What the Edmonds community has done to emphasize inclusion and diversity in the culinary arts is nothing short of amazing. And rare. Merchants here don’t keep to themselves; they connect with other merchants/artisans to provide you with the best, and they aren’t above recommending — or sourcing — goods and services from their colleagues, aka the competition, down the street. Because in Edmonds, life isn’t competition, it’s life.
That same commitment certainly applies to the vast array of ethnic eateries around town, mostly in the International District — a condensed neighborhood of mom ‘n pop shops, herbal and acupuncture clinics, and authentic restaurants and Asian markets centrally located along Highway 99.
Almost every ethnicity and culture is represented here, up to and including Japan, one of the earliest influences in the American diet.
The International District’s landscape constantly changes, as more and more mom ‘n pops arrive, looking for a fresh start and a way to share their beloved heritage. So, start with this handy list of Japanese restaurants and by all means, keep looking for more, as they pop up.
Count on Sushi Moto Japanese Restaurant, 22618 Pacific Hwy. 99, for reliable, tasty sushi made to order, gyoza, teriyaki, katsu, tempura, udon, bento, and the lesser-known dishes, zaru soba, donburi (rice bowls), hot pots, and more. Be sure to put negi-hama and special Moto lobster rolls on the top of your order list.
Lucky for us, Seattle sushi master Ryuichi Nakano (Kisaku, I Love Sushi) moved up to Edmonds at 111 4th Ave. N. to help executive chef/entrepreneur Shubert Ho (The MAR•KET, Salt & Iron, Bar Dojo, Fire and The Feast) and his partner Andrew Leckie open up SanKai (mountain/sea) in 2019.
Lovely to behold, and lovelier to eat, Nakano-san's omakase (chef’s choice) style restaurant defies the ordinary.
Order from the omakase section first — Nakano-san knows what he’s doing — then work your way up to the rest of the menu, roll by roll, sashimi, plates, bowls, sweets, and drinks (sake, shochu with soda, beer, spirits, wine). The Brackett’s Landing roll pays homage to the town’s founder, with a seafood concoction of yellowtail, flying fish roe, scallion, avocado, and seaweed salad.
Yua Ramen, 22511 Hwy. 99, #105, showed up last year before the pandemic, in the same strip mall as 99 Ranch Market and T&T Seafood. So far, so good. People love Yua’s “rich and salty” broth and chewy noodles. Order your ramen (ooh, green curry! Tan Tan, shio and shoyu, kimchee) to-go on your favorite delivery app. Ramen comes with thin or thick noodles, depending on the type. Add some awesome sides and appetizers; they offer quite a selection, like okonomiyaki, a loaded Japanese pancake, takoyaki (octopus balls), agedashi tofu (lightly fried soft tofu morsels in bonito broth), gyoza, karaage/honey garlic (fried chicken).