wind up sushi.jpg
If you'd rather eat the plastic, wind-up version than what comes off the sushi train, we can relate.
Recently, we were fishing for dinner ideas


5 Shitty Seattle Sushi Shacks

wind up sushi.jpg
If you'd rather eat the plastic, wind-up version than what comes off the sushi train, we can relate.
Recently, we were fishing for dinner ideas from a group of friends, all Seattle natives, and as always, the conversation turned to the "Don't go here" warning, which is just as valuable. One friend in particular revealed the following epic adventure:

"My husband went to his friend's favorite hole-in-the-wall sushi place' in the ID and had some sea urchin, one of his favorites. About an hour after they left, he was driving downtown and felt suddenly sick, so he quickly pulled the car over into an alley and promptly projectile-vomited about 20 feet, and proceeded to do that about three times. He then felt completely fine, and drove home. Needless to say he doesn't go to hole-in-the-wall sushi places anymore . . . "

If that's not the recommendation of a lifetime, we don't know what is. Now if we could only remember the name of that hole-in-the-wall so we're sure we don't accidentally go there . . . This got us thinking, what are the shittiest sushi stories in Seattle? So we did a little investigating, and now for your gut-wrenching pleasure and future intestinal health, we've pulled together the best of the worst.

5. Kitaro

1624 N. 45th St.

Kitaro Sushi_Inna B.jpg
Inna B.

Sub-par sashimi isn't necessarily uncommon, but plating it while parts are still frozen is just plain rude. If we want frozen food, we'll pick up some gyoza at Trader Joe's, OK? Also, thank you for ruining chicken teriyaki by overcooking the chicken into oblivion (was it reheated in a microwave?!) and giving us rice that was clearly made on a day that is not today.

4. Saizen Sushi

523 Broadway E. (between Republican St. & Mercer St.)

Saizen Sushi_Rick S.jpg
Rick S.

Bad belt sushi is maybe one of the worst offenses a sushi joint can commit. Saizen has a bad rap for letting the sushi-train "passengers" linger WAY past their stop. Belt sushi is never going to be top-notch in comparison to made-to-order, but at some point you have to pull the crusty, unidentifiable, three-hour-old plates and start over, right?

3. Bento Sushi

8501 15th Ave. N.W.

Bento Sushi_Mo M.jpg
Mo M.

For recurring swarms of flies, spotty service (at best), and rancid "crab" in their California rolls, this place has GOT to go.

2. Umi Sake House

2230 First Ave.

Umi Sake House.jpg

On the third and final visit, the abysmal service sealed the deal. The weird "patio" that's actually indoors, but meant to look as though you're dining al fresco, and crappy dorm-room furniture that is more uncomfortable to sit in than the stirrups at the gynecologist's office have to go. The sushi is really good, but that doesn't make up for having to wait 20 minutes upon arrival when you made a reservation and the place is only 60% full. And it doesn't make sense to wait an additional 10 minutes and 27 seconds for your server, who clearly has better things to do than (a) take your order, (b) bring your drinks within 20 additional minutes, (c) ask how anything is, let alone get the order right, and (d) bring the soy sauce after the third time you ask. This place was better off as the Bada Lounge (anyone?!).

1. Gambas

2230 Third Ave.

Gambas Sushi.jpg

First, this place gets demerits for an identity crisis, declining quality, and inconsistency of ingredients. If you order the same dish three visits in a row and it's different every single time, why even bother having a menu?! But the real kick in the teeth is bad service in the face of a potential health hazard. When a customer finds a shard of glass in his sushi, your server should react with horror, not inform you that you "have to be careful with your glass, because it's easily breakable." Oh, OK, thanks for the heads up.

Dishonorable mentions: Octo Sushi, Sushiland

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