Getting settled in… favorite restaurant #2

So I made my 2nd visit to the little Japanese place (as opposed to the larger Japanese places also in the area) tonight. On my 1st visit, the owner/head sushi chef made me a nice little treat that didn’t find its way onto my bill. And what I did order was delightful, prices reasonable.

Tonight, I was recognized as a returning customer — and he remembered that I’m new in town, just started my job, and am unpacking my house, all things we talked about the last time.

And the special treat tonight was… lightly-grilled yellowtail collar. Which is one of my very favorite things in the whole wide world. Mr. Kim at Mene Sushi up in Michigan used to slip this to me on a regular basis.

For those of you who don’t know, fish "collar" is the bit of the fish just behind the gill slit, where the pectoral fin is. It’s very sweet, tender meat that most people prepping fish in the US discard when they cut the head off the fish during prep. This is a mistake. It’s delightful. If you like fish and haven’t tried the collar, you owe it to yourself to give it a taste.

Needless to say, Hikari has just cemented itself onto my Favorite Local Restaurant shortlist. Great food, friendly service, pricing within the realm of reason? Oh, yeah.

And the best unagi I’ve ever had, I might add. Normally, I prefer anago (saltwater eel) to unagi (freshwater eel), as the latter tends to be a bit gristly, but Hikari doesn’t do that – the unagi is just tender and oh-so-yummy.

So the restaurant tally is firmly up to 2, with a 3rd awaiting a 2nd visit. 🙂

We won’t talk about the fact that I’d inadvertantly left my wallet at home (long story, short version: I wasn’t thinking clearly) and had to dash home and get it. We will, however, talk about a very kind and understanding restaurant owner (the wife half of the owner team, who did not meet me on my prior visit as she was not there) who graciously allowed me to do so. I of course got back there as quickly as the traffic lights would allow. Dreadfully embarrassed.



  1. Finding good restaurants in a new town is always a good thing. I’ve never heard of fish collar before. I’ll have to take notes from you post and see if I can find it somewhere. I’m sure that a stroll through Seattle’s International District will net me a catch. Thanks for the tip!


    1. Of course, if you buy your fish whole, you can carve it up yourself. It’s basically that area behind the gills, ending just behind the pectoral fin. When people cut the head off to make fillets, they usually cut right behind the collar. Mr. Kim was giving me this morsel for years before I knew what it was. 🙂 I finally saw Morimoto do something with it on an Iron Chef America episode and it was identified by Alton Brown.


    1. I was just fortunate that they were kind — I was horribly embarrassed, but recovered. I also tipped very well, but then the service was such that they’d earned that anyway.


    1. I’ve already located a couple of quite good sushi buffets. I can assure you that the good people at Kirin lose money every time I walk in the door, even though I almost never get to the hot side and its bounty of crab legs and tempura. 🙂


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