There's a new Japanese restaurant in town, and this one is aiming to become the Seattle area's second fully sustainable sushi bar.
Issho Restaurant opened earlier this year in the spot off Redmond Way formerly occupied by Watercress Asian Bistro, which has been closed since January.
Co-owner Malia Foley said she and her partner purchased the restaurant from Watercress in January and spent the first several weeks of the year changing the concept of the restaurant. Foley also now co-owns the Watercress Express restaurant on the Microsoft campus.
Issho's menu features many Japanese favorites, such as tempura, sashimi, chicken teriyaki and a wide variety of sushi rolls. But what makes the restaurant stand apart amid fellow sushi joints is its commitment to local and sustainable ingredients, Foley said.
Draper Valley chicken, Carlton Farm pork and Painted Hills beef—three big names in the Pacific Northwest's all-natural meat industry—all appear on Issho's menu. Several sushi rolls feature coho salmon that has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
“We hope to become completely sustainable with our seafood program by July,” Foley said.
Foley, who formerly operated Village Sushi in Seattle, said she was prompted to open a sustainable sushi restaurant by her background growing up in Hawaii and her mother's role as community outreach director at the Waikiki Aquarium.
Already well-versed in the extinction issues facing many species of fish, Foley said it was a natural decision to pursue sustainable sourcing at Issho—named after a Japanese word for "togetherness."
“It’s my effort to keep the ocean safe,” she said.
Foley said Issho would be just the second sushi restaurant in the region to obtain MSC certification—a process she acknowledged is "really, really hard." Mashiko Sushi, located in West Seattle, is currently the only Seattle-area sushi restaurant with the designation, according to Foley.
Currently open just for dinner, Foley said Issho will likely try out lunch hours sometime next month. More information about the restaurant is available on its website or by calling 425-284-3188.
Issho Restaurant is located at 16505 Redmond Way in Redmond. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. More information at 425-284-3188 or issho-restaurant.com.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the aquarium that Foley's mother works for. It is the Waikiki Aquarium, not the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.