Address: 2311 2nd Ave Seattle (map)
Overall Rating: 8.8 / 10pts
Located on the 2nd Ave part of fancy Belltown district, this place has a fairly large bar area that serves light appetizer dish as well as big dining area. The interior feels very modern and American, instead of traditional Japanese style. They do have sushi counters and a few customers do sit there, but most of the crowds are hipsters that come to enjoy the cool atmosphere and be hip about eating sushi. Someone told me that they sometimes have live music there.
I was surprised to find that 2/3 of their menu was all sushi. Of course, half of that was all fancy named rolls with avocados, cream cheese, tempura and mayo in it. I went with a Japanese friend of mine who was on a budget, so she tried to order rolls instead of nigiri, but she had a hard time finding a roll without those non-traditional items in it. We were shocked to find that one of the rolls had mangos in it (I just couldn't get myself to try that). On the other than, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had "daily special" area where they listed a few selection of fresh fish of the day. They also had chef's choice which went from $25, but here at Wasabi Bistro, you could order one piece of nigiri sushi at a time instead of having to get two sushi per order. The price ranged from $2.50 to $4 per one nigiri, which was reasonable. I ordered all from the daily special, including kampachi, which was one of the best I've had all season. The cut is nice and thick, without it being too big and had nice rich flavor. The only non-daily special I ordered was uni, which wasn't as good as the one I had at Village Sushi last week. But everything else tasted more crips and fresh (at least on the daily special).
Since 2/3 of their menu consists of sushi rolls or nigiri, they only have about a dozen selection of non-sushi item (even less if you don't include seafood). The Albacore Tataki was fresh and tasty, and I also enjoyed the large serving of "Chop Chop Chicken Salad with Wasabi Aioli Dressing" even though it didn't taste like anything you would find at a traditional Japanese restaurant.
Your service depends on how crowded the place is, but the waiting staff were quite knowledgeable about the fish in general, except they would tell me the names of the fish in English, which I had a hard time looking up the Japanese translation for on the menu, but I'm probably the minority on that one as people would rather hear "striped bass" instead of "suzuki." Overall, this is a safe place to go to impress your non-Japanese date, since it's fashionable and the selection, especially from the daily menu is fresh and tasty.