Promise I’m back! Featuring Sushi Kashiba

Sorry for the realllly long hiatus! I’m happy to say that I’ve finally graduated from pharmacy school and am officially a licensed pharmacist! 🙂 Now I can afford to pay for more delicious outings and adventures. To start off this great come back with a bang… I’ll share my anniversary dinner at Sushi Kashiba. The owner of Sushi Kashiba, Shiro is an apprentice of Jiro, a world renowned sushi chef in Japan (owns Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 3 Michelin starred sushi restaurant and in the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi). This restaurant is located next to Pike’s Place Market in downtown Seattle. Only open for dinner (5-10pm). They do take reservations, however the sushi bar is first come first serve. The bar consists of 14 seats, however the first 6 seats is where Shiro serves his guests. We arrived around 4:20 pm on Sunday and there were already 3 people waiting in line. Yessss! We’ll get to be served by Shiro (if he’s working that day). About 15 minutes before opening, another person joins the first guy in line. My bf says to me “hey.. isn’t that guy in Jiro Dreams of Sushi? It’s the guy I just read an article about! The tamago guy!” Lo and behold it sure was! Daisuke Nakazawa! He was trained by Jiro AND Shiro! He now has his own restaurant in NYC… and turns out he was only sitting 3 seats away from us.. *gasp*

Sorry for that super long winded intro but onto the next!

Atmosphere: The restaurant has a very modern feel that is spotless. As I mentioned above, there are 14 seats at the sushi bar and several tables in the restaurant. It’s very well lit, clean, with a nice overlooking view of Pike’s Place.

Pricing: We did omakase, essentially leaving it up to the chef to choose for us. There is no set price and is really dependent on how much you eat. You can let the chef know when you’re about 80% full and they will serve you their final piece. We went the whole 9 yards and finished the entire course which ended up to be about $125/pp.

Service: There were plenty of servers perusing the restaurant to refill your water even at about half empty. The real service is provided by the sushi chefs. What really made our dining experience special was our interactions with Shiro. He provided context behind the fish and even cracked some hilarious jokes himself!

Food: warning – photo dump!
sny00132Seated at the bar facing Shiro smiling with Daisuke (in the blue jacket)

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The rest of the seats to our left.

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Seated right in front of Shiro!

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And we’re off! We ate right to left, but I’ll name in order from left to right.
Tuna galore: blue fin zuke (marinated), blue fin belly, blue fin, albacore. My favorite would have had to been the fatty belly that melted in my mouth 🙂

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Salmon trio: seared king salmon belly, king salmon onion, and sockeye salmon with lemon and sea salt. My favorite would have to be the salmon onion. Great flavors that also had a nice texture of firm and fat. The sockeye had a little bit too much wasabi and it went up my nose so much! Whoa!

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Amberjack kanpachi and hamachi (yellowtail). Kanpachi was my favorite of this duo. Bright flavors!

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Live spotted prawns there were definitely moving… Shiro said “sayonara time!” and killed these bad boys for our eating pleasure.

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5 minutes later… we have a tempura shrimp head and prawn nigiri. He told us we had to eat the whole head, even the legs. The texture was not too crunchy and crispy enough. The nigiri had an amazing texture!

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Seared scallop and geoduck. He said the geoduck can live to be 120 years old and said this one was 80 years old… Then said “jking I actually have no idea,” lol. I’ve never had geoduck so I’m not sure how to gauge it. The scallops were great and super tender. The geoduck was a little tougher/firm and even slightly crunchy.

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Negi toro hand roll! Shiro told us it’s not a French restaurant and to take huge bites.. (max 2 bites!) Delicious! Especially with the crispy seaweed.

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Sea bream, flounder fin, and flounder. The flounder fin was tasty and slightly seared. Shiro said you can only get about 8-9 pieces from one flounder fin.

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“Mackerel festival” is what Shiro called it. King mackerel from Florida, Norwegian mackerel, pickled herring from Alaska, and Spanish mackerel. My favorite was the Norwegian mackerel which actually had an herb underneath it to accentuate the flavor. My bf asked what kind of herb it was. Shiro responds “shiso leaf, Japanese marijuana, okay to use in Washington..” lolol

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King and snow crab. First time trying either of these sushi style and we ate the R to L.
“Man this snow is really good….” 10 seconds later. “Omg I think the King might be even better”
“Also I’m really full.. when does this end?!”

