Bento Box at I Love Sushi (Bellevue, WA)

On the Eastside, I Love Sushi is one place to get good sushi. While the chefs may not bask in the fame of the big names in Seattle, they quietly go about their business of making praiseworthy sushi which reflects extensive training in Japan, a rarity in this age of cookie-cutter sushiya. There are two locations, one on Lake Union in Seattle, the other here on Lake Bellevue. While sushi has always been the main attraction, I used to go there for excellent udon. Their broth was second to none, the noodles an example of what glorious heights they can achieve. As I said in my previous post, I was surprised to discover that the old location had been torn down to make way for new construction, only to find out later that the restaurant had moved to new digs nearby. Yesterday at lunchtime, I once again went to the new location for udon, and again, my udon lust was not to be satisfied; it is no longer served at the Bellevue location (Seattle still offers it).

I suppose I could’ve elected to have one of the lunch menu’s many sushi plates or sat at the long sushi bar that impressively overlooks the lake, but the chicken bento box called out to me. And what an impressive combination it was (☆☆☆½). Though the chicken is advertised as being grilled, it seemed simmered instead in a light dashi base hinting of a touch of lemon juice. The chicken thighs were tender, thickly cut, and served atop shredded iceberg lettuce. What sushi I did get made an appearance as four slices of a fine spicy tuna roll. Also impressive was a poke salad of very fresh tuna, yellowtail, salmon, cucumber and red onion tossed in a sesame oil dressing. As if these weren’t enough, tempura (fried in rice bran oil) of shrimp, garnet yam, kabocha and zucchini was exemplary—the batter light and crispy, almost greaseless.

I’ll have to get my udon fix elsewhere.

I Love Sushi
23 Lake Bellevue Drive
Bellevue, WA 98005

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