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Kisaku Sushi

2101 N. 55th St.
Seattle, WA
(206) 545-9050

It would be expected to find my favorite Japanese restaurant downtown or in the International District, but to find it in a small neighborhood shopping center was quite a surprise. Everything here blew me away.

The Salmon Teriyaki not only contains a fresh, red Alaska King salmon, but the sauce is also made to perfection. The only thing that would have been better would be if they had served Copper River salmon. (Copper River salmon is sometimes available in late May and early June as sushi and special cooked dishes).

The Sushi, the specialty of the house, is likewise served with the ultimate in freshness and quality. If possible, I recommend trying some of the daily specials, usually including Japanese fish that is not normally found in U.S. restaurants. Ryuichi Nakano, the owner and chef, introduced me to Kisu, a mild white fish with an excellent flavor. Bonito and Geoduck are two other seasonal selections that were exceptional among different types of sushi that were all excellent. Geoduck is a local delicacy that may not be a traditional Japanese dish, but should not be missed when it is in season.

I recommend asking Ryu-san for suggestions about which fish to order--he has never steered me wrong and never seems too busy to help the customers with the best choices. If in doubt you can see what you are ordering through the glass window at the sushi bar. Sitting at the sushi bar provides the added bonus of being able to enjoy a conversation with the very personable sushi chefs. This is not at all like the stories I hear about "stuck up" chefs at other restaurants.

The owner goes out of his way to find fresh and inventive specials. One example is the Copper River salmon that is usually available in late May. A special cooked Kama appetizer is made out of the fish's neck, while the rest of the Copper River salmon is made into sushi (Mr. Nakano explains that the neck does not have large enough pieces of meat to use for sushi). The kama does, however, have the great Copper River flavor. I would have to say, though, that it may be worth calling ahead to find out when the Copper River sushi will be available and making a special trip if necessary--this was the best of the sushi I have tried.

The Yakisoba is a popular Japanese noodle dish, and is one of the lunch specials served. Although it is hard to tear myself away from the fish here, this would be a great choice--it is probably the best version of this dish I have tasted.

Mr. Nakano built a reputation at another high-end sushi restaurant before opening his own place, with the result that Kisaku Sushi is one of the top quality places without the highest prices in the city.

Kisaku Sushi has been one of my favorite Seattle restaurants for some time. I think there are probably some other places that might technically have better food or a greater variety of items from which to choose. It would be difficult to find any restaurant, though, that gives me more enjoyment out of a meal.



Cuisine: Japanese
Cost: $$$
Hours: Closed Tuesday and Sun. lunch
Accessible: Yes
Tea: Green (brewed) house
Smoking: No Smoking

Most Recent Visit
Jun. 8, 2006

Number of Visits: 6

Best Items
Sushi (Copper River Salmon, Kisu, Bonito, Red Snapper), Salmon Teriyaki, Yakisoba

Special Ratings
Salmon Teriyaki:

Sushi Ratings
Copper River Salmon: in season
Kisu: in season
Bonito: in season
Red Snapper:
Geoduck: in season

Restaurant Web Site

Health Dept. Report
King County