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Shiro: what’s octopus called in Japanese?
Us: tako!
Shiro: it’s tako time!
Tako on the left and squid on the right. Squid’s texture was much tougher, similar to the geoduck. The tako was quite tasty with the seaweed piece and firm yet melted in your mouth. The couple next to us is about to tap out (we continue to power through although struggling) and Shiro says the next one is eel and then tamago! They say okay okay let’s do it.

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One of my favorites is eel and this was prepared in such a unique way! Tempura eel with sesame seeds. Shiro calls it “pre-dessert.” Delicious and not at all spiny.

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Tamago! Okay I definitely couldn’t eat this in one bite. Sorry I had to split it. Nice sweet egg to finish on.

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Sushi Kashiba is located in the alley way to the right. Gorgeous night in Seattle!

Overall: Without a doubt, one of the best dining experiences in Seattle. I didn’t really know what to expect as Jiro seemed so stern and serious in his documentary. I read it’d take about 2 hours for the full omakase and it sure did. This is definitely an experience sitting at the sushi bar. If I did omakase at a table, the experience would have totallly been different.. even being served by another chef at seat #7 would have been different. Like I said, we were so lucky and the odds were in our favor for being served by Shiro near the great Daisuke! Get in line early! It’s so worth it 🙂

Sushi Kashiba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Super sick!

For our anniversary dinner (I know a lot of celebrating this month), my boyfriend and I went to Super Six located in Columbia City. I was really excited for this because the chefs of Marination Station were behind this excellent asian fusion creation. We went on the 2nd night it was open and there was about a half hour wait for the two of us. It definitely got packed as the night went on.

Atmosphere: The owners took over an automobile shop on Hudson. This spot has a ton of outdoor seating. There is quite limited seating indoors. Not sure how that’ll turn out when it gets colder. The restaurant’s core features a bar with several tables surrounding it. The bar is open seating if you could snag a seat.

Pricing: A little more pricy than Marination Station, but still has a great Hawaiian fusion element to the food. Small appetizers range from $5-12, larger entrees range $14-21.

Service: Our waitress, Jasmine was really enthusiastic and did such a great job of being attentive to us. She has a lot of energy and represented the restaurant really well. She made great recommendations for us.

Food:
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Kalbi short ribs with scallion salad: nice flavor to the kalbi that wasn’t overpowering. The salad was a little too spicy for my liking but it was a nice touch to the dish.

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Kalbi pork belly musubi: whoaaaaaa this melts in your mouth like no other! I think they could put a little less rice and maybe a tad more sauce, but overall it was so delicious.

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Korean fried chicken with Char siu sauce. They have two other sauces – ono and spicy korean, but I was warned that the spicy was quite spicy so I tried this. You can try all three sauces for $24! This was $9.

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Pineapple Thai-Basil soda – great flavors! It came out a little late, but it was worth the wait. Nice punch with the acidic pineapple and you can really taste the basil, but it wasn’t too overpowering.

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Aloha fries – kalua pork, kimchi mayo, scallions, and fried egg. The kalua pork is a little too salty, but when you break the yolk and really eat it all together, the yolk smooths out the saltiness of the pork. I wish there was more of the kimchi mayo sauce because that was also superb.

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Lomi lomi tomato salad with fried Maui sweet onion and shiso. Nice bright tomatoes that was basically the definition of fresh. Can’t go wrong with yummy onion straws.

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We kind of went a little wild with the dessert. This is the lilikoi chiffon pie with haupia and tapioca. This fluffy dessert melted in my mouth and did not have a hint of heaviness. If this is what clouds tasted, this dessert would be it.

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With caramel drizzle!

IMG_3196Super six sundae – passion fruit caramel with red velvet. Blasting with flavor and sweetness. I would probably choose the pie over this. They also have masalada donuts that were quite tempting…

Overall: I think this is a great location for a new restaurant. I feel like Columbia City is really growing with business and life. There’s a huge PCC a couple blocks down and Salted Sea that has also recently opened. I think the chefs of Marination Station really made a smart move. The restaurant was definitely busy and constantly packed! Everything on the menu looked good and honestly I would try every single dish if I could. I’m happy they’re in the neighborhood. We also made a suggestion for to-go desserts!

Super Six Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Birthday brunch

I finally got the chance to try London Plane in Pioneer Square, near Occidental Park. I went for my birthday with 4 other friends. This cute place offers a number of things including food to go, pastries, coffee, sit in dining, wine bar, flowers (currently they have a ton of dahlias), cookbooks, and other assortments of things.

