Sushi Joa

Give us a call today

Top Rated Local® Sushi Restaurant

Kirkland: (425) 739-8899
Mercer Island: (206) 230-4120

Sushi may feel like a popular food fad in America, but in Japan, this subset of food preparation is centuries old and steeped in tradition. If you’re new to sushi (or just want to learn more), there are a few etiquette rules to follow that differ from your average restaurant. Follow these easy guidelines the next time you go out for sushi.


Seating Choices

In many sushi restaurants, there will be a bar at which you can watch sushi being prepared as well as the standard dining tables. If you would like to converse with the sushi chef, watch your meal be prepared, and so on, choose to sit at the bar, if there are seats available. However, if you don’t feel like making conversation with the chef, ask for a table. When sitting at the bar, feel free to ask questions about preparation techniques, knives being used, or anything else that interests you—just don’t ask which fish is fresh! Instead, ask what the chef recommends, or even ask them to guide your sushi menu choices.


Chopsticks Etiquette

It may seem like it, but those flimsy wooden chopsticks are highly unlikely to give you splinters. Rubbing wooden chopsticks together can be considered insulting to the proprietors of the restaurant, as it questions the quality of the products they provide. However, if you’re still learning the fine art of chopsticks, it is permissible to eat your sushi with your fingers. That’s how sushi started, after all! Sashimi, on the other hand, should be eaten with chopsticks because it isn’t served with rice.


Sushi Eating

Unlike so many other restaurants, at a sushi house, proper etiquette is to eat your sushi as soon as it is delivered to you rather than waiting for all the food to arrive. The sushi chef is taking the time to prepare each roll as beautifully as possible so the flavors are all perfectly balanced and fresh. There’s even a method to warming the fish ever so slightly by hand, and letting your sushi sit there puts all that work to waste.

In addition, when eating your sushi roll, don’t drown it in soy as this is an insult to the sushi chef’s skill. If you feel the need for a bit of soy, pour a light layer of soy into the bowl and dunk fish side down. This prevents the rice from absorbing too much soy. Eat each roll in one bit and enjoy your nigiri fish side down so the fresh, pure fish flavor hits your tongue first.


Sushi is generally served with wasabi and pickled ginger. Even if you love spice, don’t overload your sushi rolls with wasabi; this is viewed as an insult to the flavors your sushi chef has perfected. Similarly, don’t plop a slice of pickled ginger on top of each sushi roll. Pickled ginger is meant to be a palate cleanser in between courses or different types of rolls.


If you’re ready to experience the traditional art of sushi at its finest, visit us at Sushi Joa in Mercer Island today!

Sushi Joa was established with our customers in mind. Our family-owned business carries our family’s traditional cuisine from our home to your plate. Each dish and roll are made with you in mind. We want to provide our customers with that homemade feel, everything made exactly to order and with love. From our talented sushi chefs to our servers, Sushi Joa is your homemade meal that you don’t have to make. Authentic world taste, locally brought to you.

Explore our tasty menu with fresh options made daily, just for you! All of our fish is always fresh, and provided by dependable catchers so we can guarantee you the best sushi you have ever had! We provide quality not quantity and create each roll with love and passion. Come in today and try a variety of Japanese and Korean cuisine. Treat yourself. With classic rolls, appetizers, noodles, and sake, we can satisfy your every craving. Open for lunch and dinner.

We strive to provide a warm and inviting family friendly atmosphere for our customers to enjoy delicious Asian cuisine. We are committed to knowing all of our customers and listening to what they want. We hear and provide for your needs to give you delicious food you can’t resist. Want to try something new? Our knowledgeable staff can tell you what you may like best and pair one of our great sakes with any meal choice. We want our customers to feel invited to dinner at our kitchen table; they are part of our family as soon as they come through our doors.

Don't Take Our Word For It, Our Satisfied Clients Say It All

Check out the testimonials from our happy customers below


I consistently get great sushi here

I love Sushi Joa. I consistently get great sushi here. They also have a killer fried rice on the takeout menu. Their staff is amazing… I moved off the island in July and I drove over there…Read More

Allison S., Seattle, WA

This place was great before, now it’s even better.

This place was great before, now it’s even better. Wonderful staff, decent prices, and the best fried tofu that you could ever imagine. Seriously, I have never had anything like this tofu,…Read More

WA S., Junction, Seattle, WA

Food is always awesome and delicious…

Lived in Mercer Island for our first year of marriage and now living 15 miles away and still making the drive for this awesome sushi! Always get the to agadashi tofu and several rolls whethe…Read More

Adri A., Newcastle, WA