What the World Eats

Don't expect to put this book down easily.

What can we say?  We really cannot recommend this book enough.

What the World Eats lets us tag along with Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel as they visit 25 families in 21 countries, observing what mealtime means to each of them.  Don’t be fooled – this is no boring textbook.  This is food and culture brought to life.  Each chapter begins with one family surrounded with a typical week’s worth of food.  From there, you are hooked.  Ever wonder what typical street vendor food might be in Ecuador?  Curious about what a kitchen looks like in Mali?  Family recipes, regional facts, and field notes are brought together in the most fascinating way.  The personal stories of each family will linger, challenging your ideas about food, family, and beyond.

And hey!  With the kids out of school, this book would be a great summer read for you to share with them.  Spending time together, having fun, and learning?  That would pretty much make you the coolest parent ever.

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Sushi Class for Tsunami Relief

We were just talking with our good pal Susan over at Dish It Up.  Do you know Susan?  She is such a treat.  But anyway, the thing is that Susan was telling us that there are still several seats available for their Sushi Rolls for Tsunami Relief class coming up on Wednesday, May 11th.  Why, that’s just next week.

Here’s the deal on why this class really needs to be completely full:  Sure, it will be loads of fun learning to make some sustainable sushi basics with our very own Chef Hajime Sato.  And of course, we know that the Dish It Up location in Ballard is full of fancy schmancy kitchen stuff that you’ll probably want.  But the real kicker is that this is a tsunami relief effort, with $20 of each student’s fee being donated to the American Red Cross.  Hajime’s instructor fee will also be donated.  Have fun, learn a bit, and contribute towards helping Japan?  Win, win, win.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday.  All mom really wants is more time with you, ya know.  How’s about making reservations for the two of you at Mashiko for dinner.  Then you can surprise her over dessert by telling her that you are both going to Dish It Up for this class!  Holy wow, she would be one happy mom.

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The Beauty of Hawaiian Abalone

As many of you know, our very own Chef Hajime Sato was in Hawaii last month eating lots of local fare and continuing his aquaculture research.  A good portion of one day was spent visiting Big Island Abalone.

Big Island Abalone's Hiroshi Arai showed Hajime ezo awabi in different stages of growth.

Most wild abalone habitats along the West Coast have been severely damaged, so it is very difficult to get any quality abalone in that manner.  Under the right conditions, abalone can thrive when properly farmed.  Big Island Abalone primarily grows a Japanese strain originating from Hokkaido called ezo awabi. Interestingly enough, the main food source enjoyed by these abalone is seaweed strains originating in our Puget Sound!  The clean, non-invasive conditions of this type of aquaculture produces 60 tons of abalone per year.  Think of what a relief this must be to the wild sources, allowing them to reestablish themselves in the oceans.

Oh so much delicious abalone...

Hajime returned with a fresh perspective on abalone.  What better way to share his renewed passion than to serve you some, fresh from the Big Island?  We just received a beautiful shipment of ezo awabi.  We invite you to stop by Mashiko to experience the unique flavor and very gentle texture.  You won’t find fresher abalone in Seattle!  They won’t last long, so get yours soon!

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Mashiko Featured in Seattle Magazine

If you haven’t tried our bento yet, we really think you should.  Now don’t give us that suspicious look.  Even the nice folks over at Seattle Magazine agree.  That’s why they included a little snippet about us in their “Best Seattle Restaurants 2011” article.  Our bento is not only a true taste sensation, it is also a super value.  We like that they paired it with a masu of sake.  Sake is great, isn’t it?  It kind of goes with every meal.  Sake with every meal.  Mmmmm…

But we digress.  Mashiko diners, we appreciate you more than we can accurately express.  We want you to eat what makes you happy.  But as always, we strongly encourage you to try new things.  Why?  Because our very own Chef Hajime Sato says so, that’s why.  So, how’s about a bento tonight?

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Mashiko Participating in Disaster Relief Fundraiser for Japan – This Sunday

It was announced last week that West 5‘s Dave Montoure was organizing a disaster relief fundraiser for the people who were affected by the tsunami in Japan.  We are proud to say that we will be participating in “West Seattle for Japan” this Sunday, March 27th.

