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Bush Garden

614 Maynard Ave. S.
Seattle, WA
(206) 682-6830

Bush Garden is one of my old favorites in Seattle. It used to be one of the only non-Chinese restaurants in the International District (now there is a great variety of Asian restaurants from which to choose). I dropped in, and at first would not eat there because smoking was allowed in the entire restaurant. That problem has now been fixed, and once I started eating there I had to return on each trip for some more. With the fresh fish and excellent sushi, I had never experienced anything like the food here in other cities.

One obvious advantage of Bush Garden is that it has its own parking lot for customers across the street. Over the years parking in the International District has become so difficult that this is not of minor importance. I now know there are better Japanese restaurants in Seattle, but Bush Garden is still a place I like to keep in the rotation. In fact, many times it is excellent. Sometimes the availability of free parking is a very good bonus.

The problem with Bush Garden is that it is not consistent. There are several sushi chefs who take different shifts. Some do a better job than others, and some are better at certain types of sushi. The regular menu is inconsistent in a different way-- many items are quite good but I would say that not everything I have had has been equally memorable. Overall I think it is best to order some sushi and a cooked item-- that way I always enjoy the meal.

The Red Snapper Sushi has always been my favorite variety of sushi here, but it is not usually available. For other types of sushi such as tuna, salmon, etc., it is clearly better to go to some of the other sushi restaurants in town. The Yellowtail, though, was always one that was excellent even if some other restaurants might have done it better.

There was always one particular sushi chef that I thought either served better fish or did a better job making recommendations so that I enjoyed the fish more than when the other chefs were on duty. When he was there, I thought Bush Garden was one of the better sushi restaurants in town (and also one of the best in the country that I had tried).

Although my favorite dish throughout the years has been the Teriyaki Salmon, it is disappointing that they use Atlantic salmon (it is very fresh, though, and the teriyaki sauce is excellent).

Probably the best thing about Bush Garden is that it is like a neighborhood restaurant and bar, except that it has better food than most neighborhood restaurants. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful (I have heard that this is not the case at some other sushi restaurants).

While this is not always the best Japanese food in Seattle, it would likely be the top restaurant in just about any other city, and it is not too bad even with Seattle's exacting standards.



Cuisine: Japanese
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun. (except the bar)
Tea: Green (brewed) house
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Drinks

Most Recent Visit
Jul. 20, 2003

Number of Visits: 10+

Best Item

Special Ratings
Salmon Teriyaki: Atlantic

Sushi Ratings

Restaurant Web Site
Bush Garden

Health Dept. Report
King County