Green star Sushi Kappo Tamura (Eastlake)

2968 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 547-0937

Sushi Kappo Tamura owner/sushi chef Taichi Kitamura has an excellent resume: He trained with Belltown's rightfully revered Shiro, then later helmed popular Chiso in Fremont, as well as upstairs Chiso Kappo, a pricey 10-seat omakase place (which has since closed). Now on Eastlake, Kitamura is emphasizing sustainable fish. The space is tastefully restrained, and the sushi is among the best in town. Commensurately, the prices are on the high side, and the pieces of fish are not huge; it's easy to spend a lot here. (Beware: The small plates, while good, add up especially fast; same with the sake.) But sit at the bar and demonstrate open-mindedness, and you're likely to get some special stuff.
Hours: Tue–Sun 5–10 pm
Categories: Bar, Restaurant

Restaurant Details

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The Stranger's Reviews of Sushi Kappo Tamura


Average Rating:
  • 3.50000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (2) RSS

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I wanted to like this place. I wanted to add it to my extremely short list of best sushi places in Seattle, but after three disappointing visits, Tamura has been relegated to the set of things I avoid in life along with Stephanie Meyer novels and Nickelback albums.

Compared to its price-equivalent peers Tamura falls flat on many dimensions. Tamura is like a 20ish year old girl that thinks they're the hottest thing in the crowd but in reality has bad breath and daddy issues. In short Tamura thinks it's something it's not and here's why:

The cuts are few and generally quite small but generally flavorful. The variety though is somewhat disappointing. Omaksase at a high end sushi restaurant doesn't mean just load a plate with gobs of tuna and salmon and call it good, but that's been my consistent experience here so far. The attention to detail in presentation is also disappointing. A few scraps of daikon on a bare wooden plank doesn't really cut it. A bit of seaweed salad and some cucumber and maybe a bit of fried Mackarel would go a long way. Still I have to admit that for what little fish I received, the quality was good and the real fresh wasabi is a nice touch.

The wait staff is indifferent to somewhat rude -- though my experience has always been with the same particular server who seems as happy working there as she would be locked up in a Turkish prison. At times it feels like the waitstaff thinks it's doing me favor just by waiting on me. Service is generally slow and not the kind of slow where you don't feel rushed -- more like 'I've lost my buzz from those two martinis' slow. Interactions are generally impersonal and brusk which is fine for a grab and go type place but when you're paying $50 a plate…

The menu, while relatively complete doesn't offer anything adventurous or interesting -- just your basics at marginally inflated prices. The miso soup is ok but served with fried tofu that has to be eaten separately with chop sticks. I ordered a creme brule dish for dessert that hadn't been reheated properly. At one point I've been denied a chef's choice omakase point because they were too busy to prepare the dish, so the very much not Japanese waitress selected the cuts herself. Oh and the edamame isn't complimentary either -- though I think they'll throw in the salt for free.

For as much as Tamura portrays itself as an authentic sushi establishment, it doesn't attract an authentic crowd. I've never seen any Japanese patrons at this place and come to think of it, on the three occasions I've been there I don't think I've seen any asians in there at all. Is this a conspiracy or just a reflection that there are several better high end places out there? Even Art Bell wouldn't buy into that one.

Do yourself a favor and head elsewhere for your high end sushi needs. Shiro's, Umi, Wasabi Bistro, or Nishino's will all give you a better experience for your hard earned money. If you are a masochist and still want to try Tamura be my guest, but I think you'll find better ways to have strangers inflict pain on you on Craig's List.
Posted by chim on January 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this

Amazing and Fresh

This place is fantastic.
Posted by fennec fox on April 30, 2011 at 3:29 PM · Report this

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Sushi Kappo Tamura
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