Wallyhood Roll

Ah, sushi. Thank God the Japanese came up with a better name for it than “raw fish wrapped in seaweed”, otherwise we probably would never would have tried it.

We were humbled when we recently heard that Rain Sushi (or Rain Modern Infusion Cuisine, as it’s formally known) on 45th had named a roll in our honor: the Wallyhood Roll. We’ve loved Rain’s rolls for years now, always rich and decadent, so this past Wednesday, we smacked our lips and went in to try it out.

photo 2.JPGThe ingredients? Crab, aioli, avocado and cucumber wrapped in seared albacore and topped with wasabi aioli. (That’s it in the photo, upper right. Usually, the aioli would be on top, we had it on the side).

We kind of think they must be cheating, because we didn’t see “butter” in the ingredients, but mmm….MMM! it tasted like buttery goodness. We guess that’s what you get when aioli shows up not once, but twice in the list. It’s no match for their Dragon Roll or Tarantula Roll, but the seared albacore had a good flavor and it all held together oh so yum.

Our only beef with the roll was that the “crab” isn’t actually crab, it’s imitation crab (as is the rest of the crab on the menu). We’re no sushi experts, but we do appreciate that some restaurants (e.g., Blue C Sushi) indicate imitation crab as “krab”, to avoid confusion. On the other hand, according to Sushi Encyclopedia, the well-known “California Roll” is always made with imitation crab (and is, in fact, credited with starting the modern “fusion sushi era” in the late 1970′s).

While we’re on the subject, we apologize that we’ve never written an article on Musashi’s, the only restaurant in Wallingford that can give Molly Moon a run for her money when it comes to lines out the door. Five nights a week, there are folks waiting for a table. The sushi is more straight-up traditional (as opposed to the more inventive, complex fusion rolls you’ll find at Rain), for better or worse, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better bang for your buck when it comes to raw fish in this town.

What’s your vote for best Sushi in Wallingford? Rain? Musashi’s? Kitaro? Kisaku? Kozue? Issian?

  • Herman

    In terms of quality of fish, Kisaku is far and away better than anywhere else in Wallingford. On most night the toro is out of this world.
    I like Musashi. Good quality, particularly for the price. But I rarely go there because a) my wife thinks it is dirty and b) they only take cash.
    Issian’s sushi has been subpar in my experience. To the point of finding tiny bones in the salmon. That being said, there grilled food is awesome. I get the impression the sushi is an afterthought to the grilled food. I think the owners were not confident that  straight up Japanese grill could survive in America.

  • http://www.busygamernews.com jacqui

    We came to sushi very late (our 30s), and I’m still not much for the raw fish kind. So we tend to go to Rain – love the spicy rolls, and also excellent sides.

  • Jen

    Kisaku definately.  Haven’t been able to eat at Musashi’s since I saw a rat outside on Interlake a few years ago.  I’m not disparaging, since it wasn’t inside, but it freaked me out. 

  • Stone

    I prefer Musashi’s to the other places.  I don’t really go in much for the spicy roll, mayonnaise-laden “sushi” in the trendier places.  Musashi has huge cuts of fish for great prices.  The cash only aspect is a pain in the butt though.

  • Erica Doctor

    We love Kisaku. We enjoy the vibe, the food is fresh and tasty, the prices are good, they have a great vegetarian sushi menu, and they have high chairs. We see people dressed up for date night, we see people in jeans and work boots at the bar, and we usually see other families with kids. Great spot.

  • Ffej

    Kisaku would have my vote, and it’s where we go most frequently (the best sushi place I’ve been to in Seattle, except Shiro’s in Belltown.)  Great atmosphere, always friendly and *great* food.
     
    That said, I’ve gone to Musashi’s for over 25 years, and have always found it to be friendly and good sushi for the price.  It’s also always been clean (certainly cleaner than those hole-in-the-wall places with food that justifies the grime.)  The family who ran it for the first 15-20 years were wonderful people — we were regulars back then.
     
    My only real objection to Musashi’s these days is the wait on a weekend; it’s the primary reason we don’t go there more often.  That said, they certainly don’t seem to be hurting for customers.

  • Steve B.

       I too have been going to Musashi’s for over 25 years.  Since I seldom use credit to stay debt free the cash only policy doesn’t bother me.  They took checks the last time I was there.  Since my bank is on the way a stop at the ATM is no big matter.  LOVE their food! I have spent $25 in other sushi places and still felt hungry.  Not at Musashis.  It’s  one of the foods my doc has said I can eat all I want if easy on the rice.  Rat on Interlake?  When I had earlier hours I’d see them anywhere on 45th.  Remember when Cold Mountain Juice Company closed?  Now there was a rat problem!

  • Jen

    Absolutely!  As I said, I didn’t mean to disparage Musashi’s.  I remember back in 1993 when I worked at Spot Bagel in the Wallingford Center where Pharmaca is now, Boston Chicken (which was where Tweedy and Pop is now) used to have a horrible rat problem. We didn’t have rats at Spot Bagel, only roaches.  And it really wasn’t all that bad unless someone pointed one out in the bagel case (“Uh, I think that there’s a bug on that Orange Poppy Seed bagel…”).

  • leilan mccoy

    Musashi’s for sure.   Best place for over a decade!   Not that many restaurants last that long.    I do wish they took plastic.

  • Margie

    If someone else is buying, Kisaku!  But if I am buying, we go for Rain’s Happy Hour menu.  WOW do you get a lot of food for the money and their inventive rolls are fabulous…just not traditional.  That Get Wet roll is amazing!

  • Jane

    Definitely Kisaku.  It’s definitely the best quality in Wallingford.  Kozue is okay, and Musashi’s is about the same.  I’ve never tried Kitaro so couldn’t say, but the lack of people in there is worrisome.  You defintely want lots of people eating so that the fish is fresh.  I’m not a fan of Rain as I really like to taste the fish– without sauces on top.  I’ve been to Issian– hated it.  The sushi was  not very fresh and with too much junk on top.  The fried food was not so great either.  I do miss Chinoise which used to be in that location. 

  • steve

    Kisaku for sure.

  • harley

    this one is easy.  kisaku.  hands down best sushi in seattle.  not quite ebisu in sf or tojo’s in vancouver, but still top notch.  fresh uni when in season, several types of toro and some off menu stuff if you know to ask for it makes it worth the $.

  • CindyY

    Wow, hadn’t even heard of Kisaku before this post and ensuing comments. Definitely going to have to try it out. I like Kozue, especially at lunch time. They give you a pretty good bang for one buck.

  • Jeff Dubrule

    I tried out Kitaro, and found it pretty disappointing.  We got very thin slices of fish, that were kinda dry, and it took forever to be prepared.
    If that had been my first time eating Sushi, I would’ve wondered what the big deal was.
     

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