I Dream of Shiro’s Sushi





Not so very long ago (say, last week), I didn’t get sushi. Chunks of raw fish or eel or squid or sea urchin? Good for aquariums and not for my belly, says I! Oooo how very wrong I was.

Gone are my days of California rolls and a pouty lip when friends suggest a meal of nigiri. Bring on the raw fish! Particularly if it’s salmon and even more particularly if it’s made by the genius sushi chefs at Shiro’s Sushi in Seattle.

Before being introduced to Shiro’s (thanks, Cath and Troy!), I always thought sushi-lovers were a bit hyperbolic in their love of the stuff. How can cold fish and clumps of rice be satisfying? Turns out I was just eating on the wrong coast. I think I’ll always be an east coast girl through and through. unless I’m eating sushi. Oh heaven!

When we sat down at the sushi bar, Cath and Troy confidently said “Omakase!” I ducked my head down (keeping the planks of raw squid and fish out of eyesight) and looked for the words “roll” and “vegetable” on the menu. When I handed my checked-off menu to the chef, he looked at me (I swear there was a twinkle in his eye) and he said “you let me know if you want anything else as we go along.” And thank goodness!

By the end of the night I was a full-fledged omakaser after watching Cath and Troy chopstick mouthful after mouthful of intriguing-looking delights. For those of you who don’t know, omakase basically means you entrust your menu to the chef, so s/he’ll make you whatever is fresh and most delicious. I love the idea of putting your gustatory trust in the hands of a virtuoso sushi chef. There’s something wholy (and holy) satisfying in surrendering yourself to what is beautifully presented before you. That mean that sometimes you get sea urchin (still scares me a bit), but it also means you get a salmon nigiri that melts in your mouth like warmed butter and pure joy.

Another part of the beauty of omakase is that you don’t just get a big ole plateful of sushi in your lap at once. The chef hand-rolls each nigiri, so you wait every few minutes in between these melt-in-your-mouth mini monuments of delight (now who’s hyperbolic?!). And while you wait, you can chat to the chef and your fellow diners. Suddenly the meal is more than just food, it’s about a relationship to what you are eating and who you are eating with.

Have you guys seen the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”? If you haven’t, do! I think it’s on Netflix at the moment. I watched it many months ago before my personal sushi enlightenment last week and it gave me an inkling of what I experienced at Shiro’s.

Now tell me, have you guys always been sushi lovers or did it take you a while to come around to it? If you are a sushi lover where is the best place you’ve had sushi? I now feel like I should move to California or the PNW just so I can always drift away into omakase bliss whenever I need to.


Dear Cath,

Thank you so much to you and Troy! I really never understood you guys when you would go on and on about good sushi in LA. I really don’t think it makes sense until you have amazing sushi. So much of my sushi life has been from grocery stores and subpar sushi places. I still will be partial to vegetable rolls when I’m in those places, but I’ll always be yearning for the real thing.

I think that tamagoyaki is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life. And unlike most desserts where the sugar leaves you craving more and more, this was such a perfect balance just as it was. Not more. Not less. Perfection.

You guys basically are responsible if Matt and I end up moving out to the west coast.

Love you like tamagoyaki,



Update to our readers:

Lar wrote this post before her surgery last week so I figured I should include an update on her progress. On Friday she had to go back into the hospital because she was developing an abscess from the surgery and had a high fever. The good news is the doctors were able to drain the infected area before it got really bad, but it has made the recovery process more drawn out. Lar is still in the hospital, but should be released early this week. I’ll keep you all posted and just want to thank you again for all of your wonderful words of support.

xoxo, Cath




20 thoughts on “I Dream of Shiro’s Sushi”

  1. I love you both and promise to buy you whatever raw or under cooked food you want once this hospital mess is behind you. xoxo

  2. Oh, Lar, I’m so sorry! It makes me sad to think of you suffering. I hope you have many more sushi trips to make up for all the health woes. Hang in there and heal.

    1. Thanks for the support, Amy! Fingers crossed, Lar should be released tomorrow and I’m hoping the worst of it is past her. Now she just has to suffer through another few days of super strong antibiotics.

      xoxo, Cath

      1. Fingers crossed that she is indeed released tomorrow! I once had to take a long cure of strong antibiotics and it really messed up my digestive tract after I was done and my doc recommended taking probiotics pills to help the “good” bacteria ballance themselves. It really helped for me and know that there are many different types of antibiotics, but thought I’d pass it along just in case.

        1. Thanks for the tip! Lar’s husband actually already went online and ordered some great (read: really expensive) probiotics for her. I hear they work wonders!

  3. Oh man, sorry to hear that about Lar, i wish her a very speedy recovery from here on out!
    And that sushi sounds yum! I wonder if any of the sushi restaurants here (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) do an Omakase “menu”. Will have to look into that. As for my fave sushi place – I’d say it’s a joint spot between a restaurant in my parents’ town and a hotel sushi restaurant in Nha Trang, Vietnam (of all places).
    Silly fact that made me laugh – in Dutch and German “Oma” means grandma and “käse” means cheese in German

    1. It’s a cheese grandma – hahaha! A lot of higher end sushi restaurants do Omakase. I know of at least one in Atlanta so surely there’s one in Amsterdam. Let me know if you find one!

  4. What??? You were a sushi novice? How did I not know this! Omakase is the only way to go (at a good sushi restaurant, of course.) It’s so much fun! So glad to hear that your gut has opened up to it! I’ll have to take you to a place Gene and I like to go.

    And I’m so sorry to hear about Lar. Thinking about you both!

    1. I’ve been trying to get Lar hooked on sushi for the longest time. I had pretty much given up and owe it all to Shiro’s for her turnaround 🙂

      What are your favorite sushi places in Atlanta? Hayakawa is my favorite!

      – Cath

  5. I am so sorry to hear that Lar had to go back to the hospital. I really hope that she will get better very soon. I’m sending good thoughts to you all! Please keep us posted!

    Now I’ll take a plane to cross half the Globe just to try those sushi in Seattle!!! Until now I was not a big fan of sushi (I usually ordered maki) but I guess I just have been in the wrong places. I’ll definitely have to look for the best sushi restaurants in Paris!

    1. Hi Celine!

      You MUST try Pacific coast sushi! We have one good place in Atlanta, but it does not compare to anything I’ve had on the west coast of the states. Let me know if you do find a great sushi restaurant in Paris. Trust me, it’ll be worth the search!

      xoxo, Cath

  6. 1) how are you not obsessed with sushi? i can’t get enough.and this place looks AMAZING!
    2) i’ve heard of that documentary. i need to watch it asap!
    3) i gotta say, my heart sunk a little when i read that you are back in the hospital. i hope you are well soon.back and better than ever! hang in there girl!!! xoxoxo

    1. Hi Diane,

      I still find it amazing that Lar is now just discovering the wonderfulness that is sushi. I’m so glad her eyes have finally been open. I think the doc is still on Netflix and it’s awesome. I made all of my friends watch it after I saw it for the first time.

      Right now it looks like Lar will be getting discharged from the hospital tomorrow afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed!

      xoxo, Cath

  7. !!! Sushi is the best! I am so happy that you got “converted” to all the yumminess that is sushi. I love seafood, most especially if it’s good quality. I think I was spoiled by growing up in the Philippines where we buy live fish from the markets, and then living in Alaska pretty much solidified my seafood snobbery. 😉

    I loved Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It’s a very mesmerizing and well done documentary!

  8. i still don’t love it, but my husband does. i don’t mind eating it, but it’s definitely not at the top of my list. i am intrigued by jiro dreams of sush.i and it makes me wonder if i just never had the right one.

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