Some Questions about Sushi in Seattle, after a Search
Hello chowhounders, well I've finally signed up here for this.
I have been reading several posts on here and all the review sites in order to decide on a sushi place in Seattle for my impending trip. I have a few questions for the locals that I don't think were answered in those, and then maybe I can narrow it down.
One of my friend's recommended Shiro's but I've read that nigiri come at about $4 a single piece. is this indeed true? Their site doesn't include a menu. Does anyone have a sampling of some prices? Like how much is one piece of maguro nigiri, hamachi nigiri, ikura, or uni? (for a variety of levels of sushi off the top of my head) I think I'm going to choose this place, but not if it's $8 for 2 pieces of tuna. No thanks. Also, how big are the pieces. Are they decent sized?
Lots of people on this very website recommend Nishino instead of Shiro's. I looked at the website and the prices seem good, but it does not indicate that they are for two pieces. Reviews on other websites say they are *more* expensive than Shiro's. Do you know if the prices on their menu are for one or two pieces of nigiri? Which restaurant is really more expensive? Finally, what makes Nishino better in your view (or the converse)?
Which of the two has better desserts? Which has bigger pieces or fresher fish?
Basically what I look for in a place is: fresh fish, good size pieces, good spicy tuna roll (preferred is the chili flake kind, but the mayo is ok in a pinch as long as it's not overly mayoed), good selection of fish to maybe try something new, good desserts preferred. The overpriced $15 creative rolls are not really my speed. If they priced them more reasonably I might bite. Cooked things are largely for me a waste of stomach space.
Also, after having sushi in Vancouver and having uni be on the regular assortment, bonus points if uni is on the regular assortment. I intend on having uni either way, So, the place I'm looking for should have good uni.
My typical east coast sushi place order is usually: spicy tuna maki or temaki, hamachi negi maki or temaki, ika nigiri, tobiko with quail egg nigiri, maybe sake nigiri. I also like amaebi, hotategai/kaibashira (scallop), ikura, and basically anything squishy. :) Oh yeah and I like aji and related.
So, I'm not an amateur by any means. Sorry for going on and on, but I find that describing what I'm looking for specifically helps people figure out what to recommend.
So, to sum up, I'm looking for fresh fish you can see without a microscope, good selection including some things I might not have had, reasonable price for the quantity, place has fresh uni, place has good desserts, and good spicy tuna rolls would be a plus. Which place would be a better bet, Shiro's or Nishino? Or tell me why another option is better.
SHiro tends to have unusually small pieces in my experience. Also, unlike Nishino, they will not offer items like aji tataki w/ fried aji bone, torched o-toro w/ garlic chip, hamachi jalapeno, toro tartare w/ osetra, or the Nobu-style dishes which Nishino offers (sashimi salad w/ Nobu dressing, "new style" sashimi drizzled w/ hot sesame and olive oils, rock shrimp tempura w/ creamy spicy sauce etc). If you're lucky Nishino will have Santa Barbara uni, not sure about SHiro. One of my favorites at Nishino (which Shiro will not do) is to request new-style sashimi with the whitefish replaced by salmon belly wrapped around uni. Nishino has a small selection of desserts, if you like you can get their shiso sorbet and pour some Okunomatsu sake over it (like the sake sorbet at Sushi-Ko in DC). (My favorite items at Shiro were not their sushi but their crab cream croquette, which unfortunately they have discontinued, and their tatsuta-age (chicken wings/drummettes)
PS if you're just looking for big pieces, try Umi Sake house, sit at the sushi bar, and go during happy hour for discounts
At the risk of making a favorite place even more popular I would suggest Kozue in Wallingford. Nigiri is only one dollar per piece at lunch with uni and toro and other pricier items at up to three dollars per piece. I had an excellent lunch there yesterday with albacore, unagi , yellowtail and scallops all at one dollar per. The real beauty is that it has an extensive menu of non sushi Japanese food. Love the salmon skin spinach and the bentos
if you don't mind going to the Eastside (Bellevue) I highly recommend Flo's . if you go at happy hour their sushi is a bargain. go from 5-6:30. it's a lovely smal space and better than Maneki's which is supposed to be one of Seattle's best
On a slightly different note, Mashiko's in West Seattle just announced that starting in August, it will only be serving sustainable fish. I think they stopped serving bluefin a while ago. That's a very endangered species, and got a boycott of Nobu started.
Here's the Mashiko story:
Flo Sushi Restaurant Belleuve, WA and Umi Sushi House & Bar..yum! Both a thumbs up. Nishino is very good as well.