Dining Guide 2014: Our Favorite SUSHI Places to Eat and Drink 

SUSHI

Kisaku

Kisaku in Tangletown is the perfect neighborhood sushi restaurant, high in quality and reasonable in pricing. Order omakase (translation: “chef’s choice”), and chef Ryuichi Nakano will wow you with a fresh assortment of fish. Adventurous? Be sure to request shirako (cod sperm, with a creamy, custardy texture), amaebi (eat the sweet shrimp raw, and then the head and shell fried), and my personal favorite: hotate kombu jime (kelp-marinated scallop—ask for it, and Nakano will probably know I sent you!). Kisaku is also a popular destination for lunch. 2101 N. 55th St., 545-9050, kisaku.com JAY FRIEDMAN

Mashiko

At first glance, that platter of sushi that Hajime Sato serves you at Mashiko in West Seattle looks like any other. But take a closer look. And listen to the man as he explains what you’re eating. While you won’t find bluefin tuna or unagi (eel) here (Mashiko’s mission is sustainability), you will find fish that’s a little different, often local, and still delicious. At some sushi places, I just want to eat nigiri (raw fish with rice); at Mashiko, it’s interesting to see what ingredient combinations Sato will serve you. Order omakase (chef’s choice) and you might get geoduck and scallop ceviche with Asian pear, shirako with cucumbers, and white king salmon tartare topped with a quail egg. 4725 California Ave. S.W., 935-4339, sushiwhore.com JAY FRIEDMAN

Nijo Sushi Bar & Grill

Many people know Nijo for its excellent sushi. Fewer know that this sophisticated downtown spot also has arguably the best happy hour in town— in which you can get not only affordable sushi but an array of other tantalizing, Japanese-­inspired dishes that you may come to love even more. Because happy hour stretches until 7 p.m., it’s easy to make a dinner of it, especially given the fulsome and varied small plates on the menu. Be sure to try the unusual octopus and potato dumplings, the exquisitely tender beef skewers, and the egg rolls, filled with plump chunks of avocado. Most dishes are under $6, as are the cocktails, which run toward the tropical with infusions of mango, coconut, and passion fruit. Budget $50 for two and you’ll have a feast. 83 Spring St., 340-­8880, nijosushi.com NINA SHAPIRO

Shiro’s

For the most traditional sushi in town, Shiro’s has been the longstanding mecca. The restaurant is named after sushi chef Shiro Kashiba, who studied with culinary masters in Tokyo before moving to Seattle in 1967 and opening his namesake restaurant in 1994. Sure, there may be rolls and tempura at Shiro’s, but the way to go is omakase (chef’s choice): You’ll be treated to an array of sushi and traditional dishes reflecting the Northwest’s seasonal bounty, which may include buttery broiled black cod, briny uni with assorted sashimi, or deep-fried soft-shell crab. Delicate flavors and respect for ingredients remains a key focus at Shiro’s—and with so many sushi restaurants in town, it never hurts to stick to the time-tested. 2401 Second Ave., 443-9844, shiros.com TIFFANY RAN

Sushi Kappo Tamura

This Eastlake spot is at once upscale and yet casual. You can get a table, or instead sit at the counter—the place I prefer to sit at a sushi restaurant—where Taichi Kitamura holds court. Be sure to check out the fine selection of ippin ryori (small plates): You might find mustard greens and Washington albacore tuna with almond wasabi sauce, salads made with greens from the restaurant’s garden, and braised Wagyu beef shoulder with maitake mushrooms. After some ippins, go on and enjoy Kitamura’s outstanding sushi. 2968 Eastlake Ave. E., 547-0937, sushikappotamura.com JAY FRIEDMAN

 
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