Remember when I said that Shiku was my favorite sushi restaurant in Seattle? Well, I never wrote it in stone. While I do love Shiku and look forward to my next visits, I’ve recently revisited an old fave in West Seattle and it’s taken back the reins of my favorite sushi restaurant at this moment. I had an awesome dinner at Mashiko a bit ago and I’m still drunk on the brilliance that I enjoyed.
We’ve been to Mashiko a few times now and they’ve all been magical. The deliciousness of the fish, the interplay of textures, and the ability to wow us constantly have all been hallmarks of our experiences. Our first visit was truly ‘another level’ dining experience. We, along with our friend JR, were able to sit at the bar and be at the whims of Chef Hajime. We still talk about the uni we had on top of a tempura shiso leaf; this made me a believer in the gospel of sea urchin. With this nostalgia, we were giddy to see what Chef Hajime and team had in store for us this time.
First word of note, Mashiko takes reservations and this would come in handy as Mashiko can get very busy. Sadly, we didn’t have the foresight to do such a thing. So we had to slog and wait it out for a spot (ended up being about 40 minutes on a Saturday night). Our preference would’ve been for the bar, but we were resigned to get whatever opened up.
Waiting inside Mashiko, we were able to fully absorb the feel of the place and note its idiosyncrasies. Let’s start with their website; sushiwhore.com. Clearly, you will not be dining at a reserved, mellow sushi spot. It’s more of a new school, hangout bar that has a rock ‘n roll feel. While waiting you’ll also notice some of the house rules. My favorites? ‘Everything you know is wrong.’ and ‘chopsticks are not drumsticks.’ You’ll also see the accolades that Mashiko has received. And they’ve been around since ’94, so they have buckets of them.
Sadly, we weren’t able to get that front row seat to Chef Hajime and his team’s show, but we were able to get a nice secluded booth on the other side of the room. Not even within eye contact of the chef! Truly this would be an interesting experience! We gave our server one instruction; omakase. Omakase is the act of putting your dining experience in the hands of the chef. But chefs generally prefer doing omakase with their frequent guests and Chef Hajime is no different. Because he would ideally like to get to know his clients likes and dislikes, we armed our server with this; give us what’s fresh as of this very day.
Here are the three really cool things that I love about Mashiko: