Hello Sushi

A tree—and a cult following—grows in Ballard.

By Kathryn Robinson April 22, 2009 Published in the May 2009 issue of Seattle Met

THE TEEMING SUSHI salon with edgy lime-green walls, a bona-fide mixologist in the bar, and cocktails with a cult following is about as Ballard Avenue as it gets. The owner brought us Bricco della Regina Anna, the hopping Italian wine bar atop the Counterbalance. Now he transports us to the other hemisphere via chef Kotaro Kumita, a disciple of Seattle sushi deity Shiro Kashiba. Kumita presents a more traditional take on Japanese food and sake than Seattle-rollers may be accustomed to. Oh, he crafts Seattle rolls, and pristine ebi ten rolls with tempura shrimp, and the perilously poppable fried tiger rolls (the last a great deal at both pre- and postdinner happy hours). But he also offers classics like Kyoto-style pressed sushi, featuring mackerel and white kelp, and clam miso soup. One buttery bite of the kasu zuke, grilled black cod marinated in miso and sake lees, proves that Moshi Moshi, Japanese for “hello,” is more than just another pretty Ballard face. That said, the life-size faux sakura tree with the dainty pink-lit “blossoms” may be the prettiest thing we’ve ever seen in a restaurant.

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