Tag Archives: Sushi

Spicy Tuna on Chips – Kinja Japanese Restaurant – Yelm, WA


Kinja is one of our favorite places to stop in or order food from. Not only because of its close proximity to our home but because to put it simply, the food is really good. It helps that the staff is incredibly sweet and the owner is always readily available to make whatever sushi you order. Last week, my husband called from work and asked me to go on a lunch date with him. The way that he asked reminded me of two people who just began dating and that giddy feeling you get when that amazing guy you’re crushing on calls to ask you out on a date. Yes, I am really getting that mushy. It was cute.

Lunch date at Kinja Japanese Restaurant with my husband.

Lunch date at Kinja Japanese Restaurant with my husband.

We met at Kinja at 12:30pm and we were the only two guests in the restaurant. We enjoyed the music and chatted while we sipped on our beverages. Our waitress was super sweet and took the time to suggest some items from the lunch menu. We decided to go with a small appetizer that we had seen on the menu before but had never ordered: Spicy Tuna on Chips. We are big fans of spicy tuna and decided that we would try it.

Our appetizer arrived pretty quick. Our waitress put the plate in the center of the table. My husband and I both looked at one another because we knew it was going to be good! There were six rice chips arranged in a circle topped with generous portions of spicy tuna, Tobiko, topped with a mayo and spicy sauce with a lemon wedge garnish.

Spicy Tuna on Chips from Kinja Japanese Restaurant in Yelm, WA

Spicy Tuna on Chips from Kinja Japanese Restaurant in Yelm, WA

After squeezing lemon juice on the chips, we each took a chip and took a bite (no, we did not feed one another). I really liked the light, crispy texture of the chip. Of course, when I think of a chip, I think of something cooked in oil, extremely crispy, and crumbs everywhere. I am not sure how these particular chips are prepared but they definitely had a distinct lightness to them. I think anything else would take away from the spicy tuna. One reason that I am big on sushi and Japanese food is because I enjoy how each distinct flavor is able to be tasted among everything else but all those flavors work really well together. Hard to explain, so I hope you understand where I am coming from.

Needless to say there was not a scrap of leftovers from the appetizer. It was delicious, as we knew it would be. I wanted to point out that this type of appetizer is what I think an appetizer should be. In the sense that when you’re out to eat and order an appetizer, it should be a small plate of something wonderful to snack on before your main meal, not another main meal in itself. Have you ever ordered nachos as a so-called appetizer somewhere and you get a plate of nachos that is bigger than your head? I liked that this appetizer from Kinja was small – petite, if you will – but big on taste. Just what it should be and just what I love.

If you’re in the Yelm area and have not tried the Spicy Tuna on Chips, what are you waiting for? Get in there and try it … and don’t forget to invite me to join you.

Kinja Japanese Restaurant
1314 East Yelm Avenue  Yelm, WA 98597
(360) 400-4300


Japonessa Sushi Cocina (I went back for more!) – Seattle, WA


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.

Tempura plate

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.

Left to Right: Tres Diablos, El Matador, & Paraiso Tropical

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.

Paraiso Tropical = heavenly!

Ok, ok … let me indulge you with a photo of El Matador while I’m at it ….

One of my all time favorites: El Matador!

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.

I love, love, love this place. The sights! The smells! The experience!

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: