Tag Archives: teriyaki

Seattle Teriyaki Reviews: Yummy Teriyaki

Yummy Teriyaki
4746 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

This here is the first of hopefully dozens reviews of teriyaki restaurants found here in Seattle. I’m going to try to publish these primarily on Saturdays, when traffic is a little slower on the site, and the readers tend to be more from the Pacific NW. This is me giving back to my community.

I have to say that writing reviews on Saturday mornings is fraught with distractions. First, my head is full of cobwebs from sleeping in. The caffeine (in the form of a latte from the local cafe) has yet to fully take affect. Instead of the words jumping out from the page, they’ll more likely wave, or perhaps give a simply nod of acknowledgment.

It has been my experience that the great majority of teriyaki restaurant in the Seattle area work on two premises which can summed up in one sentence: We must sell cheap food served in as short of a time as possible. As “taste” or “quality” never really make it into consideration, I have found that there are teriyaki establishments so bad as to be comical. A discovery of an adequate teriyaki restaurant is akin to winning five dollars on a scratch off lottery ticket: It’s a little unexpected, but not unheard of, and in several days the experience will be forgotten.

Which brings me to Yummy Teriyaki. The oxymoronic phrase “perfectly mediocre” describes the place wonderfully. The reasons are listed below.

Chicken Teriyaki:
Chicken: (2.5 point) The chicken was charbroiled, which was good. It was also borderline dry, which was not good, but acceptable. It was rather apparent that the chicken had not been marinated in the sauce, but rather was dipped in the sauce after cooking.

Teriyaki Sauce: (3 points) The sauce was sweet but it was used sparingly. This could have worked if the chicken and rice tasted better. Since this was not case, it made the weakness of the chicken stand out, and there was little to no sauce left to mix with the rice.

Rice: (2.5 points) It was your typical white sticky rice. Sticky, but a little underdone, making it nearly crunchy.

Side Dishes: (4 points)It was a rather nice cabbage slaw, a nice turn from the iceberg lettuce salads that usually accompany teriyaki dishes.

Menu: (3 points)
It was a fairly standard menu. It did include the Korean dish Bulgogi, which typically indicates to me that this was not a “traditional” teriyaki restaurant.

Other Entrees: (2.5 points)
Tara had the Spicy Chicken, and found it not great, but acceptable. She also had the gyoza which was not made in house, but rather obviously started the day frozen.

Intangibles: (4 points) Service was good and the presentation of the food caught us off guard (in a good way).

Total score? 21.5 out of 35 possible for an average score of 3.1. See? Perfectly mediocre.

tags technorati : Chicken Teriyaki Seattle Teriyaki

How to Rate a Teriyaki Restaurant

If one to visit Seattle, one might notice that the most popular type of restaurant found in the area is not the ubiquitous franchised fast food joint, but rather the independently owned teriyaki Chicken stands. Often these places blend into the various urban commercial zones throught greater Seattle, hiding in various plazas and strip malls, or next to other more ‘sexy’ restaurants.

One may not realize just how many of these places exist until they sit down and count them. For example, within a 4 block radius from my home in West Seattle there are six teriyaki restaurants. As a comparison, within the same area there are three fast food restaurants, two pizza joints, and ten coffee shops.

Yes…ten coffee shops. I am not lacking for caffeine.

Tara and I have often asked the question “which teriyaki restaurant in the Seattle could be called ‘The Best’, or at least ‘Pretty Damn Good’?”. But teriyaki places are often ignored by the local food media. There are probably several good reasons for this, but it still leaves me with my question unanswered.

To that end, we’ve decided to go on our own little quest. We’re going to visit dozens of teriyaki restaurants and then rate them. By the end of the year, we should have a good idea on what criteria makes a good teriyaki joint and which places meet those criteria.

Here are our ground rules:

  1. We have to eat at the restaurant. No take out.
  2. I have to order Chicken Teriyaki. Nothing else except for a drink.
  3. Tara has to order something other than Chicken Teriyaki.

Here are the aspects of the meal which we will rate:

Chicken Teriyaki:
Chicken: (0 – 5 points) Was the chicken moist? Fresh? Or was it rubbery and tasteless?

Teriyaki Sauce: (0 – 5 points) How was the chicken to sauce ratio? Was the sauce too thick or too sweet?

Rice: (0 – 5 points) Sticky? Has it been sitting out for a while? Does it complement the chicken and the sauce?

Side Dishes: (0 – 5 points)
What other foods were served with the Chicken Teriyaki? How tasteful were the dishes?

Menu: (0 – 5 points)
Did the restaurant have an extensive menu or did they have a limited selection of options for those not in the mood for chicken teriyaki?

Other Entrees: (0 – 5 points)
Did the other menu options meet or exceed the quality of the Chicken Teriyaki? Was the food good?

Intangibles: (0 – 5 points) Was there something that the restaurant offered that set it apart from other similar businesses?

Expect the teriyaki posts to start in two weeks or so, as I’ll be out of Seattle next week.

Technorati Tags: Teriyaki Restaurants, Restaurant Reviews