Happy accident: An Amazon return meant a trip to Alderwood Mall. Sad to see former favorite food establishments shuttered, my spirits lifted as I rounded the corner. A new sushi spot — Bitty Fish Sushi — recently opened in the location formerly occupied by Blue C Sushi. I had to investigate and share with readers.
The company says on its website there are two kinds of sushi lovers: those who want it every once in a while, for special occasions and those who crave it every day. Bitty Fish is squarely in the “every day” camp. They have created a restaurant to ensure sushi lovers can experience great sushi and other Japanese cuisine favorites as often as desired without breaking their budget.
On the menu I noted that most “regular-sized” selections are priced between $6 and $7. This in itself is great news, but I love to sample many items and I’ll bet many of our readers do too. I read further.
During my newest “dining inside the establishment” experience, I felt safe and comfortable with procedures as I watched items traveling around on the conveyer belt. Minimum contact — these little plates (covered by clear lids) carry delicately-crafted sushi; patrons simply take plates off the belt, a little taste of anything you want.
More about the parade of small plates: Bitty Fish Sushi’s custom-made RFID tracking technology prevents any plate of food on the conveyor belt to stay past its prime. Masked and gloved staff in the center of this maze, load food items onto the belt. When signaled by the system, swiftly remove any item that has traversed the route beyond the optimum taste window.
In the “COVID-challenged” restaurant businesses, the RFDI technology, coupled with the delivery system of the beltway of plates, ensures that restaurant patrons have the ability to select food items with a minimum of interaction with order takers and servers. Here is a link for those interested in learning more.
The company’s philosophy is simple: “Our ingredients mean everything. This is why our entire selection of sushi uses only Grade A ingredients from our fish, to our nori, and even down to the vinegar used in our sushi rice.”
Every single item on the belt is priced at $3.50. Not just the “Bitty plates” but sashimi, nigiri, gunkan, and a huge list of rolls. Cue up “I’m in heaven…”
Where to begin? I spotted encouragement on Bitty Fish’s Facebook page a few days ago — to “Get my Green on” and try the Spinach Gomae. Lightly steamed spinach, fashioned into sushi rolls, was refreshing and the sweet sesame sauce will hook you too. This item and a generous serving of crisp and vinegary cucumber salad comprised our starter course.
My dining companion, at first mesmerized by the choices, quickly fell into the rhythm of picking off items; soon we had a table top crowded with clear plastic lids and dishes.
Beginning with sashimi, ahi tuna, king salmon, the pure bits of fish, then on to nigiri, more fresh pieces of seafood pressed over vinegared rice and lastly the rolls — California rolls, crunchy crab salad wrapped up with avocado, cucumbers and a spicy eel sauce, fresh veggies — literally a salad wrapped in nori sheets and sliced into bite-sized pieces, spicy tuna…We were in heaven, no question.
Next we selected some of the hot items: sesame noodles dressed in a tasty sauce and decorated with shreds of carrot and daikon, plus gyoza — pork and vegetable types accompanied by cups of delicious garlic soy dipping sauce.
And readers, you’ll be shocked to hear — I didn’t have dessert. Tempted by plates of tiny brownies, fresh fruits and cream puffs, for sure, but my capacity and taste buds were sated.
We noted a nice selection of drinks: ginger beer, lemongrass lemonade, Ramune Japanese soda, plus Japanese beers and a stunning selection of Ginjo brand premium sake. I hope to enjoy these at a future visit when comfortable to linger longer at the table and sip slowly.
All of the items offered on the belt and larger portions on menu, as well as custom orders, are offered for pickup at their door. Toasttab.com online ordering is user friendly and offers photos on the majority of items to make the selection process smooth.
Entertained by the green, yellow and red flashes of light we observed as we pulled plates from the conveyor, throughout our meal, my companion wondered aloud how they’d calculate our bill at the end of the meal. “A charge for each of the green lights, well hmmm.”
Our server chuckled when we asked, and replied “We just count the empty plates.”
Whether you venture into the well-spaced and distanced seating at their establishment or choose to order “to go,” I recommend Bitty Fish Sushi, where one can enjoy a multitude of menu options and not spend an entire paycheck in the process.
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Good news for Mediterranean cuisine lovers: Gyro Crush, located at 16911 Highway 99, Ste. 103 Lynnwood, is a new place (opened a few months ago), amid pandemic conditions, no less. They offer great-tasting grilled gyro meats in sandwiches and full meal plates, plus plenty of options for vegetarians.
We stopped by to order food for home dining. Between lunch and dinner, the interior was empty so I hung out to watch staff prepare our meals. It was obvious that a great deal of care goes into each dish and sandwich. The hummus, pita, and vegetables taste super fresh, and applied in abundance to each menu item.
Light, flavorful falafel is a gift. The house-made falafel in our sandwich — crisp on the outside, still moist inside — delighted our non-meat eater. Technique is evident: I observed the “fried” menu items spend little time immersed in the oil. The results are delicious.
Our Greek fries had pleasing texture and stood up well to the creamy toppings and Feta cheese, still crunchy at home after a 20-minute trip in the car.
Chicken Shawarma was recommended by a friend. (Readers please note that chicken on the spit roast at any gyro purveyor is unusual in itself — most have the lamb/beef combination.) A full dish comes with salad, hummus and grilled chicken on rice and pita bread. It’s a perfect combination to order if ravenous, but the sandwich alone includes a generous amount of greens and cukes, and very satisfying. I loved theShawarma topped off with tangy, house-made tahini garlic sauce.
Our beef and lamb selections were equally tasty — seasoned to complement the meat in each sandwich.
Dessert — I can’t pass on baklava… ever. Pleased to smell the fragrant honey and butter, I bit into layers of crisp pastry and crunchy nuts. A great finish to a satisfying meal.
The Gyro Crush interior is newly remodeled and super clean, and will be a pleasant spot to dine inside, when one can have a sit-down meal again. Two sets of bistro table and chairs are located outside, if immediate dining is desired.
If you’ve been craving Mediterranean, check this place out, see if you develop a “crush” on Gyro Crush too.
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Let me circle back to the Alderwood Food scene. Alhough I mentioned the closure of a few dining spots, the majority of food purveyors and restaurants are still open-
Here are some the highlights, as of Thursday, Sept. 24:
Anthony’s Seafood Bar (Food Court)
Anthony’s Seafood Grill (near Lowe’s Cinema complex)
Braganza Tea Bar, (Village area)
Café Rio Grill, (Village area)
Cheesecake Factory, (Village area)
Claim Jumpers, (near Lowe’s Cinema complex)
PF Chang‘s China Bistro, (Village area)
For the full list of Alderwood retail, which includes food outlets, here is the link that connects you to current info, hours of operation and other info.
Readers: Have you spotted a new eatery? Please let me know so I can get out to taste and report back for everyone’s benefit.
Don’t be daunted by dining with masks, delivered food or other necessary divergences from the norm… It’s all good eating and our community business owners and their staff depend on our support to keep their doors open
— By Kathy Passage
A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the food and restaurant scene in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.