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Reasonable and excellent sushi recs needed

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brooklynmasala Aug 23, 2010 08:06 AM

I will be in Seattle for one night and staying at the Marriott downtown (no car). I need recs for excellent, reasonable sushi in that area; thinking more neighborhood type restaurant frequented by locals rather than a 'special-occasion' place.

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  1. Tom Armitage RE: brooklynmasala Aug 23, 2010 12:07 PM

    That’s a tough request – a “neighborhood-type” sushi restaurant in the downtown area. Shiro is the best sushi restaurant in the downtown area, although it’s expensive and I wouldn’t exactly describe it as a casual neighborhood joint. But, when I eat sushi downtown, this is where I go. Other places include Mistral Kitchen on Westlake Ave. between 7th and 8th Avenues, where Yutaka Saito is now preparing sushi, although I don’t know exactly where or how the sushi is served within the restaurant complex; Red Fin, 612 Stewart St. (which got a positive comment on Chowhound); Sushi Kudasai, 1501 4th Ave. (a kiosk in a food court setting, so may not be what you’re looking for); Nijo Sushi Bar, 83 Spring St.; Fuji Sushi, 520 South Main Street (in the International District); and Umi Sake House, 2230 First Ave. My favorite neighborhood sushi restaurant is Kisaku Sushi in Tangletown (near Greenlake), which has outstanding sushi and a loyal local following of repeat customers, but it’s a cab ride from downtown. I’ve been dying to try the recently opened Tamura Sushi Kappo at 2968 Eastlake Ave. E. Again, however, the problem is that it’s a cab ride from downtown.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom Armitage
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      brooklynmasala RE: Tom Armitage Aug 23, 2010 03:59 PM

      Thanks for the recs. It seems that Red Fin is even more expensive than Shiro. Am I reading the menu correctly?

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      Shiro's
      2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

      Red Fin Restaurant
      612 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA 98101

      1. re: brooklynmasala
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        akq RE: brooklynmasala Aug 23, 2010 04:06 PM

        Skip Redfin. Their sushi isn't that great and it is really expensive for what you get. They also have some weird service problems - I work close by and some coworkers go there fairly regularly. They made a rezzie for 8 for lunch the other week and when they got there they were told that the restaurant had seated another party instead. No apologies for the mixup and my coworkers had to sit in the bar rather than in the large table they'd reserved.

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      PAO RE: brooklynmasala Aug 23, 2010 12:28 PM

      Sorry, but I cannot recommend Fuji Sushi. Instead, try Tsukushinbo, a small place right across the street. A little family run operation with a sushi bar and some tables. They have excellent noodles and tempura as well as good sushi and many unusual items if you can get them to read the Japanese menu on the board on the wall. Dad used to be the sushi chef, but now he's in the kitchen and the son is out front. Both speak English well. This is in the ID, an easy bus or taxi ride away from downtown or if you go for lunch and like to walk, you can do that as well.

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      Tsukushinbo
      515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

      3 Replies
      1. re: PAO
        Joishii RE: PAO Sep 29, 2010 06:49 AM

        What's wrong with Fuji? I love it there. I have gotten nice omakase plates for whatever price I specify, and they've even included shirokara when I've mentioned my preference for it.

        Tsukushinbo has never given me a chance to sit down, even after waiting in their small lobby for twenty minutes...not even looking up to greet me. So I went across the street to Fuji instead. I'm glad I did!

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        Tsukushinbo
        515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

        1. re: Joishii
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          PAO RE: Joishii Sep 30, 2010 07:48 PM

          Go to Tsukushinbo early, I've found some of the sushi at Fuji old and there's one thing sushi should never be and that's old. I've eaten there a couple of times. Never again. There's a reason why Tsukushinbo is so crowded. Recession hasn't seemed to affect them much if at all. Yes, service can be slow at times, but that's usually because they have only one waitress for the entire restaurant.

