We have a dear friend who was moving out of WA and back home to Colombia this month. We wanted to take him out and treat him to the place that we often referred to as “the place with the best sushi in the state”. Of course, we were referring to Japonessa Sushi Cocina. He had never been there and he is a big fan of sushi. Besides, who doesn’t also love spending a day in downtown Seattle, especially walking around Pike Place Market?
Saturday November 19, turned out to be a slightly chilly day. Not a big deal. My husband and I skipped eating breakfast (healthy, I know) in order to have more room for the epicly delicious lunch we knew we were going to have. We picked up our friend and headed to Seattle. Boy, it was busy! We were unable to find parking in our usual spot but we still found parking without having to drive around aimlessly for too long. We had made online reservations at Japonessa to ensure that we’d have a spot waiting for us when we arrived. After walking about four blocks down to Japonessa, sure enough, we had a table waiting for us.
We sat down and our waitress immediately greeted us and took our drink order. It was a round of beer all around. The three of us studied the sushi roll menu intently, carefully reading each ingredient and holding back from ordering one of each. This was my third trip to Japonessa and my new goal is to eventually try every roll once … if not twice! Our waitress came back with our drinks and we still had not settled on which sushi rolls to order, so we started with an order of tempura. I have had the tempura before and have written about it as well. Even so, it was still absolutely delicious.
After what seemed like an eternity of imagining what each roll could possibly taste like, we settled on three: Tres Diablos, Paraiso Tropical, and El Matador. You may recall that I’ve had the El Matador before. It has become our “signature favorite” that we like to make sure that our guest of honor tries. It was not long before our three sushi rolls were placed down in front of us and immediately, we began to practically drool just looking at the perfection sitting neatly in front of us.
We were eager to dig in, so we began with the Tres Diablos. This roll features spicy tuna, cucumber, fresh cilantro, it is topped with tuna, salmon, yellow tail, tobiko, and is completed with a strawberry Habanero sauce. I personally tend to be a huge fan of cilantro, so I almost always lean towards food that features cilantro as an ingredient. In this case, I think the cilantro offered a stark, flavorful contrast to the spicy tuna. I think the tuna and salmon on top of the roll offers a smooth relief from the sweet and spicy strawberry Habanero sauce. Put it all together and it’s another tasty bite of heaven. A little bit on the spicy side, yes, but not in an overwhelming way.
Since I’ve already highlighted El Matador in a previous post, I will move right on to the Paraiso Tropical. We unanimously decided that this was our “dessert” roll. As much as I could have eaten it just by itself, paired with the El Matador and the Tres Diablos, the Paraiso Tropical was the tamest of the three rolls we chose. It was definitely light and sweet. The Paraiso Tropical is rolled up with salmon, tuna, cucumber, avocado, strawberries, and is topped with tuna, mango slices, tobiko, and a deliciously sweet raspberry sauce. The tuna gave the fruits a smooth texture while not taking away from the natural sweet flavor of the strawberries, mango, and raspberry sauce.
Ok, ok … let me indulge you with a photo of El Matador while I’m at it ….
As usual, our service was perfect. The staff at Japonessa know hospitality and they display that each and every time we visit. No matter how great the food it, an entire restaurant experience can be disaster if the staff doesn’t hold up their end of the experience bargain. That has never been the case at Japonessa. From the moment you step foot into the restaurant, you are embraced by a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, which I find inviting and relaxing. Japonessa has very quickly become the number one place that we recommend to our friends. If you’ve been there, you probably know why. If you haven’t been there, what are you waiting for? Get to Seattle and visit Japonessa. Just make sure you let me know first and I will meet you there.
You can find my previous blog about Japonessa here: April visit to Japonessa Sushi Cocina
Japonessa is located at:
1400 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Make reservations at: