Sushi Joa

Give us a call today

Top Rated Local® Sushi Restaurant

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

America has played host to Japanese restaurants for decades now, but if you feel like you’ve been seeing a marked increase in popularity in recent years, you aren’t wrong! Between the increasing number of sushi restaurants across the country and the number of shows featuring Japanese cuisine on channels like the Food Network, it’s easier than ever to learn more about this distinctive cuisine and get a hold of some for yourself! But what, exactly, is it that makes Japanese cuisine so distinctive and appealing?


One of the primary reasons Japanese cuisine, whether it’s sushi or a tempura platter, is so delicious and different is because the Japanese tend to focus on seasonality when they create meals. By choosing to cook what is currently available, fresh, and recently harvested/caught, the flavors will be brighter and require less seasoning to enhance the natural taste of each component. Many American and European dishes are heavily spiced and salted because they rely on ingredients that weren’t historically available all year and had to be preserved in some manner. This means that they had to be dried and salted or seasoned and canned in order to save enough to last through the winter. Given Japan’s more temperate climate and fertile land, there was less need for preservation, so chefs could focus on what was available during the given season.


This notion goes hand in hand with the above idea about seasonality. Because chefs tend to create Japanese menu items that are more seasonal, they need less seasoning. This idea of simplicity is carried over into the seasonings they choose to use. Generally speaking, the spices and sauces paired with a protein or vegetable are made to enhance the flavor of that item rather than cover it up. Interestingly, this is what makes sushi such a complex cuisine to prepare; each fish is carefully paired with flavorings and condiments that will make the fish the star. A great example of this simplicity of flavoring is sushi rice; the goal is to highlight the fresh flavor of the fish, so sushi rice is typically seasoned with a bit of rice wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and a tinge of salt. That’s it. The seasoning is intended to spark different tastes without overpowering the fish itself.



One of the other things that makes Japanese cuisine so different is the focus on umami flavors. Umami is what we might call savory, and is the fifth flavor along with salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. Unlike the other four flavors, your taste buds have umami taste receptors across your tongue instead of one spot. What this means is that, by creating umami flavors in a dish, that pleasing savory taste that hits more spots across your tongue and makes your meal more satisfying without overeating.  

If you’re ready to experience the difference that seasonality and seasoning make in Japanese food, come visit Sushi Joa in Kirkland or Mercer Island. View our menus online and call to make reservations 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