Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA - Second visit short review update

Himitsu Sushi and Teriyaki in Bothell, WA

You will find my first review about this Himitsu Teriyaki shop.
Just go through my blog and find the first entry.
In my first entry I explained how we found it, how it looks like and how we were greeted there.

I was so happy with this place, that I decided to bring my parents there to have lunch with us.
That is exactly what we did Thursday August 8th 2013. After a short round of golf we showed up at the Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki .

Again all look good from the outside. Clean and inviting. We were greeted by the same nice lady and I even introduced my mother to her, which made her even more smile.
We were assigned the same table as we had a few days ago.

This time I wanted to try something else for lunch and decided to go with the chicken and beef combo. So did Christiane.My parents ordered the chicken Teriyaki. We ordered the Egg Rolls as appetizer again.
Also we went with the same drinks.

It only took a few minutes to get the appetizer and the Egg Rolls were as good as the first time. Hot, fresh and tasty.

Shortly after we got the Terriyaki.

Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA Chicken and Beef Teriyaki Combo

It looked great yet again and the taste was as good or better then a few days before this day.
My parents were surprised by the size of the platter and what was on it. We ate for a while and we could finish it, but my parents had to take a box to take some leftover home.

After paying I explained the lady that I am in Florida and hope to see her next time. Thanked her for the great experience and she thanked me for coming in.

Outside we all agreed, that it was a great lunch with great food and that we would come back again if we are here and in the area.

I am excited to report , that I visited this place 2 times and both times the quality and service were excellent. Which confirms what I wrote in my first more comprehensive review.

The Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA is one of the best Teriyaki places I have been to in many years and I hope I can come back when I am in the area again. If you have the chance, stop by and if you try something new or Sushi, please. comment or let us know.

You will find the menu we saw in the review from earlier.
Thank you very much for stopping by.

Alaska Airlines First Class Flight Experience - Flight from Seattle to San Diego and San Diego to Orlando on August 12th 2013

This flight was from Seattle, WA with stop in San Diego, CA to Orlando, FL. Some might wonder why I did not write about the flight to WA yet, but I simply did not get to it and will deliver it at a later point.

This was the first time I was on Alaska Airlines and the main reason we were on this flight was that we got lucky and got some miles from family to use for a First Class ticket to visit them in WA. Not that we do not pay for 1st class tickets, but when you fly with a new airline , it is nice to find out first if it is worth it.

This flight started on August 12th in Seattle. Our take off time was scheduled at 5 55 pm. We booked it for two reasons like that. 1. because of the miles and 2. so we have the entire day to get things ready and spend time with family.

Arriving at the airport in Seattle you will find Alaska Airlines right at the beginning of the Terminal. It was not busy , so we unloaded fast and we were off to the check in. Having first class is always a pleasure, because there is short or no lines and the process seems to be more friendly. We did not have to wait more than 1 minute and got called to the counter. The young girl was very friendly, took our ID’s and got the check in down within in 2 minutes including all my golf luggage. One suitcase had 1.5 lbs more than it should have had, but there was no question or comment.

The check in area of Alaska Airlines is very nice. All reorganized with plenty of kiosks for fast check in and a great set up of the counters to make it easier for all travellers.

So from arriving to getting done with check in , we only spend 5 minutes or so. Girl was friendly and helpful. A good start.

Next we browsed through the security in a flash. Seattle offers a premier line for First Class Passengers and others. The line was like 5 people or so. Took us maybe 5 minute to get that done. After both those experiences, my mood was great.

We had something to eat, but that will be part of the Airport review which you can find soon here online. Alaska Airlines seems to use the N Terminal in Seattle, which is easy to reach with the train.

Getting on the plane was yet another easy thing to do. The First Class lane was opened right after children and people with disability and because there is only 16 passengers flying in first class, it takes a couple minutes to get in and settled.

The seats in Alaska Airlines First Class are old leather seats. Not sure what year, but they are older. Nothing too fancy and no foot rest. But the size is good and foot room is good as well. On this flight we had 1C and 1A. Which we usually do not get because of the wall in front of you , which can take space away when stretching. This time I did not think it was a problem at all.

While the other guests were boarding we were offered some water. I was thankful for that, but a little disappointed, because usually I get a glass of champagne or whatever drink I want and would have preferred that over the water or taken it with the water. It was not a big deal. Boarding was fast and we were on our way on time.

