Break Away from Boring Eating Habits at Issian in Seattle

Break Away from Boring Eating Habits at Issian in Seattle

Issian SeattleEver get stuck in a rut? You know, the one where you go to the same places and eat the same food off the menu with each visit?

Yeah. Me too.

Issian- SeattleWhat’s worse is that we are letting Dek get stuck in his ways as well. We need to get more proactive about pushing his food boundaries again. I’m tired of packing snacks when we are headed out for a good meal.

This past weekend I decided to take charge of the situation. We were set to meet friends for dinner. I was about to propose our favorite Puerto Rican place. As chance would have it I was out running errands that morning and drove by a spot I had been eyeing for over a year. A little Japanese stone grill restaurant.

Tonight was the night.

Issian - SeattleI called my friend and told her to meet us at Issian, a restaurant in the Wallingford neighborhood in Seattle. We were going to spread our wings, jump out of our old eating habits and try someplace new.

Tonight we would pick up our chopsticks once again.

Dek generally loves most Japanese menu items. It is the one thing we can count on…usually. Some days he gobbles up everything we put in front of him. Other days he won’t touch a bite.

He really does like to keep us on our toes.

We didn’t order anything extra for Dek or that was “kid approved.” Mike and I just looked at the menu with our friends and figured out what we all wanted to have. If Dek ate nothing I would cross that bridge when we got to it. For now I would keep my fingers crossed and offer him a bite of everything.

The kid was up to the challenge.

Dek ate gyoza for the first time at Issian. It’s not that we hadn’t put it in front of him before; he just hadn’t wanted to try it. The same happened with edamame. The idea always appealed to him but he would just take one bite and then spit it out. This time he gobbled them up. And he was just getting started.

Dek devoured our order of yakitori (grilled chicken on a very pointy stick- how fun!) and needed a second helping to finish up his dining experience.

As the night wore on we were all pretty impressed with how much Dek was inhaling, but to be honest, we were too busy gorging ourselves as well to give him much praise.

YakitonOur meal started off with a round of gyoza and edamame, quickly followed by a few orders of yakiton (Kurobuta pork belly). We arrived during happy hour and the $1 prices weren’t holding us back from over ordering. The pork belly wasn’t too fatty or chewy. The seasoning was perfect.

It was so delectable that we decided we would order four more for dessert.

Issian rolle and Volcano rollUp next was the sushi course. Mike and I love traditional sushi but decided to give the house specialty, the Issian roll (Sukiyaki beef and lettuce) a try. I’ve never had a meat roll before. I was sure glad this was my first. I don’t think any other place could compare to this mouth-watering goodness.

Issian specializes in Ishiyaki, meaning stone grill. It was the traditional way of cooking done by the Tsushima Island fishermen. This style of food preparation on a very hot stone leaves the meat juicy and soft. No smoke is involved in the process, leaving the true taste of the meat to play the leading role in the performance on your palate.

I’ll be ordering a hot stone for our house so all of our meat can be cooked on it from now on. Why have a never had this before!

Our orders of King salmon with green onion sauce and Duck no Robata Yaki (duck breast with green onion sauce) on a bed of greens cradled in a rice cup melted in the mouth. A honey flavored dressing topped the greens leaving us no choice but to demolish this edible bowl and all it held inside.

King salmon with green onion sauceUnfortunately our final course of the evening, the beef filet mignon with Issian sauce, had mushrooms draped along the side, something we did not know about in advance. I’m allergic to mushrooms so it was up to Mike to finish this plate off. You can just imagine how much he complained about this turn of events. Dek did give him a hand. Way to take one for the team boys.

beef filet mignon with Issian sauceSpeaking of Dek, there was nothing that we put in front of him that he didn’t eat or spit back out. He was in heaven. He got to eat what four other adults were eating while his brother Ty, the boy with no teeth yet, slept happily in his car seat throughout the entire meal.

We were all pleasantly surprised by our experience. When we first walked into the restaurant we were the only ones there. Mike and I tend to forget that we are now on the early bird special time line with kids that have early bed times.

By the time we left the place was hoppin’. There was even a wait to get a table. I was so glad we arrived early. We didn’t feel rushed. Each “course” was brought out at the perfect time.

Four adults were able to talk, savor a meal, and watch a toddler give his taste buds a stretch. I’d say we were beginning a rather tasty journey out of our boring food habits.

Food Find

  • Issian Japanese Stone Grill, 1618 N 45th Street, Seattle (Wallingford neighborhood)
  • Open 7 days a week
    • Lunch: 12:00pm- 2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays
    • Happy Hour: 4:30-6:30pm everyday. Deep discounts on select food items and beverages.
  • Dinner: 4:30pm-10:00pm (Mon-Thurs), 4:30pm-11:30pm (Fri-Sat) and 4:30pm-9:00pm (Sun)
  • Kid-friendly? Yes! Booster seats and high chairs are available. Wait staff is very friendly and patient. 

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    written by Keryn Means

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    10 comments

    1. Everything looks delicious! And good for your little one for lapping it all up! We took the same strategy with our kids when they were small — ordering lots of different foods and letting them eat whatever they wanted to try. They often surprised us by the adventurous things they’d choose!

    2. I applaud you for exposing Dek to a broad range of foods. Food education and variety are critical to fighting the obesity plague. It’s just so easy to keep feeding our kids the deep fried foods they like.

    3. Oh same! I always order the same thing at the same restaurant too! Haha

    4. Fantastic! That looks good, too! Thanks for sharing and for linking up with Pea of Sweetness for Wordless Wednesday! :)

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