Now Open: Kado no Mise
On the ground floor of the original Origami (though you won’t recognize it), the bright and open Kado no Mise is the first phase of chef Shigeyuki Furukawa’s Japanese restaurant complex, which will include the opening of Kaiseki Furukawa on the upper floor in the next month or so. More on that in a bit.
Translating to “corner restaurant”, Kado no Mise is a casual-upscale restaurant offering sushi, nigiri, and other Japanese dishes that hew to the Edomae style, which refers to the cooking in Tokyo where Shige was trained. It’s simple, delicate, finely crafted food made with the highest quality ingredients available. There will be no Philly rolls or spicy mayo here. The space seems a perfect match for this kind of clean, elegant, elemental eating. Lake tone chairs, softened woods, open brick, simple design, and lots of white space lend to the zen feel.
Lunch will be different from dinner. “We wanted to give the neighborhood something fun, but fast enough so it could fit in their schedules,” said co-owner John Gross, who is also a partner in Upton 43. They remove the seats from the sushi counter so people can step up and order from a brief menu of temari sushi balls, soba & udon noodles in dashi broth, or donburi rice bowls. You can make a combo tray or order a la carte, then grab a table in the space or take it to go.
Dinner is full service with seating along street-side windows or at the fully stocked bar, as well as at dining room tables and along the sushi bar. “We lowered the level of the sushi bar on the kitchen side so there could be more eye-to-eye interaction,” Gross told me. Shige and his crew were dressed in fine Tokyo style, with starched white coats, hats, and ties.
Shigoku Oyster: Cold and plump Northwesters with just a little icy brightness on top.
Hotaru Ika Nuta: Tiny little firefly squid, not bigger than a thumb, with a sweet mustard miso sauce. They’re called firefly for their phosphorescence in the wild.
Agedashi Tofu (on left): Softly fried and served in dashi broth, with dancing bonito flakes on top.
Chawanmushi (on right): One of my favorite things is this delicate savory steamed egg custard with little bits of chicken on the bottom.
Chasoba: I wish you could really see the captivating green of these matcha-buckwheat noodles. They are served with a nest of tempura fried veggies that you add and dunk and slurp.
Sushi: There were some wowsers with geoduck and big fin squid sushi, plus the fatty bluefin tuna toro that everyone loves. Do note, behind the plate you can see the soy sauce dish, which is served with a small brush for painting it on the fish, which is preferred for this style. For me, I’m happy not to have to dunk.
The sake list is strong and the wine list has some of the best menu writing around. Cocktails were designed by the Tattersall crew, who also happen to be aging some soy sauce in barrels for these guys.
The upstairs Kaiseki, which is a more formal dining practice centered on exquisitely crafted plates served in a ritualized coursing, is under construction with plans to be open in a month. The space upstairs will also include a whisky bar stocked with some Japanese gems, I’m told. Color me ready. Until then, I’ll happily take a seat at Kado no Mise and dig on some firefly squid.