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          Tsukushinbo
          515 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104

          1. re: PAO
            Tom Armitage RE: PAO Sep 30, 2010 09:26 PM

            Regarding “old sushi,” read the excellent post by degustateur on the Los Angeles Area Board in response to a suggestion that a revered Southern California sushi-ya, Shibucho, was serving poor quality fish. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7269... Degustateur points out that, to a master itamae and to a sushi connoisseur, the “freshest” fish is not necessarily the “best” fish. I also addressed this topic in a Sept. 2009 thread on the General Chowhounding Topics Board, stating: “As any good sushi chef knows, the best sushi and sashimi is not necessarily made from the freshest fish. Fresh fish have very little flavor. Allowing fish to “age” breaks down the muscle proteins into components that produce tastiness. Different fish require different “resting” times, and the art of a good sushi chef is balancing the degradation of texture involved in this aging process against the improvement in taste, and serving the fish when the perfect balance of these elements is reached.” Of course, it is possible that a sushi-ya may serve fish that has degraded to an unacceptable and offensive degree, and perhaps that was your experience at Fuji. My point is only that the flavor of the fish, not its freshness, is the hallmark of the highest quality sushi.

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        Rosette Jolis RE: brooklynmasala Aug 23, 2010 01:26 PM

        We like I LOVE SUshi on South Lake Union. Not downtown, but not far. I find is reasonable and plenty Japanese people eat there.

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        Lake Union Cafe
        3119 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

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          Leper RE: brooklynmasala Aug 23, 2010 04:30 PM

          Brooklyn, Spring for Shiro's, it's worth it. (Especially if you allow the sushi chef to offer some suggestions not on the menu.) Definitely a true Chowhound destination and worth the hit on your card.

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          Shiro's
          2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

          3 Replies
          1. re: Leper
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            brooklynmasala RE: Leper Aug 23, 2010 05:30 PM

            OK, you've convinced me. I am springing for Shiro's!

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            Shiro's
            2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

            1. re: brooklynmasala
              Tom Armitage RE: brooklynmasala Aug 24, 2010 01:10 PM

              Good decision. You won't be disppointed. It's by far the best sushi in the general downtown area.

            2. re: Leper
              Quine RE: Leper Aug 24, 2010 01:30 PM

              The best I've had, and I asked this board before I left from NYC to visit in Seattle a few years ago. We went ASAP they opened, sat at the Sushi bar and put ourselves into the chef's hands. It is the Platinum standard for me.

            3. kaleokahu RE: brooklynmasala Aug 24, 2010 02:14 PM

              After you've had the pretentious meal, go to Hiroshi's (not Shiro's) on Eastlake Avenue. Don't let the strip mall setting fool you. The real deal, friendly and relatively inexpensive. It's where to go just to eat great sushi.

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              Shiro's
              2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

              2 Replies
              1. re: kaleokahu
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                HungWeiLo RE: kaleokahu Aug 25, 2010 09:10 AM

                Hiroshi's is a good choice.

                Closer to downtown in the ID is Maneki too.

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                Maneki Restaurant
                304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                1. re: HungWeiLo
                  kaleokahu RE: HungWeiLo Aug 25, 2010 10:40 AM

                  Hiroshi's is actually pretty close (by car) to DT, closer than from some DT locations than anything in the ID.

                  And less chance of being robbed or shot.

              2. klsalas RE: brooklynmasala Aug 26, 2010 11:28 AM

                Maneki in the ID is nationally known and is listed as an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation. From the JBF website:

                Maneki is a family-owned enterprise whose roots stretch back to the early years of the twentieth century. Some believe it was founded in 1904. Others claim a date of 1911. No matter; it’s the only surviving restaurant from Seattle’s once bustling Japantown. ... Today the modest restaurant specializes in provincial dishes like agedashi tofu and takoyaki as well as sushi and sashimi, satisfying homesick Japanese locals while introducing new generations to traditional Japanese cooking.

                For what it is worth, it averages 4.5/5 from over 300 Yelp reviews.

                It is easy to get to the ID from downtown by bus, cab or walking. If you live in NYC you can cope with the ID. :-)

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                Maneki Restaurant
                304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                3 Replies
                1. re: klsalas
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                  GreenYoshi RE: klsalas Aug 26, 2010 01:40 PM

                  I like Maneki more for their Japanese food than their sushi.
                  Fuji is my go to down in the ID based on a mix of price and quality.

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                  Maneki Restaurant
                  304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                  1. re: GreenYoshi
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                    shaolinLFE RE: GreenYoshi Aug 26, 2010 04:09 PM

                    i concur with greenyoshi, maneki is quite affordable when it comes to the japanese food and authentic homestyle japanese cooking. highlights are their black cod collar for $6 and unagi kama meshi for two for $8 (unagi on steamed rice cooked in an iron pot).

                    their sushi is basic and almost an after thought.

                    1. re: shaolinLFE
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                      HungWeiLo RE: shaolinLFE Aug 26, 2010 05:11 PM

                      Oh, it's for two? :-)

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