Pretty much anyone who has an opinion about the Japanese food in Seattle will tell you that their favorite place to get the good stuff,

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Best 100-Year-Old Fish

Maneki

Pretty much anyone who has an opinion about the Japanese food in Seattle will tell you that their favorite place to get the good stuff, the rare stuff, the real stuff, is Maneki. In more-or-less constant operation for over a hundred years, Maneki is a very traditional Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, offering everything from the simplest miso soup and tekka maki to yakitori, shishamo, geoduck bata-yaki, and daily specials like blue sprat brought in from Kyushu, salt mackerel in ponzu sauce, or fried whole fish, stiff and curled like parentheses, staring up with hot, white eyes. The menu is enormous and full of surpises. On most nights, the staff is friendly and full of suggestions. And the room itself fairly sweats history, decorated with everything from Maneki's America's Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation to a hundred maneki niko good-luck cats. The one problem with the place? Even after a century in business, it can be tough to get a table when you really want one, because Maneki still packs 'em in almost every night. The best thing to do is call, be polite, and gratefully take whatever time and table are offered you. —Jason Sheehan 304 Sixth Ave. S., 622-2631

 
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