Seattle >Food & Dining > Kisaku Sushi Restaurant
2101 N 55th St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810347.668609 -122.333291
Mon 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-9:30pm
Wed-Thu 11:30am-2pm, 5-9:30
Fri-Sat 11:30-am-2pm, 5pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Wallingford, Lake Union
Neighborhood sushi joint that is worth the drive across town. Put yourself in the sushi chefs hands to get the best and freshest. Attentive service.
Kisaku doesn't live up to the hype – I have been to Kisaku several years ago and enjoyed it. I also have heard a lot of great things recently about Kisaku. Sadly, our experience was not a good one for several reasons.
When we called to make reservations, the waitress made it sound like the tables in the 'front of the restaurant' and the sushi bar seats that were available (by the post) were not the best so she directed us to the more intimate back area. We arrived and the worst places in the restaurant were in the back. Never sit back there.
We ordered a wide selection sushi nigiri and rolls. The Spanish Mackerel was wonderful but the rest was ofmarginal quality. Every sushi order used rice that seemed like it had been out in the open for awhile - cool and dried out. It was like the rice balls were made early in the day so they could meet the Friday rush. If you don't have good rice, you can't have good sushi.
I am being generous to say it was a two star experience.
Kisaku is awesome – Kisaku is amazing. I've gone at least once a week since it opened. I highly recommend sitting at the sushi bar. Nakano-san and Shimi always come up with really creative things, and all the food is always amazing. Take a minute to ask what's fresh, what's in season, and what you just absolutely must try. Definitely take their suggestions and be adventurous.
Oysters on half shells are a must to begin the meal, and if Aji Tataki is up on the specials board, you're in for a treat. In terms of cooked food, the tofu dengaku (fried tofu in red miso sauce) is sublime, and they the best calamari I have ever had in the country, no joke.
Also, either make reservations or come at less crowded times (it's easier to get in earlier, especially on week days).
Great Variety – I have been to Kisaku a few times now and every experience is different. There is always a great variety of fresh seafood and the servers are very knowledgeable about the menu. I was a bit of a novice on my first visit and I was directed towards a few simple rolls that I really enjoyed. Be careful because it can get busy at times!
Best sushi north of the bridges – Okay, I'll admit it, Kisaku isn't the "quickest" restaurant around. (That's the only reason I didn't give a full 5 stars.) You might have to wait for a table, but there's a reason for that, and that reason is because people know good sushi when they find it, and nobody wants to leave. If you're looking for some fast-food style, grab-n-go sushi, then get out of the way, head on down to Blue-C or some other "joint" and grab some hour-old fish off the fish train.
BUT - If you're prepared to enjoy some sushi like a gentleman (or lady, as the case may be), then Kisaku is a fine choice. There's hustle, there's bustle, there's an energy present, and the fish is prepared with care and presented with flourish. On the rare occasions that it's calm, there is a quiet, refined elegance to the interior, but when it's busy (as it often is), there is a kinetic feeling to Kisaku that makes the dining experience contagiously exciting. Itadakimasu!
More like Ki-suck-u – I have been to this restaurant three times, but only eaten there once. Why? Because the last two times I've been there, it's taken 5-10 minutes just to be acknowledged by the host, who is too busy working the phones to talk to the actual customers in the restaurant. After finally talking to us, the wait for a table (the first time) was too long and we went elsewhere. Last night, we'd planned ahead and made a reservation. We arrived at our appointed time, and after waiting the mandatory 5 minutes to get the host's attention, she told us that, although there were two open seats at the sushi bar (where we'd reserved spots), those open seats were being held for someone arriving 15 minutes later, and that we'd have to wait for the seats they'd allocated to us, which were still occupied.
Don't reward this kind of stupidity and bad service. I admit that their food is good; that's why I gave them a second chance. I won't make that mistake again.
Sushi? No. – Disappointed. I was a fan of this restaurant but last night I went there with a group of mix Japanese and Americans, the sushi they served was worse than Kaiten sushi. Fish was king of old.
But when I passed some Japanese people sitting at the counter, the sushi they are eating looks very good.
Does this happen because we were a big group? Or they though we were all Americans who do not know the difference of best sushi and so-so sushi. The service was great and so was the desert though.
Amazing sushi! – This was a great sushi joint! We tried the chef's choice sashimi, but nigiri style. All I can say is DAMN! I recommend the chefs choose your sushi, cuz it is the bomb. The service was less than spectacular, but if you order at the right times you'll be good. The house sake is only $6 for a large carafe. The end bill for 4 was $175, and we were extravagant. ENJOY.
The best sushi in Seattle – I love sushi, and I eat it all the time, and I really do think this delivers for the freshest, tastiest cuts without any of the attitude of those downtown places. Sure, you pay a bit more than some other places, but I really appreciate knowing that everything is going to be great. I like the agedashi tofu appetizer, it's a little bit crunchy and in a great broth. I also like some of their rolls, like the Green Lake roll, and their version of the caterpillar roll.
Sushi okay, but dessert was better – I went there for a girlfriends birthday and we had reservations at 6:30pm, but we had to be out by 8pm since another reservation was already made. basically we were rushed to order and rushed to leave by the time we were done with our food. the waitress was pretty much pushing us out. there was no time to really do anything. we ordered the chef's special and it really isn't that great compared to places like Tsukushinbo in international district or Ototo sushi. it used to be better, but over the best two years its not all that great. the dessert was fantastic though. you should definately order the desserts. the service was so poor that i dont think i'll be going back at all. although there is a japanese bakery near by and they have some pretty good bakery goods that you might want to take a look at.
Really really lovely sushi place. Order the chef's choice sashimi appetizer, and he'll guide you from there . . . – We adore this place! We sat at the sushi bar and the chef kept picking things out for us and smiling charmingly when we liked them. The salmon, hamachi, saba, and age were all great. We'd never had smelt before, but we liked it. And things we'd never gotten along with, like sea urchin gonads and fried shrimp heads, turned out to be excellent too. The sea urchin was in a small handroll of crispy seaweed and warm rice, and tasted like clams, but less chewy. My plum wine spritzer complemented all the sushi flavors, and featured a real pickled plum. The age dashi tofy was yummy (but when is age dashi tofu not yummy?). And the sweet potato dessert with red bean paste was genuinely interesting. The decor is simple & relaxing: harvest colors that become warmer as you move towards the kitchen.
We're from Portland, where our favorite sushi place is Masu East, which we think is very pretty, and also has an awesome head sushi chef. This place isn't as fancy-minimalist, and its rolls & drinks aren't as baroquely complex, but the food is about that good.
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