Atmosphere: This place is the definition of cute/hipster/all things golden. High ceilings with seating surrounding the large windows as well as seating upstairs. I would highly recommend making reservations because it can get pretty crowded. We waited about 15 minutes for a table for 5 on a weekday. I hear it can be up to 1.5 hrs on the weekends!

Pricing: A little more expensive than you would think. I would say a couple more dollars than you’d like for a dish. However, I think it’s worth it for the quality of food.

Service: Awesome! The host was very gracious as well as our server. Our server checked in on us constantly and was attentive.

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Bread & spread: pink – mezze beet hummus, charred eggplant-tomato spread, & cashew romesco with an assortment of bread and crackers.

Impression: I really enjoyed the first two spreads. The cashew was okay! Great blast in flavors that was also colorful. A great dish for sharing.

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Trio of salads: left – potatoes, sweet onions, sultanas & fennel, with dill and mustard aioli
bottom – roasted zucchini,  green beans, corn & bulgur, with basil and pepita tahiti dressing
top right – beets & their greens, with roasted cauliflower & walnut pesto

Impression: Overall, the serving size was quite large! I enjoyed the sweet potatoes with onions. The corn and bulgur was also quite tasty. Everything is pretty dense and heavy so it filled us up. The top right had darker flavors that was also good, but probably my least favorite.

IMG_3162Spicy kimchee fried rice: This also had bacon and 2 fried eggs on top with cilantro, green onions, and a nice lime squeeze. Their rice had a nice crisp to it. I didn’t taste too much kimchee and I didn’t think it was that spicy. Overall a pretty solid dish.

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Avocado toast: curried avocado, shaved radish, red cabbage & cilantro. This is a hearty toast with a thick, crunchy crust. A little difficult to cut and share! Overall I enjoyed it, but I’m a huge avocado fan.

IMG_3167The entire spread!

Overall: I really enjoyed the atmosphere with the open windows. Great lighting for pictures 😉 I like the idea of sharing plates just so you can try different items. Service was great. Food was great. I’d definitely come back to try other items on their menu. It looks as if it’s seasonal!

The London Plane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

SRW at Flying Fish

I went to Flying Fish for my last SRW for dinner. It’s located in SLU right by near Whole Foods. The menu looked pretty tasty and we decided to give it a try despite just decent Yelp ratings.

Atmosphere: A pretty big restaurant that is split into two sections with one side by the bar and a few booths and the other side with booths and tables. Nice huge decor lights that reminds me of Ikea shaped lanterns. The vibe that I get is that it’s a common place to meet business associates after work. Lots of people are wearing suits, so I felt a little under dressed. It was definitely packed on a Thursday night so I’m glad I made a reservation.

Pricing: Dinner is 3 courses for $30

Service: For how busy it was, our server did a great job. The food came out reasonably quick and we finished our three courses within 1.5 hours.

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Appetizer – flat iron steak bites with hoisin glaze, pickled ginger, and scallions. It’s a little hard to see because it’s dark, but there were quite a few pieces in there. I can definitely taste the hoisin, which is a nice asian sauce that I’m very familiar with (commonly used in pho).

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Appetizer – black and blue deep fried brussel sprouts with bacon bits and blue cheese. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but this combo worked pretty well. The brussel sprouts were cooked great and the flavors went well and the bacon helped balance it out.

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Entree – squid inked risotto with seared scallops and lemon caper butter. The risotto was rather tasteless and bland, but the seared scallops were really great!

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Entree – roasted pork belly with asparagus, mango chutney, and herbed quinoa. I tried the squid ink risotto first and then after trying this, it was a total 180 in terms of flavor. The mango chutney is exploding with flavor! The pork belly had a super crisp topping that was difficult to cut with a knife, but not terrible when you chew it. Overall, a pretty solid dish.

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Dessert – Madagascar princess bourbon creme brulee with turbinado brown sugar. Pretty standard creme brulee.

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Dessert – Sea salt caramel cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry sauce. This dessert is all about the texture. The top layer is a chocolatey gelatin and then it’s soft, marshmallow like and creamy and the final layer is a little harder similar to a cookie. This is a rich dessert that balances well with the creme brulee, which is light and airy.

Overall: I thought everything was solid! Nothing was poorly done, maybe the bland squid ink risotto, but besides that we were pretty pleased with our meal. Their happy hour menu looks pretty promising, so I might have to come back for that. This is a pretty standard American seafood restaurant that does all around solid food. Nothing to complain here!

