The fact that Seattle has a wealth of Pacific seafood is no surprise, and even though I enjoyed some beautiful, unadulterated bites during my #2daysinseattle tour of duty, it wasn’t until my final meal in the Emerald City that I found true oceanic bliss. That experience took place at Sushi Kappo Tamura, chef Taichi Kitamura’s sleek Eastlake sushi bar that resides in an industrial chic mixed-use building two blocks from Lake Union, more or less underneath the I-5 bridge. Even though I enjoyed most dishes during our omakase meal ($100 per person), my favorite plate ended up being the starter, oysters on the half shell.
Okay, the plate was actually an ice-lined slice of bamboo, which cradled a row of clean-tasting, mildly briny Shigoku oysters. Chef Kitamura graced the oysters with tangy, savory housemade ponzu, chile, scallions he grows on the building’s rooftop, and first-of-the-season chum salmon roe from Okinawa. Chum, euphemistically called keta, gets a bad rap in the seafood world, and even got mocked on the Seattle-based season of “Top Chef,” but according to chef Kitamura, the fish are prized for their roe, which added some figurative and literal pop to a great dish that proved to bode well for the rest of my meal.