We have chosen to raise funds while also raising awareness of the uniquely satisfying flavors of Northeast Japan.  We will be offering a bento with several items traditionally served in that region.  Specific items will be rotating throughout the night as there is such a variety of things that we want to share with the dining public!  This Northeast Japan bento will be available for only $25, with 50% of the selling price being donated to “West Seattle for Japan”.  For a more complete experience, we will be recommending regional sakes for you to try as well.  And of course, our very own Chef Hajime Sato will be on hand to answer questions about your bento, and beyond…

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Join Hajime at “The End of the Line” Screening in West Seattle

With everything going on over the past couple of weeks, we nearly forgot to tell everyone about an awesome upcoming event.  That would have been terrible!

We are excited to announce that Sustainable West Seattle is about to host a screening of one of our favorite films, The End of the Line.  Come by the Admiral Theater on Monday, March 21st at 7:00pm to show your support for sustainable seafood.  Here is more information for those who really need to be in the know.

We are proud that our very own Chef Hajime Sato will be in attendance, ready and willing to field your questions after the film.  From the beautifully shot movie to your participation in the discussion, this is sure to be a great evening.  Keep in mind that the event will run a good couple of hours.  Dare we suggest dinner at Mashiko beforehand?  Oh, I think we just did.

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An Open Letter from Hajime about the Disasters in Japan

Dear Everyone,

I’ve been swamped with questions, so I’d like to answer them first:  My friends and family are safe.  Yes, I was in Hawaii during the tsunami.  We were evacuated to higher ground for about 11 hours.  The damage ended up being minimal where I was.

Many of you know that I lived in Japan until I was 19.  This tragedy against my homeland is difficult for me to process.  Thanks to those who have sent kind words to me the past few days.  I actually spent 3 days in Sendai this past November.  It is hard to believe that Sendai is now gone.

Many survivors have no shelter in freezing weather.  Some have shelter, but don’t know the status of their loved ones.  The stores in Tokyo are already running out of food and supplies.  The nuclear situation is surreal.  Some experts say there is a good chance that more earthquakes are likely for Japan in the next few days.

People keep asking me, “What can I do to help?”.  I don’t have an answer.  If donating to the Red Cross makes you feel better, go for it.  Right now, let’s think about the victims and remember that they were living their daily lives – just like us – when this happened.  The best way for us to honor them is to make serious, permanent changes in our lives.  Live each day.  Encourage others to do the same.

Hajime

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Sustainable Seafood Goes Big

We’re guessing by now that you all know our good pal Casson Trenor.  Some might call him a hard worker, some might call him stubborn.  Hajime calls him all kinds of things.  We call his latest accomplishment with Greenpeace tenaciously wonderful.

So, after eight long months of constant badgering, Costco has finally agreed to drastically change their seafood policies, with great strides towards carrying only sustainable seafood.  Please do read about it here, or be lazy and just watch the short video.  It’s about time that the big guys are catching up to what West Seattle cares about.  Congratulations to Casson!  Long live the oceans!

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The Story of the Bluefin

We hope that everyone will watch this video and then tell someone else about it.

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Sake Tastings at Uwajimaya

Whilst perusing the goods at our favorite Uwajimaya location yesterday, we were happy to spot our good friend Louise.  Upon further examination, our delight grew as we realized that she was facilitating a complimentary mini sake tasting of three of Uwajimaya’s offerings.  How cool is that? Today and tomorrow, tastings will be held between 2:00-5:00pm.  Apparently the selections to taste will be rotating every weekend, so be sure to check back regularly for maximum sake enjoyment.  Keep this schedule in mind as the dates and times vary based on which location you’d like to visit.  We still think the International District locale is especially worth the visit.  Be sure to say “Hi” to Louise for us!  Then you might consider heading over to Mashiko for dinner.  We’ve been known to do some fabulous sake pairings with our meals.

This may very well be the most fun you’ve had at the supermarket in a long, long time.  Come on, you know you were going to pop in and grab a box of Hello Kitty Choco Pies anyway.

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