Sometimes people email me for restaurant recommendations. I always answer, and Slog commenters always have good suggestions too. Dani writes...
I've been reading Slog for ages, and now I am finally coming to Seattle! I was wondering if you have a recommendation for a sushi restaurant and a seafood restaurant (oysters in particular). I've heard good things about Shiro's but wonder if it's overrated? And my partner and I went to Neptune Oyster in Boston and were hoping there was an equivalent in Seattle.
I thought I saw on Slog that you said you answer all emails you get about recommendations, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
You are doing the right thing—your trip to Seattle is going to be great. Come and eat of our fishes and bivalves! YES!
You should absolutely go to Shiro's—we are incredibly lucky to have him. You might also try Sushi Kappo Tamura—it's very good and emphasizes sustainable fish. Maneki and Tsukushinbo are both Chinatown/International District classics—maybe not the tippy-toppest-quality fish, but both fun and good and wonderful. I've heard good things about (but am embarrassed to say I've never been to) Kisaku—go and tell me what you think! And here are all our recommended sushi spots, if you want to explore more.
I am not familiar with Neptune Oyster in Boston, but for oysters here in Seattle, you should go directly to the Taylor Shellfish Farms shop and to Elliott's on the waterfront (catch their oyster happy hour starting mid-afternoon, you're on vacation!). Oh! And Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar is also an adorable, kinda divey classic (and a good escape from the mayhem of Pike Place Market).
And for seafood in general, I'd say avoid the capital-S Seafood restaurants of Seattle—the lower-key seafood-centric places, as well as certain of our stellar regular restaurants, are making it way better than they are. You will need to go to both Westward and the Walrus and the Carpenter, as well as the latter's attached bar Barnacle (as in, you need to eat there too). Try the crudos at Anchovies & Olives, or whatever seafood they're serving at Mkt. (pronounced, absurdly, "Market"). For fish 'n' chips: Go to the venerable Pacific Inn and/or Pike Street Fish Fry (you can also eat their stuff at Moe Bar next door). And here are all our recommended seafood places for you to check out.
I wish I didn't live here so I could visit and be blown away by all this stuff for the first time... wait, that's not true, but you know what I'm getting at.