October 21, 2011
Bethany's vegetable sushi and eggplant sushi, hold the egg.
The first time I ate at Kisaku, in Seattle's Tangletown neighborhood, I carefully ordered vegan sushi, and was surprised when the waitress brought me miso soup too, because it doesn't say anything about soup on the menu. The soup smelled like bonito flakes, and when I inquired, I was told that, yes, it contained the fish flakes. When I asked if I could have soup without fish, I was told no, so I politely declined the soup, and decided not to go back there again. Everyone around me was enjoying soup, and it didn't seem fair to pay the same price but not get soup. Not fair. Not fair. I was annoyed that they couldn't make miso soup without fish flakes.
The thing is, Kisaku is walking distance to my house, and such a beautiful place to eat, that I recently gave it another chance. YES! This time I could order the soup without fish. Yay. And there was also an excellent salad that I didn't remember. The soup and salad come with anything you order.
I ordered vegetable curry, which according to the menu, is flash fried assorted vegetables in curry sauce on a bed of rice, and contains no animals, so they say. Granted, it's the only vegan listing on the menu, but it's so delicious, with the creamy eggplant, crispy broccoli and other perfectly cooked veggies in a rich, fragrant curry sauce, I'm happy to keep ordering it. And I have — at least three times. Plus it comes on a fabulous handmade plate that I want very badly, almost as badly as I want more curry. The plates came from LA a very long time ago, and I've searched for something similar to no avail. So the only thing I can do is to keep going back to Kisaku.
Wouldn't you know it, Kisaku is right across the street from Mighty-O doughnuts, Seattle's premier vegan doughnut shop. The day these pictures were taken, I was with Bethany, and she needed a mighty-O fix. I was too stuffed with curry to have more than a tiny little mini-doughnut — not very photogenic — but I was happy to photograph her plate.
Update, March 2012: On my last return trip to Kisaku, I was told that all soup stock is prepared in advance and contains bonito flakes (fish), and it's not possible to order a vegan version. Interesting ...
Full disclosure: I purchased lunch on my own. Any restaurant reviews are totally independent and not at the request of the restaurant. All opinions are my own.