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Our favorite local sushi place (Yamashiro Bistro) changed hands recently and is now Warabi Japanese Restaurant.

It's... okay. Which is rather annoying, because I liked Yamashiro a lot better. The roll selection is almost as comprehensive now, but consists of a significantly different variety of sushi - and to Tori's annoyance, much of it is now spicy. And certain of the nigiri were no longer nearly as fresh as we were used to from the old place.

On the upside, they did expand their menu a fair bit - lot of new selections from the kitchen instead of just being all about the sushi bar - and what we've tried from there has been reasonably good.  I hope their shabu-shabu turns out to be good. (Can't find that done right in Seattle. If you know a place, drop a comment!)

But in any case, we have actually ventured out to try a new sushi place just to see how it is, instead of going to our "old standby".

So we dropped in at Blue Fin this evening. It's a little like Todai - it's a buffet style selection of Korean and Japanese foods (and some Americanized Chinese food) with heavy sushi emphasis. Like most buffets, it's all-you-can eat; it's pricier than some (circa $28/person) but if you are in a mood to devour lots of sushi it's likely to be much cheaper than doing so at a traditional sushi place.

It's one of the newly remodeled places at Northgate Mall, which isn't exactly inspiring in confidence, but it turned out to be reasonably good. Selection was good - lots of different sushi rolls, nigiri, and even some sashimi. Tempura was good; the BBQ pork was tasty; the bulgogi was kind of mediocre but not bad; the poke tuna was really quite good. Tori's only complaint was the lack of rainbow sprinkles for the ice cream. :)

We figured (accurately enough) that it was a good sign that a considerable proportion of the diners were Asian - quite a number of ethnically Japanese and Korean folks therein, plus a lot of racially-mixed families. I am never certain how authentic many of these places we like to eat are - the one that I'm sure of is Shiro's down in Belltown, which seems to be where the Japanese businessmen come when they are in Seattle - but I certainly would have been less enthused if it'd been just the traditional mall rats eating there.

I doubt it'll be a regular sushi destination for us, but probably an occasional one - it was pretty kid-friendly and well suited to expedient dining... the waiters bring you drinks but otherwise you can immediately rush the sushi bar and load up a plate, and despite it being a fairly busy night we were seated immediately. 

We've got a few other sushi places in mind to check out in the next few weeks or months, so further reviews to follow.

Date: 2007-11-10 06:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dotgirl.livejournal.com
Do you like Chiso, in Fremont? I'm a fan of that one. There's also some new(ish?) sushi place by Greenlake that I've heard good things about - but I've never been and can't remember the name of. So I guess that's pretty useless.

Date: 2007-11-11 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hallerlake.livejournal.com
Chiso is good - I think Wasabi Bistro and Shiros (both down in Belltown) are better, and I also liked Yamashiro better - but c'est la vie.

Kisaku is probably the one near Green Lake - some people are really enthused about it but I've not found it to live up to the hype, personally.

Date: 2007-11-11 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zannah.livejournal.com
Thanks for the Blue Fin review; I saw it there not too long ago and was curious. We like Todai but a lot of times the food there isn't as fresh or well-made as it could be (although I guess that's what you expect out of a buffet). We'll have to try this one out.

Date: 2007-11-11 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hallerlake.livejournal.com
Yeah - definitely nicer than Todai, which I don't care for much. Everything we tried was pretty fresh - and there are certainly some "fan favorites" that disappear right away when they serve them up.


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