As much as I love the great state from which I hail, one of the numerous things that improved after I moved to the lush greenery of Washington was the quality of the seafood. Now, I am by no means a fish-lover. Oh, I’ll chow on some fish ‘n’ chips like a native Scotsman, and can kill a basket of fried calamari, but for the most part, keep your cursed fish away from me.
Sushi in the AZ isn’t as terrifying as most people may assume it is (you know what they say about people who assume…), but it’s also one of those things where ignorance plays into the equation. I hesitatingly tried sushi for the first time in high school because I was always up for a dare, and one of my more gastronomically-inclined friends goaded me into it. I liked the easy-peasy stuff she threw my way – California Rolls and other assorted items that were in no way raw. I was fine with my sushi that way for years.
Then I moved to Washington.
I’m sad to say that the first time I actually ate sushi up here was more than a year after I moved. My brother came to visit for 4th of July weekend, and we asked his friend (who LOVES to eat, and is extremely knowledgeable in the ways of raw fish) where we should go for sushi. My brother is a sushi fanatic, and we ended up eating it three times in his short visit. The first place we went – on his friend’s recommendation – was Umi Sake House.
Since that fateful day, I’ve eaten tons of raw fish, and other things I used to turn up my nose at – mainly under the careful tutelage of my brother’s (and now my) good friend. However, I still frequent Umi more than any other place in Seattle. Someone’s coming to visit? Go to Umi. Celebrating an event? Go to Umi. There’s always a good reason to suggest this prince among paupers.
The happy hour is pretty brilliant, although the food is fairly affordable at all times, especially considering how excellent it is. There is an extreme list of sake, and I am no connoisseur, but everything I’ve tried has tasted well enough for ignorant me.
Some of my personal favorites off the menu include the Seattle Roll (which is exactly like a California, but with salmon instead of crab), the Casino Royale or the 007 (which are BIG and hilarious to watch people try to eat), and the Blondie Roll (the aioli some of these are served with is OUT OF THIS WORLD).
So, if you want to have an amazing night out, head to Umi for dinner, walk a few blocks down the road for drinks and a movie at The Big Picture, then walk a few more blocks and hit some bars. Ok, maybe that’s just my perfect night out, but you have to admit, it does sound pretty fantastic. Am I right?