Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sustainable’

Sorry for how long it’s been since my last post, but nowadays, leisurely meals at a restaurant become a huge production once you add a toddler into the picture. Let’s just say Cherry and I have become meticulously selective of if and when we decide to eat out. Last night happened to be my birthday, so we figured that was a reason as good as any to dine out. We also had fortune of Grandma watching Rylie for the evening! Cherry surprised me with a dinner at a spot I’ve had on my radar for quite some time; Mashiko! Mashiko is a sushi restaurant that practices and focuses on sustainability. Making sure the fish they serve is not only fresh and local, but responsibly caught and not of the massively farmed variety. It is a small restaurant with simple décor that shows the sushi bar in the back along with the daily specials. I will also preface this post by saying that a majority of my experience with sushi/sashimi/nigiri is from AYCE sushi spots in the Seattle area as well as Vancouver BC.

mashiko entrance

entrance off california ave

The Food:

Cherry and I opted for the omakase or “chef’s choice” meal. At Mashiko, they have four different omakase meals. We ordered Nami ($70 for two) , which included an assortment of sashimi, ten pieces of nigiri, one grilled fish, rice and dessert. I could tell Cherry was a little apprehensive, since anything raw beyond ahi (tuna) is outside her comfort zone. But she handled everything like a champ and I’mvery proud of her. Next time I’d like to step it up to their Honkaku meal; which has the disclaimer,“Novices need not apply.”

 

mashiko tako sashimi

first course: tako sashimi over a bead of sunomono

All of the tako I have ever consumed prior to this meal has been chewy and relatively flavorless; however it’s always been one of my favorite foods. However, the tako here threw everything I knew about it out the door. It was outrageously tender and simply delicious. I felt like Neo when he was unhooked from the Matrix and using his eyes for the first time in the real World.

 

mashiko.sashimi

second course: (from top going clockwise) white king salmon, tombo, gulf prawn, red tuna, rainbow trout, saba,(middle) tako (hood) mussel with wasabi mayo

Each piece of sashimi was incredibly fresh and very delicious. I won’t go into detail into each piece of sashimi, but I will highlight a few of my favorites. The gulf prawn had a pleasantly sweet flavor and the saba was very rich and flavorful. The mussel was also extremely fresh and the wasabi mayo added a creamy texture and additional layer of flavor. My absolute favorite piece on this plate was the white king salmon. It had a wonderfully subtle flavor that you find with fresh fish but had the texture like butter! It literally melted in my mouth. Experiencing such a delicate texture flushed all  preconceived notions and past experiences of sashimi down the drain.

 mashiko.nigiri

third course: (clockwise from back left) uni, sanma, iwashi, tombo, coho salmon

Again only highlighting my favorites, which happen to be the entire back row. The sanma, or Pacific saury was local and had a very rich fishy flavor. The iwashi or sardine was also locally caught. Like the sanma, it carried a richer fishy flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed. “Fishy” flavors tend to carry a negative connotation in Western culture, but that isn’t so much the case in Asian culture. There is also a big difference in stinky fish flavor and fresh fish flavor. Both these fish had the latter. The uni was probably my favorite. Behind the gelatinous texture that may hinder people from trying it, it carried such an awesome flavor that I can only describe as, fresh & clean ocean.

 

mashiko.ling cod

fourth course: grilled ling cod with miso sauce on bed of sunomono

This dish was more down Cherry’s alley. Simply and perfectly grilled fish topped with a savory sweet miso sauce and a side of rice. Ling cod is already a light and subtly sweet fish so it doesn’t need much done to it. The miso highlighted the sweetness of the fish while also adding umami to each bite.

 

 mashiko.brownie

fifth course: coconut tempura brownie & green tea ice cream

Our meal concluded with a perfect desert. The brownie, which is from a local bakery, was rich but not overly sweet. The coconut tempura was fried perfectly with the batter providing great crunch and texture. The green tea ice cream was great in adding a contrasting creamy texture and earthy sweetness.

My Conclusion:

Everything about our experience at Mashiko was excellent. Our server was extremely attentive and did a great job explaining what each item within each course was. The food was fantastic; expertly prepared and impeccably fresh. Chef Hajime is definitely master in his craft and his team truly exudes that excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Located on the corner of 1st and Bell in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Local 360 is a very nice spot for a fresh and hearty meal. The unique thing about this restaurant is that all of their food is sustainable and the majority of it is sourced locally, within 360-miles of Seattle. The interior is quaintly decorated with the wood tables, seats and walls providing a farmhouse sense for guests.

 

anyone speak french?

 

a little wax

 

menu

 

 

The Food:

 

raw oysters $3/each

Only three words to describe these; fresh, clean, delicious! Raw oysters fit perfectly in my foodie philosophy: simplicity is key. The vinaigrette was slightly overpowering for my taste, but still delicious nonetheless.

 

wood grilled pork chop, potato hash, apple gastrique $18

When this dish was served on our table, an immediate smile grew across my face. 360 serves two full chops  that looked like a club Fred Flintstone would swing in his day. These chops were perfectly cooked with a good char and extremely tender. I especially enjoyed the chopped green apples that they cooked with the potato hash, which provided a countering tartness to the savory potatoes. The gastrique sauce, which is a caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar, had a very rich and sweet flavor – almost like an apple cider glaze. One major critique I did have with this dish was that the pork was way too salty. I love savory flavors, but the saltiness of the meat overpowered this dish and I found myself trying to scrape every last drop of the gastrique sauce on each piece of pork to cut through it. 

 

butcher’s grindhouse burger with cheese & bacon $15

I find myself in an oxymoronic state describing the flavors of the burger as, clean yet full of flavor. Flavorful burgers tend to be associated with a greasy and/or patties with a higher fat contect. Local 360 proves that notion wrong with their grindhouse burger. The meat tastes extremely clean but at the same time you don’t forget you’re eating a burger… if that makes any sense. The rest of the ingredients all contributed to provide one of the better burgers I’ve ever tasted. The bacon was thick, crispy and carried smoky flavor while the cheese contributed a nice richness. The french fries were well cooked and perfectly seasoned with salt. There’s a certain comfort knowing that everything you’re eating is fresh, local and hormone free. Having tasted such an awesome burger here, it will be extremely tough to ever go back to a fast-food burger chain… It’d be like having the best steak you’ve ever had for lunch, then having a frozen dinner steak for dinner.

My Conclusion:

In my book, Local 360’s stock just made a significant jump. The food is prepared well, locally and sustainably sourced, and the prices are very reasonable. Cherry and I are going to add this restaurants to our list of places to revisit and rightly so, since her job is literally across the street! On a related note,  Seattle Restaurant Week is currently in full effect and Local 360 happens to be one of the participating restaurants. You can find their Restaurant Week Menu here.

Read Full Post »