Located on the North side of Pike Place Market, across from Post Alley, underneath the pretty lights of the Inn at the Market lies sushi chef Sushi Shiro Kashiba's newest restaurant, Sushi Kashiba, where he offers "the highest standard Japanese cuisine that sushi lovers have come to expect." Mentored by the ever popular Jiro Ono from the documentary, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi,"  Kashiba has earned a name for himself in the culinary world of sushi and brought his talents to Seattle first at Belltown's Shiro's and now at this new restaurant.
A simple menu that focuses on high quality sushi and a few key a la carte dishes, my family and I had a chance to try out this new restaurant just after the New Year. Of course, we are big omakase lovers and we wanted to have the direct picks of the chef. We had a larger party of 5, so we weren't able to make RSVP's for the sushi bar (which is definitely on the list next!). We were seated promptly and had menus right away. I will discuss the service later, but will focus on the food first!

This part will be broken down by the regular omakase and then the Peak Sushi Dinner combination that my brother had, which differs from just the omakase. Order 

Omakase: 1st plate of sushi from top left to right
The first tray came out with 4 types of tuna and 2 types of white fish.
1) Blue Fin Tuna - A nice and smooth piece of tuna. It looks fattier than it really is, but it had a soft, delicate flavor to it. 
2) Akami - the reddest and leanest part of the tuna. Definitely a nice lean, piece of tuna that was not only extremely fresh but not chewy either that can happen with leaner cuts of tuna.
3) Maguro Zuke - marinated tuna, slightly seared. This piece of tuna was marinated and slightly seared around the edges. The marinade was not overpowering at all or too sweet/salty/etc. The zuke enhanced the tuna and gave it a different experience than the regular akami
4) Toro - tuna belly. The fattiest and most delicious piece of sushi of this plate! Wow, wow, wow! It was so buttery smooth but not in a beef or chicken fat kind of way. It instantly melted on the toung and was extremely delicious. I wish I had 3 more of them, haha.
5) Tai Sea bream - I'm not much of a white fish person when it comes to sushi but this snapper was really good. The problem with white fish is that it can end up being fishy (even if it is fresh) and this one had no issues with that at all. The meat was also very succulent with a nice bite to it.
6) Hirame - flounder. This was probably the dud of the group and is one that I could have done without. It's a good way to end this first group since it is pretty plain, but I would honestly prefer not to have the flounder.

Omakase: 2nd plate of sushi from left to right
7) King Salmon - This king salmon was nice and delicate and  really fresh piece of salmon. It's not the best King Salmon I have ever had but it didn't lack in quality. It wasn't as buttery as other pieces I have had but it did have a nice chew quality to it and a mild salmon flavor.
8) Sockeye Salmon - Sockeye salmon definitely has a stronger flavor to it but this was not overpowering at all, but you could distinctly tell it was sockeye salmon. 
9) Amaebi - sweet shrimp. One of my favorites! I love the sweet succulent flavor of the shrimp that also has a nice crisp bite to it. The best part for me is the deep fried shrimp head that it is served with you can you eat just like that!
10)  Sawara  - King Mackerel (smoked) - This piece of fish was seared and had a really nice smokey flavor to it. The fish was very soft and sort of just fell apart like tender meat in the mouth
11) I think this was another seared tuna (albacore perhaps?) But I can't quite remember. Obviously it must not have been that memorable if I can't remember so unfortunately, I don't have much to say about this one.
12) Hotate  - Sea Scallop. Another one of my favorites of this plate! Like the sweet shrimp, the scallop has a sweet note to it and the scallop itself wasn't slimy or chewy, but nice and soft with a bit of bounce to it (basically succulent). Sea scallop is another hard one to get not to be fishy and this one was not fishy at all and nice very fresh.

