Seattle's Best Teriyaki, According to Chefs

By Leslie Kelly  |  July 25, 2014
Credit: Paola Thomas

Although teriyaki might be considered Seattle's signature dish, ordering it in a Japanese restaurant is the equivalent of getting chicken fingers at a nice American restaurant. But while many foodists snub the combination of sweet, salty and saucy grilled meat as unsophisticated or boring, there are some stellar renditions around town. We asked some of Seattle's best chefs which versions of teriyaki they can get behind and came up with a list of plates that are worth seeking out. 

1) Daniel's Broiler

For starters, there are nuanced takes at upscale venues, like Canlis and Daniel's Broiler's tenderloin, pictured at top, which made our list of 30 Dishes & Drinks That Define Summer in Seattle.  

2) Osaka Grill Teriyaki & Deli

Thierry Rautureau occasionally treats his kitchen crew — including Loulay's chef de cuisine, Rob Sevick, pictured below — to a sticky sweet pile of pork teriyaki. "I've been going to Osaka Grill Teriyaki & Deli near Pike Place Market for years. It's definitely a guilty pleasure," he said.


3) Sunny Teriyaki

Stacy Fortner, the pastry chef for Tom Douglas restaurants, said her top choice is influenced by convenience: "I go to Sunny Teriyaki because it's close to my house." LIke Rautureau, she goes for the pork teriyaki. "Who doesn't love to stop and get a dry, yet flavorful piece of grilled meat with rice and salad after a long day of work for less than $10 and that's ready in less than 10 minutes?"

4) Happy Teriyaki

The chef team behind wildly inventive Spur, Tavern Law and Old Sage don't feel a bit guilty admitting they're hooked on Happy Teriyaki: "Brian (McCracken) and I do lunch meetings there sometimes," said Dana Tough. "We like the bento combo."