My friend Liz has been talking up this little West Seattle joint for a while now; it's a favorite for her and her husband. The bar that separates Mashiko from any regular old sushi joint is the fact that owner Hajime Sato has worked very diligently to make Mashiko Seattle's first sustainable sushi restaurant. You're not going to find some of your favorite sushi here - either because its numbers are depleting or because fishing methods are less than humane. Fear not though - there is plenty of skillfully prepared seafood to go around. Bonus points for a well put together website that includes basic and in-depth information as well as an up to date menu. Liz was careful to make reservations for the sushi bar - and reservations overall are a must as this place fills up fast. Though Hajime-san was not there we were catered to by Chef Mariah, whose deft hands could rival any Japanese-born sushi master.
Art and Liz started the evening off by ordered a large drink of mu sake. It came in this adorable (pine? cedar?) box on a saucer and...that's what you drink it out of. I had a sip; it was the most amazing sake I've ever tasted. I had to order my own box. Between Art, Liz and Tori they ordered an array of sashimi and sushi rolls.
Temptation Island Rollalbacore, tempura onions, scallions, and garlic sauce
Rainbow Rollcrab, cucumber, and avocado topped with assorted fish
Dragon Rolltempura namagi and cucumber topped with avocado & dynamite sauce
Goldeneye Roll(unsure what's in it)
Glutton that I am, I of course took any opportunity to taste whatever was offered to me. I must say, that Dragon Roll is lethally delicious. Order two or three, you won't regret it. Now, of course I had to go big because, well, who else was going to? With egging on from my companions, I ordered the Honkaku omakase course meal. Two hours of miniature courses until I am so full I beg for mercy. All chef's choice, all a surprise. Here is what was given to me:
Kinki Kobujimerock fish sashmi
Notes: Light and dainty, a very refreshing way to kick off the omakase.
Kumomoto Oyster Note: Heaven in a half shell. Oysters really do need their own food group.
Cherrystone Clam Note: Not my favorite. In fact, I'll never eat a raw clam again.
Note: I wouldn't go out of my way for geoduck in the future, but the pink salt and masago helped.
Oregon Bay Shrimp Salad with sprouts and cherry tomatoes, ponzu & shio oil Note: Very refreshing and light.
Sake Poached Oyster with red onions
Note: Really amazing. I have limited experience with cooked oysters but this was absolutely delicious. The onions and sprouts really gave the oyster a tender depth I wouldn't have conceived of on my own. I'm pleased to say you can order this solo.
Note: I thought it was going to be a lot chewier than it was. Still not my favorite, but good to have tried anyway.
Albacore liver (?)
Note: I didn't write down what part of the albacore this is, if it's part of the albacore at all. A liver? I don't recall, but it was pretty good.
Sake in a Box Note: Not part of the omakase but worth showing you. Delicious.
Uni Note: I've only ever had good uni, but this uni takes the cake. Silky temptress of the sea...
Hawaiian Albacore Poke Saladseaweed, sweet onions, garlic, and sesame oil
Note: This was good but I was happier to share it with Liz than eat it all myself.
Note: From far right to back left - Kibinago (blue sprat) with ume (least favorite), Washington coast ocean smelt, White King Salmon (favorite), Northwest albacore toro, spotted mackerel, seared black cod.
Chawanmushi steamed egg custard with mushrooms
Note: I took one bite and handed this to Liz. I couldn't get into a hot, eggy custard dish with overly earthy fungi. Just not my thing.
Sauteed Geoduck with matsutake mushrooms
Note: Now this I like! I can eat geoduck better when sauteed. Very tasty in a bath of garlic and butter, I believe.
Note: I was ready for one more course...and this is what Chef Mariah pulled out to finally keep my tummy still. Holy shit, I'm sorry this blurry picture does not do this piece justice. I had to share it with my friends because of the density and immense tuna-ness of it all. Amazing.
Coco-a-GoGo Bakery Nouveau brownie coated in panko & coconut, deep fried & topped with green tea ice cream
Note: I liked the green tea ice cream more than the deep fried brownie, but perhaps that is because I was up my eyeballs in food at this point. Shared by all.
Would I recommend Mashiko? Absolutely. Whether you're a daredevil glutton like me or perfectly content for a few rolls, this is a fantastic culinary experience that I'd encourage all visitors and residents of Seattle to enjoy.
Mashiko Japanese Restaurant + Sushi Bar 4725 California SW Seattle WA 98116 206.935.4339 website Hours Sunday - Thursday: 5:03pm-9:00pm Friday & Saturday: 5:03pm-10:00pm
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About the reviewer
I am a freelance travel/food writer with my own hobby blog, Glass of Win. I am a regularly featured writer for Visit the Place Los Angeles magazine and online community.
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