Food & Drink

Wabi-Sabi Sushi Restaurant Review

Fresh food in a comfortable, neighborhood dining place.

By Seattle Mag May 1, 2010


This article originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Seattle magazine.

Southenders (myself included) have had “sushi restaurant” on our wish lists for years. So when I heard Wabi-Sabi was the latest project from Thoa Nguyen (formerly of Columbia City, now living in the Central District) who serves tasty pan-Asian dishes at Chinoise Café and Thoa’s Restaurant & Lounge, I was heartened.

Could it be that we’d not only get sushi, but good sushi?

Nguyen’s restaurants aren’t known for their strict adherence to authenticity (in other words: Steer clear, sushi snobs), but that’s OK: The woman knows how to dish up vibrant, likeable, fresh food while creating a comfortable, neighborhood gathering place.

Both talents shine at Wabi-Sabi: A clean aesthetic—blond-wood benches, modern linen light fixtures, exposed-brick walls—welcomes neighborhood families whose kids dig happily into fragrant bowls of udon ($6) and tear into California rolls ($6) while Mom and Dad chopstick their way through tasty carpaccio-style tuna, salmon and suzuki (sea bass), the latter lightly dressed in yuzu ($16) before diving into nigiri (two pieces per order; $4.50 for ama ebi, $5 for scallop, $5.50 for hamachi).

I wouldn’t leave without indulging in a spicy scallop roll ($6) and the futomaki ($5) filled with sweet squash, egg, pickled radish and yamagobo (pickled burdock root). Is this destination sushi that’s worth the drive to Columbia City? Probably not. But trust me: We locals won’t mind the immediate gratification.

Lunch Tue.-Sat. dinner daily with wheelchair access. Columbia City, 4909 Rainier Ave. S 206.721.0212  $$ A.A.S.

Originally published in May 2010


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