Omakase: Final plate from left to right
13) Mirugai - Geoduck - I love geoduck in all forms but raw is probably my all time favorite. This had the slight hardness of a clam with the sweetness of a scallop. It was not chewy at all and had a nice ocean flavor to it. Extremely well prepared and well done.
14) Uni - Sea Urchin. Uni is my all time favorite seafood (as you may be able to tell from past posts). this was also served nigiri style on a spoon and was extremely creamy and sweet with a slight nuttiness to it. The portion was great too because the more uni for me the better, haha. This uni was probably top 3 in all the uni I have ever had.
15) Ikura - Salmon roe. Now, I'm usually not a fan of ikura because a) it can be too salty with an extreme sea flavor, and b) sometimes the pop of the salmon roe is a bit much. HOWEVER, this was definitely the best salmon roe out there and I don't know how they prepared it or if they found a special source but this was surprisingly wonderful. First off, this wasn't salty in the slightest. There was a nice ocean flavor without being too overwhelming with each pop and I actually liked that it was on its own as opposed to being paired with rice (gunkan style). I definitely have a new appreciation for ikura now.
16) Unagi - Fresh water eel. Not overly cooked with no traces of tiny bones. This had the right amount of sauce glazed on it and was a change of pace on this place.
17 & 18) Spicy tuna roll and Spicy scallop roll

Omakase: Finishers
19) Tamago - A sweet grilled egg mix paired with rice added for a nice touch at the end. I believe it is also a signature finisher for Kashiba-san.
20) Miso soup - I'm not used to having miso soup at the end (it is usually served first in most meals I have had) but it was a really nice way to end the whole experience with a nice warm belly .

Now I will quickly go over the Peak set dinner menu that my brother had. The Peak set comes with a special appetizer and salad, along with miso soup and 12 pieces of sushi (all of which was featured in the regular omakase above). I'll be going over just the add ones.
1) Beef carpaccio over onions and arugula. Raw beef done perfectly. I had a bite of this and the beef was very fresh and extremely soft and tender. You can also tell it hasn't been previously frozen before because of the coloring. My brother loved it and loves arugula so this was perfect for him.
2) Smoked salmon with ikura. I didn't get to try too much of this one because it was so small, but my brother also said it this was really good and also very different than what he's had before. I think the smoked salmon paired with the ikura makes for a new flavor experience.

Chawan Mushi - steamed egg custard. This was slightly disappointing only because it was pretty small in size and the seasoning was a bit too salty. The flavor of the egg custard was good with a nice bold dashi flavor, but just  a bit too salty.

My cousin and I ordered a few extra piece of nigiri to try so I'll go over those quickly as well.
1) Sawara - King Mackerel. This was an accident order because we weren't sure if we had it before but of course we did. 
2) Sea Bream - Another mis-order but at least it was good!
3) Tako - octopus. This was probably the thinnest cut octopus we have ever had which made it extremely a treat to it. I thought it would be pretty plain but surprisingly, there was a nice flavor to it, despite the added ponzu on top.
4) King Crab - This one was good but honestly didn't taste right with the warm rice since the king crab was so cold. Still a good piece of king crab though.

Overall, we had an extremely wonderful dining experience here at Sushi Kashiba. The food was prepared with heart. The rice was exquisite, not overly seasoned, a little warm, and not mushy or too hard- you could feel almost each grain as you took a bite. This was on the pricier side for the omakase at $95 but it was worth each penny and it also wasn't the most expensive one I've tried. If you're not into the omakase, the set dinner menus would be perfect for a bit of a affordable price.

As for service, it started off a bit off-putting. As we ordered, our server didn't acknowledge when my mom ordered and when she repeated herself after everyone else, he rudely replied ' I know what you ordered' and he definitely had a snooty attitude which instantly made me not like how he was as a server. Then came our sushi and everything was great until our second plate came with the salmon. He mixed the King Salmon and Sockeye Salmon up and for me, working in seafood and being pretty knowledgeable about food in general, I corrected him or more so asked in a question "isn't it the other way around?" and he was unsure and had to go back to the sushi bar to ask the chef only to come back to tell me I was right. As a server, he should be more knowledgeable about what each fish is because this place already has such a high standard behind Kashiba's name. It also makes me questions if the other fish he named off were right, more so for the ones I didn't quite remember.
I could also here his loud conversation over at the bar which isn't exactly next to our table and I heard some things about his personal life. Apart from those instances, he was good at checking back with us and refilling our tea, but the other busboy who came by to refill our waters actually checked up on us more than our actual server.

Despite that whole segway, if you are in Seattle and would like to have a delicious dining experience, then you have to check out this place. It is too good to miss. I definitely want to go back and actually have the sushi bar experience, so one day I'll have to wait in line. Call ahead to make reservations, especially on busier days/times!

Readers, do you like sushi. Have you ever had an omakase experience before? What is your favorite type of sushi? Let me know!

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