Monday, October 27, 2008

Why I Do, Indeed, Love Sushi

I don't think I've been to any sushi joint in Seattle that gives you the same kind of value that I Love Sushi does -- at least during lunch. Their food is always fresh, beautifully prepared, and delicious. The service is friendly, and the prices are reasonable. The atmosphere is comfortable and unpretentious, but clean and bright. What more could you want?

Every lunch comes with a bowl of hot miso soup loaded with seaweed and tofu. Their salad greens are fresh and lightly dressed with a miso dressing that's slightly sweet and full of umami. These, along with a cup of hot green tea, are brought to you without any prompting.

They have a large lunch selection, from tender sashimi to crunchy tempura to soupy udon -- and if you can't decide, their I Love Bento is always a sure bet. My personal favorite is the sashimi lunch. At $12.75, it comes with 2 pieces of hamachi, 2 pieces of salmon, 2 pieces of octopus, 3 pieces of albacore tuna, and some white fish.

The one thing I Love Sushi does not have is meat. You'll find salmon teriyaki on the menu, but not beef or chicken. I promise you won't even miss it. The tempura is a surefire winner -- for something a bit unique try the avocado one -- and shioyaki hamachi kama (with some lemon squeezed on top) is also a favorite. For the longest time they served udon but didn't have it on the menu; that's been changed recently. Try the nabeyaki udon for a bit of everything.

As for the rolls, skip everything that has the word "spicy" in it. A lot of people like it for some reason, but the overpowering spicy mayonnaise completely cloaks the taste of the fish -- and isn't that why you're having sushi in the first place? It also means they can use this-is-the-end-of-the-piece fish for it, the parts that don't make up a whole piece for sashimi or sushi, or worse, fish that isn't as fresh. I'd also skip the crunchy roll here, because it's just got too much mayo. (If you like crunchy rolls, it's unsurpassed at Kirkland's Rikki Rikki.) The roll I recommend? The caterpillar roll, which is a bit pricey at $11.50, but worth it. It's filled with eel and topped with thin slices of avocado. It's gorgeous and delicious.

Depending on the sushi chef who prepares this, it might come as carefully sliced roll on a long platter. It might come artistically arranged on a square plate. It might be snaked, resembling a real caterpillar, complete with antennae made of two sprouts. However it's arranged, you're still getting a fantastic roll.

Don't miss this place. It's a treat you'll remember for a long time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will vouch for the "avoid the spicy" comment. YOWCH.

Mmmm, sushi. We should plan a sushi get-together in November. Yum.