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Hajime Sato’s bustling West Seattle sushi joint has always been very Seattle: deeply traditional and thoroughly modern in the very same bite. And now that modernity requires environmental awareness and action, Mashiko is really on a roll. Since phasing out Atlantic salmon, Southeast Asian shrimp, and other endangered and at-risk seafood, demand for Sato’s seats and bar stools has only increased. With reusable chopsticks made from wheat products in hand, environmentally conscious eaters pout, just a little, about the soft-shell crab and black cod liver that no longer make the cut, and cheerfully inquire about the domestic catfish that replaces off-limits freshwater eel. (It’s marinated to almost the exact same sweet and buttery effect, without the hairy, sort of scratchy texture of unagi). A Japanese-born, traditionally trained sushi chef making sustainability seem sexy and slathering just a little cream cheese here and there? Only in Seattle, folks, only in Seattle.

Sushi chef Hajime Sato recently revved up the responsibility factor on his menu by becoming Seattle’s first (and the country’s third) totally sustainable sushi restaurant. Read more…

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