Flying Fish on Urbanspoon

It’s that time of year again!

Spring means Seattle Restaurant Week! My first visit was to Terra Plata in Capitol Hill. Its so funny because I’ve visited this triangle so many times and did not have notice Terra Plata. I’ve been to a number of restaurants around the area including Sitka and Spruce, Machiavelli, Pine Box, and Lil Woody’s. I heard they have a rooftop garden that I intend to visit on a nice sunny day 🙂

Atmosphere: The main entrance is located on the corner of Melrose and Minor. There’s a bar in the back with many tables surrounding the windows. Accommodates large and small parties. It was more on a darker atmosphere but the windows gave the restaurant some light. A pet peeve of mine are super dark restaurants where you can barely see what you’re eating.

Pricing: SRW menu includes 3 courses for $30. Unfortunately for lunch, they have decreased the menu from 3 to 2 courses. 🙁 Still for $15

Service: We had a main server and I forgot his name, but he was pleasant and did his best to explain the reason for their scattered service. The food came out pretty randomly and not all at once. The appetizers came out with a couple dishes at a time, which was fine because we were doing it more family style. The entrees also came out rather scattered and was spaced out even more than the appetizers. There was always one lingering dish per course. For that, I’d give them a 3/5 stars based no service. I know they’re busy, but it’s not a small restaurant and it’s important to be able to manage the kitchen.

Food: Lots of pics 🙂 Enjoy!

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Appetizers! We actually had two rounds of these because they had lost track of which appetizers we had already received. The second batch was on the crisper side. Hand made chips with truffled sea salt and pecorino chive cream. Nothing special, but we were hungry and scarfed it down.

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At first glance, it’s really… interesting lol. I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste but it was earthy with a hint of tartness. Nettle soup with a fiddlehead. It wasn’t bad and certainly different. I was just more intrigued with the texture of the soup. It was a little thick like it was pureed.

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Garbanzo beans with chermoula, yogurt cream, and a hint of lemon! I was not expecting for these to come out like this. The server described this to us like eating Persian edamame. It was a lot of work but it was pretty fun. First time ever seeing garbanzo beans like this.

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Blistered shishito peppers. They were not spicy at all and I think they had a really great flavor to it. It came with a side of aioli, lemon, and sea salt. This was probably one of my top appetizers out of the bunch.

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Apple salad with kohlrabi and light vinaigrette. I actually really enjoyed this too. The apples were crisp and tasty and it was a great palate cleanser. Fresh and light salad!

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Entrees! This was the risotto with onion soubise, pea tendrils, dried cherry walnut compote, and a hint of coconut. Overall, a well done dish.

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Chicken with sunchoke purree, shaved fennel, and pickled mustard seeds. I thought this was okay. Not my favorite dish or anything outstanding, but pretty average.

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I’m always a sucker for mussels so I really enjoyed this. It was in a red curry cream sauce with mint, lime, and sofrito with a nice side of fries. Nearly every mussel had a little something inside so that was nice. The sauce was delicious! We even got some bread to dip with the sauce that was leftover.

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Medium rare sirloin with chicharrones. sun dried tomatoes and red cabbage. A pretty solid dish with lots of flavors going on. Nice play on different textures with the crunchiness and soft tender beef.

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Dessert wine with a cheese, walnut, and grape platter. I didn’t catch the name of the dessert wine, but it was very very sweet. Not my cup of tea on ending a meal but it was a very cute presentation.

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Apple cake with a side of vanilla ice cream. We ordered two of these and only one came out and the last one came near late in the meal. I’m not sure why but it did. Rather awkward timing, but we still managed to finish everything. Solid dessert, but didn’t wow us.

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Baklava. I haven’t had much in my day but it tasted pretty good. It had a nice crisp outer later with a chewy inside.

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Goat cheesecake with blood orange sorbet, rhubarb compote, and pistachio. Not my favorite, but it was still tasty. Interesting combination that worked out.

Overall: I would say that this not your average New American restaurant. They have a lot incorporate a lot of unique ingredients with lots of cultural fusion that are not seen at many other places. There were some standout dishes, while others were just good. It’s a solid restaurant but not my favorite in Seattle. I’m glad I gave it a try though. Like I mentioned earlier, I will be back to check out the rooftop garden.

Terra Plata on Urbanspoon