SEATTLE - As one of the best sushi chefs in Seattle, Taichi Kitamura spends most of his days hard at work in his Eastlake restaurant, Sushi Kappo Tamura. But when he wants to go out and eat, sushi is the last thing on his mind.
"Well I make sushi all day at my restaurants. On my day off I like to go to a good quality restaurant but a casual restaurant," Kitamura said.
One of his favorite places for lunch is Yoroshiku in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, where according to Kitamura, they do ramen right.
"Raman takes a while to make. So they actually close one day a week in this restaurant just to prepare the broth because it take 20 hours to make it," said Kitamura. "I like to eat Shio Ramen which is their salt based chicken stock, very basic standard ramen. I love it cause it's their original unlike other franchise restaurants. This is something you can only get in Seattle in Wallingford."
For some of the best Asian food in the city, Kitamura heads not to the International District, but Capitol Hill.
"So I'm at Monsoon on Capitol Hill. They offer fantastic Vietnamese Chinese cuisine using local seasonal, the best ingredients you can think of in Seattle," said Kitamura. "I like to order the Drunken Chicken. It's deep fried and very lightly battered chicken thigh meat seasoned perfectly. Crunchy, juice inside. This is one dish I cannot make at home - Stir Fried Chow Mein', perfectly executed. The smell of the high heat of the wok. This is the best stir fried noodle in Seattle in my opinion. Beautiful Dungeness it's absolutely delicious. Again this is simply prepared very well executed. It's messy but it's totally worth making a mess for," said Kitamura.
Kitamura admits he's partial to Asian food, but even he craves a good old fashion American burger. too.
"So we're at Red Mill Burger at their newest location at the Ballard Locks. They do great hamburgers and fish and chips. My favorite is a Verda burger and their famous onion rings," said Kitamura. "The Verda burger has roasted peppers and jack cheese in it and to me it's the perfect balance of flavor. Onion rings are super crunchy, they fry them in peanut oil. I don't know what they put in it, but they're delicious."