Himitsu Teriyaki: always a good idea

Himitsu's $10.99 chicken teriyaki, by Thomas DuBeau the Watchdog.

Of all the businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus, few are doing more to persist than our local food eateries. You don’t need me to spell out exactly how a pandemic could hurt the service industry, but it currently is and many of these family-owned businesses will continue to suffer until it all blows over. So, ignore processed foods for the time being, and spend your money at a good takeout joint. Easier said than done, I know, but if you’ve read this far it just got a lot easier. Himitsu Teriyaki is a family-owned chain with locations in Sammamish, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Kent and Seattle. This week I visited their Sammamish location at Pine Lake Village, a restaurant which I have frequented for years. For today’s review: $10.99 chicken teriyaki. For those of us who prefer vegan/vegetarian entrees, I recommend the tofu stir-fry.

            The area surrounding Himitsu looks like a ghost town. The people wear masks as they drive their cars, with no foot traffic in sight. However, restaurants are still offering takeout and delivery services to stay competitive. The interior of the Sammamish location was one I’m very familiar with. A small shop, maybe 200 square feet total, filled with Japanese artworks across the walls, light wooden furniture and for some reason an incessant Christian rock radio station. If anything, the phenomenal teriyaki has opened my eyes to the depths of Christian rock- but I’m not a full-convert (yet).

            Glory be to the Gods of Teriyaki: For $12, you’ll get two cups of sticky sushi rice, an inordinate amount of flame grilled chicken, a small side salad, and a ramekin of teriyaki sauce. The proof is in the pudding. What keeps me returning to Himitsu is the consistent quality of their foodstuffs. Never have I had an unpleasant experience such as chewing through gristle. Between the fresh-tasting ingredients and the stoical waiting staff, Himitsu provides everything I would want from a quiet, lowkey teriyaki restaurant. It sounds too good to be true, but you’ll have to hand over your money to know for sure. To be clear, there are many great restaurants which serve the same cuisine at the same price, but from what I’ve tried, none hold a candle to Himitsu. Having already eaten, I’m looking forward to the next chance I get to drop in. Short wait-times, no sanctimony, no hassle, just good teriyaki.