MILL CREEK, Wash. — You can find Toshi's Teriyaki shops throughout Puget Sound, but Mill Creek is the only place where you'll find Toshi Kasahara, who some call the Godfather of Seattle Teriyaki.
It was 1976 when Kasahara moved here from Japan and introduced Seattle to Teriyaki, inadvertently starting a teriyaki craze.
"I always wanted to have my own business and I knew how to cook teriyaki," Kasahara said.
Watching Toshi in the kitchen at Toshi's Teriyaki Grill in Mill Creek is like watching a conductor command a stage.
And what's special about his teriyaki, he says, isn't complicated.
"It's a simple recipe. I can't disclose everything." Kasahara shared. "But garlic, ginger, marinated and the way I cook."
Kasahara keeps his menu simple as well. It contains fewer than ten items, but each one is made with care and packed with flavor.
In the 2022 Best of Western Washington viewers poll, voters selected Toshi's for Best Teriyaki.
Regulars say the meat is tender and the flavors are consistent.
It's been 47 years since he introduced this city to what would ultimately be a new fast food.
And after this Best of Western Washington Award, Toshi isn't in a hurry to slow down.
"That's the reason I stay in business, when I hear compliments from people," Kasahara shared. "It motivates me to stay in business."