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Question about Shiro's...

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Hello I will be visiting Seattle for the first time onmthe first weekend of Oct. i really want to go to Shiro's but everything I have read recommends getting there early and sitting at the bar so you can have the chef prepare the meal im front of you.

Since I will have limited time in Seattle, standing in front of the restaurant before it opens just isn't feasible time wise. Do you think it's absolutely necessary tomsit at the bar? Will I not get the full "experience" if I don't? Can I just reserve a table and get the omasake and have the same experience and meal that someone sitting at the bar would?

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  1. Are you going to be by yourself? I went on a weekday, by myself, and didn't have any trouble getting in.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ashley12

      Hi Ashely,

      No I will be with a friend it and it will be on a Saturday night. Thoughts?

      1. re: MK25toLife

        You will have to lineup on a Sat night before they open. I tried and failed a couple months ago on a Sat night for two as well. I did go to Sushi Kappo Tamura where the itamae was trained by Shiro who was trained by Jiro.

        1. re: shaolinLFE

          Thanks, but getting in isn't the issue. I already made a reservation for 2 for that Saturday night (which I can cancel).

          The issue is whether or not sitting at the bar makes a significant enough difference to change my dining experience.

          I've never had omakase so I don't really know. Plus if I am going to what is regarded as one of the finest sushi restaurants in the country I would like to make the right decision. Thanks!

          1. re: MK25toLife

            I'm fairly certain you can only get the omakase if you sit at the bar. You could call to confirm that, I suppose. Personally, I only ever go to Shiro's to sit at the bar and get the full experience. IMO, sitting in the restaurant is just like going to any other sushi restaurant.

            Your rez won't work for the bar. Just go 30 minutes before they open and stand in line, like everyone else does. If you get there and there are more than 10-12 people in line, then you're out of luck.

    2. if you don't sit at the bar, then yes, your experience will not be the same.

      i lived in japan for several years, and the way good sushi restaurants there operate (at least in my area) was that they were small. there MIGHT be a table or two on tatami that wasn't at the bar; otherwise everyone was at the bar. this is a key piece of the experience, because interacting with the chef is part of eating sushi. he will give you directions as to how certain items should be eaten or seasoned, he will note your likes and dislikes, he will answer questions, and he will also socialize with you a bit. reservations guarantee you a seat somewhere in the restaurant but won't help you getting in at the bar.

      all the guys at shiro's (i believe) are japanese trained. you won't have a bad meal if you don't sit at the bar, but you won't have the same experience - or the same caliber of dining, imho. as they say in japan, it's a little bit "mottainai" (wasteful, a shame) to eat at shiro's without going all the way.

      enjoy your dinner, whatever you decide to do!

      1. For anyone who wants to know, I went there yesterday at about 5:20 and was second in line (opening is 5:30). The sushi bar was never full.

        The fish was superlative, but the rice was a little more seasoned than I liked it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sweetpotater

          sweetpotater, that's exactly what I wanted to know, thanks!! So if I do show up and line up with my party of 4, and we get in at the bar, do we ALL have to have omakase, or can some of us order other stuff off the menu instead??

          Advice pls, for a 1st time Seattle visitor please (relocating in 2014 so coming to check out homes... and eat our way through Seattle, YUM!)

          1. re: dameems

            Not everyone at the sushi bar was ordering omakase. The guy next to me just got a few rolls. Beware: The chef will insist you not put soy sauce on certain things! (He is right.)

            1. re: sweetpotater

              Well, that sounds totally worth a line up to me! Glad to hear you enjoyed.... i just returned from a totally food-excessive corporate gala and my mouth is literally watering just thinking about this omakase deliciousness. Seattle here we come!

              1. re: dameems

                The nice thing about the omakase is it's one or two pieces at a time, and you just stop whenever you want.