Elevating its Totem Lake strip mall by its very presence, the cozy, wood-clad Izumi is swathed in tradition, from classical music to old-country waitresses in kimonos; from sukiyaki dinners—soup, salad, sunomono, and rice included!—to the eminent Shito Kamioka behind the sushi bar, where he’s presided for over 25 years.
Who’s here Tables full of Japanese businessmen.
Don’t miss A big unctuous chunk of black cod in a caramel-lush teriyaki sauce, artfully presented with carrots and pea pods and a bowl of perfect rice.
Pssst Shito-san does up a fine omakase—but don’t look to Izumi for dazzling innovation. Come for the classics.
It does not get more old-school in Seattle than the century-old Maneki, a homey haunt of homely delights kept in line—and lines—by a couple of no-nonsense aunties and traditional Japanese cooks.
Who’s here Ever since Amazon employees discovered the place, the crowd has skewed young and hip.
Don’t miss Monkfish liver if it’s in season—look to the whiteboard for daily specials—either braised or sliced cold over shredded daikon with ponzu sauce.
Pssst Yep, there’s a sushi bar—40 years ago sushi maestro Shiro Kashiba introduced Seattle to sushi here—but Maneki shines brighter for its bar snacks and home-style entree combos.
NEXT: Best Japanese Izakaya