these places. I like Maneki and Kaname, and further up north, I love Shun, but it's not something I'd recommend for a Japanese person on vacation in search of something special or interesting in Seattle.

          Kisaku, Shiro's (which I admit, I haven't been to in a long while, so maybe it has gone downhill) and Chiso are probably the best bets. (I'm not a big Nishino fan, but I know others are...)

          1. re: GreenYoshi

            Thanks for the info. Being an average patron and not an expert, I recommend Maneki for the history more than anything else. I actually haven't been in a couple years. I appreciate the insight.

            What I don't get is why everyone is so crazy about Kisaku? I think it is fine, but I was not wowed. We frequent Ototo and Chinoise for sushi b/c they are in our neighborhood, and I didn't find anything about Kisaku that was any better.

            Chiso I get, and think is outstnading. Again, can't say anything about it being traditional or authentic. But I find the quality, variety and overall experience to be outstanding.

            1. re: bluedog67

              To be clear, I really like places like Maneki (more than the sushi place I named, actually...). Japanese food beyond sushi is awesome!

              I just want to set the expectations right for the place. I just don't think it's the kind of experience the OP's looking for (although maybe I'm projecting...).

              Ototo's pretty good too (I just rarely if ever get up toward QA).

              1. re: bluedog67

                I live closer to Ototo and Chinoise than Kisaku, too. I prefer Kisaku's rice to Chinoise's. In a few different visits to Ototo, I experienced brusque service, and they were out of types of fish that I enjoy. Service and supply are always first-rate at Kisaku.

                I had a really disappointing lunch experience at Chiso, despite being a big fan of TaiChi and Yoshi from their I Love Sushi days. I haven't tried Kappa, Chiso's more exclusive upstairs outpost.

                1. re: not the bad Steve

                  Kappa is a must when you are ready to throw down the bucks. (again not an expert, but i loved it). Agree on service at Ototo, really haven't been in awhile. we are pretyy happy w/ chinoise, i woulnd't send anyone out of their way to go there, but it is our neighborhood spot. we are pleased w/ the sushi and they are so freindly and know our family and what we like.

                  1. re: bluedog67

                    It has been my experience with Kisaku, Kappo and Shiro that they seem to differentiate 3 types of customers: occasional customers, "regular" customers, and then a small elite group of "super-regulars" who have somehow achieved most-favored-status and get the best fish or special preparations that may be in limited supply. Even if one is a regular and willing to splurge $$$ on omakase, there is no guarantee that one will be privy to "the good stuff", in fact, i've gotten subpar fish in such situations. This sort of favoritism, although understandable, can lead to disappointing experiences. I have not seen any evidence of this practice at Nishino, fwiw.

                    1. re: barleywino

                      interesting, and logical. i alwasy learn something new here. this is maybe why i was not wowed by Kisaku, despite all the raves? also probably why i have come to love chinoise, despite absence of reviews. i will say that i was completely bowled over by Kappo... and it was my one an only visit. mainly b/c there was not one single thing served that i had ever had before. maybe a familiar fish, but each preparation was unique. it wasn't "flashy" rolls like umi, however.. that said, perhaps someome more versed in sushi/japanese cuisine wouldn't have been as impressed by the smoke and mirrors of the newness that dazzled me.