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Sushi with a child

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Hi folks!

I live in Southern California and regularly dine at the local sushi places here that are very traditional sushi...so for those who have visited down here, places like Sushi Zo, Hiko Sushi, Echigo, Mori, Sasabune, Urasawa (for kaiseki), etc.

I will be moving up north to Seattle next month and am taking my wife, her mom, and my 6 year old son up north next weekend to take a look at houses, explore the area, etc.

I would like to try 1 or 2 nice sushi places while I'm up there.

For the research here on chowhound, it looks like Shiros will fit the bill nicely. I generally like to sit at the bar and order omakase. Since there will be 4 of us and 1 is a child, is this welcome at places like Shiros and others? In LA, it's mixed. Some places are cool with us having a 6 year old sitting with us at the bar even though he doesn't eat much sushi (he eats whatever other stuff they have like edamabe, some blue crab hand rolls, etc.) but others dislike it so we make sure to leave him with a babysitter.

He's very quiet and just sits there and plays video games on his nintendo with the sound turned off so he never bothers anyone.

We also typically reserve early seatings when the restaurant opens so the sushi bar is usually pretty empty (and you don't have couples out on dates, etc.).

Any recommendations on high quality sushi that won't have a problem with us bringing my son along?

Dan.

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  1. Not many restaurants in downtown or belltown are kid-friendly. It wouldn't occur to me to bring my daughter to Shiro's (granted, she's younger than your son.)

    For omakase, I can recommend 3 places:
    Nishino (up Madison near the Arboretum) is pretty accommodating to children and good quality. Mashiko (in West Seattle) is another option - and all-sustainable seafood - also sees a lot of kids.
    Sushi Kappo Tamura (Eastlake) - Taichi-san is extremely friendly. I've never brought my daughter there but a well behaved 6-year-old shouldn't be a problem.

    Very important: you should call the restaurant first to find out if your son (or any minor) would be allowed to sit at the sushi bar if that's important to you. Washington has some wacky liquor laws and in some cases the sushi bar may be classified as a bar area - as in no minors allowed. (Pretty sure this is not the case at Nishino, but it might be at Mashiko)

    1. Omakase at Kisaku in the Tangletown neighborhood between Wallingford and Green Lake would work very well for you.

      1. ok thanks! i will definitely call first to make sure. i generally like to sit at the bar because i like eating each piece as the chef makes it. Usually at the tables, they make one of those big plates full of fish and then it's brought over to you so i don't get to each each piece as it's made.

        But don't mind a table if the quality of omakase is still good there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rvd72

          You should definitely choose a place where you can sit at the sushi bar with your son. I know this is possible at Kisaku.

          There should be a rule prohibiting the use of the term omakase to describe meal service in which the patron and sushi chef don't interact directly.

        2. thats some great sushi pedigree OP! Seattle Sushi can be a bit more low-key and casual than some of your LA sushi restaurants you reference.

          all of the restaurants are pretty great and kid-friendly.

          Seating:
          Kisaku and Kappo Tamura have large sushi bar seating so seating shouldn't be a problem.
          Nishino and Kappo Tamura's sushi bar seats are regular seats while Shiro's sushi bar has fewer seats and have taller bar seating.
          Kisaku is casual and has plenty of seating. I find them to be a great mix of quality and value.

          Omakase:
          Nishino is closest to the LA scene as last i heard, their itamae is from Matsuhisa.
          for their larger omakase meal, they ask for advance notice.
          Kappo Tamura's also has a great omakase that you can customize with Taichi-san using local sourcing. At their old restaurant, we've brought our 4 year old niece and they made a special meal for her (Ikura and rice is a popular fav)
          Shiro's, I honestly havent been in awhile, but shiro-san is one of the oldest and best seattle itamae (i've read he's not there as much now).

          It has been a week since your original post but I hope these details find you well and welcome to Seattle!

          3 Replies
          1. re: shaolinLFE

            Nishino is best seattle sushi hands down. But as noted Kisaku, also good, is very kid friendly...we bring our two kids there (now that they appreciate it). But we reserve Nishino for date nights.

            If you are on the eastside, "Flo" is the Nishino equivelent (actually a former Nishino partner)....and oh my lord you could do a lot worse than "Ginza" . They have a Pumpkin Rice dish that makes kids and adults alike swoon with glee!

            1. re: shaolinLFE

              We ended up going to Kappo Tamura. I liked it. We got an early reservation at 6:00 and when we got there I was pleased to see a few other tables with kids. This is similar in LA where the early seatings at nice restaurants are generally kid friendly (I saw Mark Walberg eating with his baby kid and family at Matsuhisa a few years ago at a similar 6pm reservation).

              Anyway, my son behaved well and the food was on par. We ordered some sushi as well as a few of the dishes and all of it was pretty good. We ordered:

              mustard greens / albacore tuna
              short ribs / scallops
              1/2 dozen kumamoto oysters
              black cod kama
              sushi - albacore, kanpachi, copper sockeye salmon, geoduck, amaebi, aji, uni, hamachi, hirame
              rolls - seattle, ebi tempura, spicy tuna, spider

              total was $186.

              My only minor irk was that we were a party of 5 (including my son) and they charged an automatic 18% tip. with tax + tip the total was $237. i guess i don't mind the tip that much but usually (at least for me), they only do that with parties of 6 or more.

              I will head up to Shiro's without my son one of these days.

              1. re: rvd72

                Awesome. Can't go wrong with Kappo Tamura.