A luxurious interior welcomes men to Weldon Barber, which blends a warm, modern aesthetic with rustic accents, such as a fireplace tucked into a stone wall. While waiting for a cut or shave, guests sink into plush leather chairs and sip complimentary coffee, cola, or bottled water while feasting eyes on a flat-screen TV or a selection of men's magazines.
During signature haircuts—the shop’s bread and butter—stylists commence to pamper with a shampoo and a scalp massage before snipping away extraneous strands to craft a custom haircut inspired by a favorite celebrity or janitorial mop. A delicate detailing of brows, ears, and the nose eliminates rogue facial hairs, and a hot face towel and neck shave leave visages smooth. Clients can pair cuts with a timesaver or a signature shave to quickly and comprehensively free jawlines of five o’clock shadows. Throughout the entire andro-aesthetic adventure, stylists lavish clients with Aveda, Jack Black, and American Crew products.
At most sushi restaurants, there are the usual suspects and there are the specialty rolls. Indeed, Wasabi Bay spotlights nearly 25 specialties such as the popcorn lobster roll, a snow crab, avocado, and cucumber medley crowned with your choice of fried lobster or a popcorn kernel with claws.
But such specialties only skim the surface of Wasabi Bay's creative approach to sushi. The eatery's massive menu also features rice-free rolls, including a riff on a spider roll whose soft shell crab and jalapeno arrives wrapped in cucumber. Chefs even whip up a handful of baked and tempura rolls, such as a deep-fried California roll.
Don't let "deep-fried" scare you off—cooks only batter rolls in spinach juice tempura, one among Wasabi Bay's many health-conscious ingredients, such as black rice. Alongside sushi, the culinary team crafts other Japanese-inspired dishes, from shitake mushroom- and crab-filled dumplings to grilled salmon coated with raspberry teriyaki sauce.
Purple, green, orange, and white—N'Joy Sushi's so-called "Crazy" roll is a veritable explosion of colors. Its rainbow-like appearance is made possible by an ingredient list that includes tuna, cream cheese, and crab, all of which are wonderfully deep-fried. But this is just one of the specialty rolls at N'Joy Sushi, and it may not even be the most creative. The Heart Attack is also in the running, thanks to its winning combination of shrimp, spicy tuna, and jalapeños. And then there's the BSC, a standard California roll that's generously topped with baked scallops. The menu doesn't end with sushi—back in the kitchen, chefs cook entrees of grilled steak, short ribs, and salmon.
As a former export manager of Alaskan seafood, the sushi chef at Sushi Spott knows his fillets. Fresh catches fill the glass display case at the sushi bar, where nigiri sushi and hand rolls join specialty rolls such as the salmon-skin roll and the citrus-infused lemon roll, whose tuna, avocado, and salmon cannot be made into lemonade. Sushi Spott also dishes out chicken teriyaki, bento boxes, and other entrees amid the dining room's white pendant lamps and decorative Japanese screens.
The Japanese have plenty of words for different styles of dining, from omakase (chef’s selection) to izakaya (a Japanese pub with great food). But kappo might not be on the tip of many tongues. Legendarily rooted in Osaka starting in the 19th century, kappo dining puts the chef on display in the dining room, where diners can watch their meals form before their very eyes. Even better, there are no imaginary lines here between cook and customer: the other distinctive part of kappo are the many close interactions between the diners and chef, making it a learning experience for both parties.
You could say it’s the Japanese way, but here, more than anything it’s the Tamura way: creating a menu based on whatever fresh, local food chefs can obtain that day. With produce plucked from the rooftop garden or shrimp caught in Skagit Bay, chefs create a brand-spankin’-new menu every day. That means you may not have much control over what’s offered, but with the chefs’ degree of skill in the kitchen, that essentially doesn’t matter.
When Seattle Magazine named Sushi Kappo Tamura the Best New Restaurant in 2011, it lauded it’s sushi as the best in Seattle. That might seem like a big enough accomplishment in itself, but it’s not the only trophy in this restaurant’s case. Seattle Magazine readers’ choice voters agreed with the critics, deeming it Best Sushi in 2014. Travel + Leisure called it one of the Best Sushi Restaurants in the States. Maybe it’s the freshness of every ingredient or Kyoto-born chef Taichi Kitamura’s constant strive for perfection, but Sushi Kappo Tamura keeps racking up accolades that leave the rest of the pack lagging behind.