Tag Archives: Seattle

Seattle Part 10: A visit to my alma mater

Many people say, and many people would concur that the Spring and Summer in the Pacific Northwest is hard to beat. I remember being absolutely in love with the weather during those seasons and then absolutely hating it during the winters. In fact, it was the seemingly, perpetual gloom that convincingly made me return to sunny (and blazing hot) Southern California.

When my wife and I decided to visit Seattle, the weather decided to kindly remind us of how truly supreme it is. Combine the absolutely, sublime weather with the gorgeous backdrop of my alma mater, you’ll have a formula for an unforgettable experience.

UW-Rainier-View.jpgThis duck bridge was not around when I was scrambling to make it to class. I think it’s a great idea. The ducks loved Drumheller. Duck-Bridge.jpgJust a tiny sample of the architecture you’re eyes will feast upon when walking around campus. UW-Architecture.jpgA visit to the campus wouldn’t be complete without a visitation to “Hogwarts library” as it is unofficially known. Suzallo-Library.jpgOn the menu for the day was a local favorite, Thai Tom’s. It’s strategically located on the Ave, which is the main street located adjacent to the campus where you can find all the great eateries. I remember my first experience at Thai Tom’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had Thai food prior to that moment, but me being in college I thought that I might as well be adventurous and give it a try. It would be a decision that I would come to be very grateful for. It’s quickly and simply, prepared food that packs a boatload of flavor. It’s also very easy on the wallet, which is always a plus. You go in to a very cozy space, sit, order, and enjoy your well-crafted meal. Just be prepared to sweat, not only because of the heat level of the dish (1-5 stars), but mainly because of your proximity to the flames. Thai-Tom-Flames.jpgA Thai salad was one order of ours. To our surprise it came with some potato chips! It was sweet, salty, and spicy all-in-one. The sauce was freshly made on one of the burners, so it ended up being a warm salad. Thai-Salad.jpgGrill and serve it.Thai-Tom-Serving.jpgA scoop of rice alongside noodles with oodles of flavor is never a bad thing. Just note that there is no beef served at this restaurant. No problem though, because the chicken that they cook up here will do just fine. Pad Kee Mao | Pad See Ew.

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Seattle Part 8: It’s about to become epic…Shiro’s epic.

I have to admit that my knowledge about this place has been skewed. Many of you may have heard of the documentary on Netflix called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Jiro, who is an ultra-guru master of sushi has an apprentice named, Daisuke Nakazawa, who was in charge of making the tamago (egg) course for the restaurant. Well, that apprentice landed up in a sushi restaurant in Seattle, by the name of Shiro’s, under the tutelage of Shiro Kashiba. I had thought that Jiro’s apprentice had started up the restaurant himself. Wrong. You live and you learn. I’m not sure if Mr. Nakazawa is still at the restaurant, but his tamago persists. Mr. Kashiba has moved on from Shiro’s and opened up a new place called Sushi Kashiba.

The last piece in the torrent of sushi you get when you go the route of omakase, is that treasured piece of tamago. Just wait for it. It’s coming. But, I’ll be honest in that pictures just don’t do it justice. Alright, enough talk. Let’s get started. Omakase time.

This will be the stage where greatness happens.

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I love sushi just like many others out there. There are some fish that I can recognize without second guessing myself. I still tried to document every course so that you may follow and learn more about it. But, as fate would have it, my phone for my note-taking died shortly halfway through the course. So, I’ll have to go by memory for those. Regretfully however, I cannot remember all of them as I’ve never tried them before as some are truly Japanese fish. Enjoy!

Boiled baby sardines. Chewy, tangy, and salty, but yummy.

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Albacore and albacore belly from Oregon. Albacore is one of my personal favorites. The belly has an increased fat content adding to the overall butteriness of the fish and flavor. You just can’t help but smile with happiness after eating it.

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Sea bass

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Red snapper + charred golden-eye snapper. I’ve never had golden eye before. Both were a little tougher, I thought, but still good.

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Meet Jun, our sushi chef for the evening. He masterfully compiled the piece of nigiri for us. He’s getting our salmon course ready in this photo.

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Sake (salmon) three ways (left to right): sockeye salmon from Alaska, salmon with ponzu sauce, and salmon belly.

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(Left to right): Seared scallop, seared conch, and geoduck. Can’t say I was a fan of the geoduck. It had a weird texture.

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Can you tell which fish is which?

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I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell by looks and taste. They actually tasted very similar, which is why it was probably included in the same course. Left: hamachi (yellowtail, another of my favorites) and to the right, is kanpachi (amberjack).

Next up, firefly squid. The name is given due to its bioluminescence capabilities.

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Chef Jun is literally torching it.

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Kawahagi (thread-sail filefish) with a surprise of fish liver underneath. The liver gave it a sublime creaminess. It’s the first time I’ve ever had this fish before.

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There’s a certain dexterity that is required when attempting to assemble sushi.

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MAGURO (tuna)!!!!

Right to left: Otoro (fatty tuna belly), marinated tuna with shoyu (soy sauce) and vinegar, chu-toro (medium fatty tuna), and akami (regular tuna). I consider the tuna the king of the sushi world. Nothing comes close in terms of depth of flavor, texture, and just simple goodness.

