I NEVER KNOW what thrills I’ll thrill to when I walk into this pocket-sized Lynnwood cafe and commandeer one of only six seats at the sushi bar. (You might choose one of a handful of tables.) But whatever Tomokatsu Takayama is making, I’m taking. I let other customers order California roll-combos and tempura, while Taka-san scans his small fish case, then sets me up with whatever floats his boat. And that is when my ship comes in. One day he’ll build an elegant sashimi tower; scoop golden roe from a prickly sea urchin before placing it, quivering, over a thumbprint of rice; then offer up a pristine pair of Spanish mackerel. On another he’ll blend fresh sansho leaves into a vibrant green sauce, drizzling the pungent sauce over glistening white fish; pique my palate with icy wasabi-infused granita served in a pretty spoon; then hoist a heavenly hamachi-filled hand-roll over the counter while I try not to swoon. All this in a low-slung industrial strip mall? Hai!
– Nancy Leson, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/allyoucaneat/
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