Restaurant Review

I remember the first day I ate sushi. I was maybe 19, and the experience left me feeling a bit queasy. But I got over it.  I cook salmon, but otherwise I like my fish as close to swimming as possible.  Tacoma has a number of good sushi options.  One I’ve enjoyed since the day it opened was TwoKoi.  Back then it was owned by Jerry Hyman and an sushi chef named Jackie (who had been at Fujiya, another great downtown sushi spot). Jackie has now moved on, and now it is TheKoi (1552 Commerce Street Ste#100, Tacoma, WA 98402 - ), and is owned by Tim Bartz.  Well, Tim and his mom. The restaurant keeps many of the things I’ve always loved about TwoKoi – a great vibe, a really well designed interior space, and hugely complicated Western Sushi.  I have to admit I only kind of like Western Sushi – which feels a world apart from traditional Japanese Sushi.  Japanese Sushi uses just a few ingredients – usually just fish and sushi rice.  It is about freshness and healthy and clean flavors.  Western Sushi is, well, the western version of that – big rolls with avocados, tempura, sauces and fish everywhere – on the inside of the roll, on the outside of the roll – it is all about more, more and more more.  It is a lot of flavor all at once, and it is really pretty fun.  Anyway, TheKoi does this really well.  They also Japanese style sushi, but that’s not the point of TheKoi. The menu was recently redone, and they have a pretty enjoyable bunch of things I’ve never had – like “sexy edamame”, and “Hamachi kama” – grilled yellow tail cheek bone.  As a side note, I had a lovely chat with Tim, the owner, and he’d love to give back to the community – especially with some food deliveries for a shelter, perhaps.  He also owns a teriyaki place in Fife.  If you have some suggestions for how he can give back, give me a holler and I’ll connect you up with him.  Anyway, TheKoi is priced as you’d expect of good sushi restaurant.  But the kitchen execution is spot on, and the service was smart and well timed – something sadly lacking in many restaurants.  If I’m dropping serious dough for a nice meal, don’t even think about bringing the entrée until after I’m done with the appetizer – cause that’s how you lose your tip.  With sushi (or tapas), I just want a slow flow of dishes, and they do a great job of that at TheKoi.  Anyway, for that next special occasion, pop on down to TheKoi – your taste buds with thank you.

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