Dishin’: Take a Chance at Taka Sushi?

We’ve been slurping down news of all the new Japanese noodle shops in Seattle. Samurai Noodle’s pretty good; people like it enough that they’ve got a second location. The noodles themselves are better at Kaname, but the broth is lacking. And we’ve heard some good things about Boom Noodle, though our Japanese friends tell us the ramen is disappointing.

As we hear more and more about great noodles in New York, LA, and Vancouver, our search in the Seattle area continues.

We got a tip that we could find some at Taka Sushi in Lynnwood, the kind of tiny place we typically like. The chef is from Okinawa. We love Okinawan food, from braised pork belly to bitter melon to chanpuru (stir-fry), but the only regional dish on the menu was Okinawa soba. No problem. After sampling some sushi (it was just so-so), we said bring on the noodles!

Nine bucks bought us a bowl that had two tender, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs, along with pickled ginger, fishcakes, and noodles in a pork-dashi broth. As much as we like the liquid bacon taste of Samurai Noodle’s tonkotsu broth, we liked this, as well. The noodles were especially good—thicker than ramen with the right amount of bite. But while we know Okinawa soba isn’t really soba (buckwheat), why did the menu say egg noodles? After finally catching the chef’s attention, he told us he imported them special from Hawaii. We wanted to ask more, but he wasn’t exactly the friendliest guy in town. (No, he wasn’t busy. No, we weren’t trying only in English; one in the party was from Japan.) So we simply slurped away, trying to figure it out on our own, and trying to figure out whether we’d want to return in the future.

Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on May 5, 2008.

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3 Responses to “Dishin’: Take a Chance at Taka Sushi?”

  1. February 13, 2009 at 5:40 am #

    Not the friendliest guy in town? Are you sure you didn’t go to Cafe Taka? If you actually went to Taka Sushi, then I couldn’t disagree more with your take on their sushi or the chef. In fact, Taka-san is the friendliest person I’ve met in Lynnwood. I’ve lived in Seattle for over ten years now and he was one of the nicest restaurant owners/chefs I’ve met. The two times I went for omakase (lunch and dinner) in January were the two best sushi experiences I’ve ever had. (And I have had plenty, as you can see by clicking my name.) Cafe Taka is also a Japanese restaurant in Lynnwood. I have not been there, but your description of both the sushi and the chef do not come close to matching how I would describe my dining experiences at Taka Sushi. Words like “heavenly” and “perfect” come to mind.

  2. admin
    February 13, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    Thanks for writing, Matthew. And glad you had a good experience there. I suppose one’s experience at Taka (and yes, I went to the right one; in fact, I think Cafe Taka is closed) might be different if escorted there by perhaps the most prominent food writer in Seattle, and being personally introduced by her.

    My experience wasn’t so good, which was surprising, especially as we tried to communicate in both English and Japanese. Sometimes being anonymous offers more realistic insight into an everyday experience at a restaurant. Then again, the chef might have been having a bad day, which is why I end my write-up wondering whether I’d return, rather than declaring that I’d never return.

    Again, appreciate your comment, and all your contributions on Urbanspoon. Happy eating!

    ~Jay

  3. February 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    That’s a good point. I closed Cafe Taka on Urbanspoon last night after posting my comment. I hope your experience is better next time. Tell Taka-san that she sent you :)

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