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It’s so good, I had to give you another angle of it.Tuna-topside.jpgThen I had to give you a close-up of the absolute king: otoro. You can see all that fat nestled in between the muscle. It’s the equivalent of wagyu/kobe beef. Except, it didn’t go “moo”. My wife doesn’t like it, however. This saddens me.O-toro.jpg

This prawn was actually alive before it was deep fried. Prawn-topsidePrawn-faceThe tail is cut off and the shell removed. It is then served up as sushi. It’s sweet and incredibly fresh, of course. The head is deep fried for consumption.Prawn-processed.jpg

There’s a Korean snack called 새우깡. It’s basically sticks that are made to taste like shrimp. Although we have a prawn here for sushi, I have to say it reminds me of them. Note, the picture of the snack is not mine.

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These next few courses, I can’t remember the types of fish I had. Sorry everybody. I will assure you that with pretty much all the other sushi to be had at Shiro’s, it was a pleasure to eat. Comment below if you can identify them! I’ll update this post as best as I can.Unknown-fish-course-2Unknown-sushi-course

Anago (saltwater eel – left). Unagi (freshwater eel – right). I really had to think about differentiating the two…for a while.Anago-Unagi.jpg

Pigfish (left) and Needlefish (right), both new experiences for me.Pigfish-and-needlefish.jpg

Tako (octopus – left). Ika (squid – right)Tako-and-Ika.jpg

Uni (sea urchin – left) and ikura (salmon roe – right). I found that people have mixed responses to both of these. I love how creamy and delectable uni is and how briny and vibrant ikura can be.Uni-and-ikura.jpg

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for folks. The tamagoyaki (egg) is here. By this time, I was ready to tap out. The thing about omakase is that you can tell the chef at any moment that you’re done. I wanted to conquer the menu, but my stomach was conquering my mind at the time. So, I told chef Jun to bring on the tamago because I was done. It literally was the sweetest ending to the ultimate sushi experience. Tamagoyaki-sideTamagoyaki

Shiro’s has been my absolute, most favorite sushi restaurant of all time (from all the ones I’ve been too). There are many others to try, of course. It’s always difficult to state that a particular restaurant or dish is the best thing ever because there’s just so many copies of it out there. Despite that, you can’t argue with the quality of the fish served at Shiro’s. Additionally, the experience is unforgettable – it has the ultimate ending.

Just in case you’re wondering about my #2 sushi restaurant, that would be Gaku on O’ahu, Hawaii.

Shiro’s – 2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

If you want the omakase experience, I highly recommend getting there several minutes before opening. There will already be a line forming. If you miss the cutoff, you’ll have to wait up to 90 minutes for your turn. But, they do take your number down and call you when your spot is ready. Also, if you do miss it, it’s not the end of the world. There are a lot of nice bars to go to to enjoy a drink.

 

 

 

 

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Seattle Part 6: Boat Street Kitchen

An absolute gem of a brunch spot. When you say “brunch”, I think “eggs Benedict”. I’m an absolute sucker for eggs Benedict. That moment when you take your knife and cut across the poached eggs to let out that sequestered liquid gold is what keeps bringing me back. So, when I learned that this place makes a good eggs Benny, I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to eat there. If you want to as well, make sure you make reservations. The eggs Benedict is customizable in that you can add whichever additional protein you want to it. I opted for the smoked salmon.

This take on a classic breakfast choice was sublime. Eggs were perfectly poached. The bread that supported it all was perfectly crisp. The smoked salmon rounded everything out and reminded you that you’re eating a perfect brunch in Seattle. The salad was well dressed and not too heavy. The sweet mandarins were a great ending to everything.

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Preach…

Julia-Childs-Boat-Street-cafe.jpgBoat Street Kitchen and Cafe – 3131 Western Ave, Ste 301, Seattle, WA

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Comin’ back to Seattle (Go Hawks!) Part 1: Pike Place Market

My wife and I decided to go to Seattle for a mini vacation. She has never been, and I have wanted to show her around. We picked a great time to go because the weather was great (for the most part). I do have to admit that Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. My heart will always be in Los Angeles, but my stomach will happily oblige to dine in Seattle.

It was five days of Seattle for us! I’m glad I get a chance to share with you some of the things that were seen and eaten!

I don’t think a trip to Seattle isn’t complete without a visit to Pike Place Market, which is the oldest farmer’s market in the United States. Sure it’s the ultra-touristy thing to do, but I did come back to Seattle, but I came back as a tourist this time. Pike-Place-Walkthrough

As you’ll see, we were greeted by a bright sun and blue skies…

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This is where all the flying fish on TV come from.

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We didn’t just come to Pike Place Market for the sights. We headed over to Beecher’s cheese for some of their absolutely awesome mac n cheese. It’s so good, they called it the “World’s Best” Mac N Cheese. That’s a mighty high claim, but I’ll have to concede that it definitely doesn’t disappoint. The cheese is rich and gooey. Beecher’s also serves up their Flagship, which is one of my favorite cuts of cheese. On rare occasion, I would spot some Flagship being served up in a Whole Foods Market. If you see it, grab it. You’ll be happy you did.

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Piroshky Piroshky was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show. We grabbed a smoked salmon pate filled piroshky (pictured) and a beef filled piroshky. The salmon one was great, but the beef one was too salty. Do yourself a favor and order ahead like the bag says. It’s good food, but not worth the crazy wait. Next door (or a few doors down, I don’t remember) there was a German deli. I didn’t take any pictures of it, but it seemed to be filled with some great German fare. I’ll have to visit them next time. Maybe, you should too!

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There’s a big flower section within the market. Some amazing colors and compositions to be seen.
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Some grilled salmon sounds good right about now…

Gum-Wall.jpgOf course it’s right after seeing food.

Blue skies turned to grey really quickly. At least it didn’t rain.Public-Market-Gloom.jpg

Next up…

We go to Un Bien!

 

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