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October 27, 2008 at 8:05 AM

Omakase prices scary? Not during Nishino’s anniversary celebration

Chef Tatsu Nishino and his wife, Eri, celebrate their restaurant’s 13th anniversary this week, and they’re giving you reason to celebrate with them. On Thursday and Friday, October 30 and 31, they’re rolling omakase prices back to $45 per person: a bargain even in this economy — if my history of eating at Nishino during its lucky 13-year-run is any indication. It’s been a year this week since I sat at Nishino’s sushi bar celebrating the season with a magical multicourse meal (regularly $60). That omakase dinner, offered as a slow parade of eye candy, involved the finest ingredients — both the raw (fresh uni!) and the cooked (matsutake mushrooms!).

Looking ahead to my busy week, I’m still trying to come up with an excuse to ditch Thursday-night plans and wend my way through the arboretum to see the fall colors and head to Nishino for another stunner of a Japanese meal. And, unfortunately, I’ll be way too busy giving away candy Friday night to join in the Halloween fun — when the staff plays dress-up, customers vote on their favorite costumes and trick-or-treaters are welcome to come on in and show off their get-ups (show up for dinner in yours and dessert’s on the house).

If you’ve never sampled the joys of a meal at Nishino, nor omakase here or elsewhere, now’s your chance to splurge on an elegant Japanese dinner you won’t soon forget. And speaking of forgetting, if this sounds like something you don’t want to miss, be sure to call in advance for reservations (206-322- 5800). Intrigued by the idea but can’t afford the time or the tab? There’s always the armchair traveler’s version: Tasting Menu’s gorgeous online cookbook, “Autumn Omakase” — staring Nishino-san himself preparing a seasonal feast. The visuals are lovely, and you can’t beat the price: it’s downloadable, for free.

So, tell me about the best omakase you’ve ever eaten. I’ve been blown away by many meals here in Seattle, but the one that truly knocked me out was at Masa, in New York City (as well it should have, since it was the most expensive meal I’ve eaten in my life).

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