Sushi Kashiba is brand-new in Pike Place Market, and the lines have already started.
Seattle sushi fans have been waiting with bated breath, and at last, the beloved Shiro Kashiba’s new restaurant is open.
It’s called Sushi Kashiba, and it’s in Pike Place Market where the storied fine-dining institution Campagne (later the more casual, short-lived Marché) used to be. Shiro’s son Ed Kashiba is the director of operations, and he hastens to add that they’re “not officially really open yet” — the grand opening is December 1. But two soft-opening days in, he admits, “The line has already started” prior to Sushi Kashiba’s 5 p.m. start time both days.
“It’s kind of hard to keep the secret,” Ed Kashiba says.
As for the space, “It looks completely different. It’s just stunning, in my humble opinion.” It’s got “very clean lines,” and there’s a full sushi bar (of course), plus the dining room and a full cocktail bar as well. Ed Kashiba calls the space “immaculate… Just stunning views, obviously, of the Market as well as the Sound.” (Brought up here, he’s been living in Los Angeles, working in the entertainment business; he moved back to help his dad with the launch. He says of the space, “I feel like, ‘Oh wow, I’m in Seattle.”)
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For some background on local sushi hero Shiro Kashiba: He had his Belltown restaurant, Shiro’s, for 20 years, from 1994 through 2014. (It’s still open, under different management.) He was strict about his sushi bar there: He’d admonish people not to use too much (or sometimes “NO!”) soy sauce, and even tell them how long to chew. But he’d also take delight in your blissed-out enjoyment of his uni, chortling, “Chocolate from the sea!”
He was an early improviser of local and sustainable fish, visiting his suppliers to salvage salmon skin to create salmon skin rolls; likewise, he popularized salmon roe sushi and pioneered geoduck sushi. His memoir Shiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer is well worth a look for anyone interested in sushi and/or the Northwest. The many photos included from his life are a story in themselves.
Of sushi-nerd note, Shiro Kashiba trained with Jiro Ono in the early 1960s in Tokyo — as in Jiro from Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Then, here in Seattle a few years back, later Jiro protege Daisuke Nakazawa worked with Kashiba at Shiro’s before moving to New York to open the four-star Sushi Nakazawa. (Nakazawa was the one who made 200 trays of eggs — tamagoyaki, the Japanese omelet — before getting it right in Jiro Dreams of Sushi.)
Sushi Kashiba is open from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving). It’s at 86 Pine Street, Seattle (206-441-8844 or sushikashiba.com). See you there!