After we reached our travel height, we were greeted by Joseph, who was the steward taking care of us 16. He was very nice and smiling all the way with eye contact.

First we were offered a drink. I was going for a Bloody Mary. This is a drink I love to have when starting any flight. It is , if you will , a tradition for me to have that. It took not very long and I had it sitting right on my table. Drinks were served in nice glasses.It tasted great. We have to consider that they do not have a full bar. For that , it was a good drink.

Christiane had some Cabernet. They offer different wines on every flight and mostly regional. I think it was called Red Blend and it was a good wine. I actually ordered one myself when Joseph came along again.

As it was a short flight to San Diego, CA, we did not get the entertainment console. I was ok with that. Next Joseph came out with a snack. Grilled chicken with side salad. Now that was a great tasting snack I must say. The chicken was perfect and with a very tasty orange sauce. Salad looked fresh. A nicely decorated plate. While eating my wine was refilled without asking and anything laying around was taken immediately.

I had a couple more drinks, trying to get in sleeping mode for the long flight. We arrived in time and leaving the airplane was yet another breeze. While leaving I said thank you to Joseph and the other stewardess and found out, that we will have the same staff on the long flight to Orlando, FL. That was great news, because they simply did a great job and were very friendly.

San Diego Airport is not my favorite, but again, this will be a different article.
Our delay was 2 hours which we used to have a snack and a beer. We were scheduled to leave at 10 20 pm.  Boarding  started on time  and nothing but good to report. Alaska Airlines staff members were friendly, organized and with the First Class lane being clearly marked, entering was easy and fast. We got seats 1C and 1A again. There was plenty of storage for our carry on. Had our own compartment to be exact. All 16 seats were occupied yet again.

Same procedure while boarding. We were offered water and the staff helped all people to move fast and made the boarding process a very pleasant  experience without any incidents. Again we boarded on time and were on our way.

The seats on the Alaskan Airlines flight from San Diego, CA to Orlando, FL were almost identical to the other. Those seats had better head rests though. You could adjust them and that felt very comfortable. Other than that, they were the same old leather seats without footrest , but with plenty of room and space to put glasses etc. No power outlet to charge equipment again though. Before we started there was a very young child screaming for a while and one female first class passenger was not too happy and mentioned that to the staff. But the staff did not even get into any discussions and handled the situation perfect. The young child was quiet for the rest of the flight and so the lady had no reason to say something again. Personally I like when children are around on flights and because I travelled starting very young, I know that at times it was a little difficult because of my ears and my impatience as a child.

Joseph started us out with a drink as he did before and his Bloody Mary’s were consistently good. We also ordered the same wine again, trying to stay with what we liked.

Christiane decided to sleep through the long flight ( if you consider 4 ½ hours long). I wanted to watch a movie and have the snack again. About 20 minutes into the flight we got our entertainment console including free headphones, which you can keep.

Although the console is not huge, you can comfortably watch movies and play games. I watched a good movie and was pleased with the quality. If you do that, set the item on the table and you can see well. The head phones are not the top of the line, so do not expect the highest quality, but they do work fine.

I agreed to try the snack and we got a nice hot sandwich with ham and cheese and some more salad, which again was fresh. Tasted all very good. Had one more glass of wine , but then called it a day with drinking. I just had to wave my hand and Joseph took away all  glasses. I am sure if I would have had my empty glass standing there, he would have kept filling it up with the good stuff. I had to drive the next morning, so I did not want overdue it.

I slept about 2 hours and slept well. Christiane was not satisfied with her sleep and not happy that there were no blankets and pillows offered in first class. Not sure if Alaska ever did it. I guess we were used to it from some other airlines here and abroad.

Again we landed on time. For the first time in many years I departed the plane with a handshake and some compliments to Joseph and his staff members.

Getting of the plane and to the bag claim was super fast and our bags were out and ready within 20 minutes or shorter. All bags were there and in great shape.

Alaska Airlines 1st Class Summary

I am not sure what the price for a flight like this is. To me, in this case it would depend on the price. I liked the service very much. Everybody was friendly and you could feel that they wanted to make it a good experience for you. The drinks and the food were both very good and plenty. Alaska Airlines seems to have older planes. The first class seats are off good size, but old, no footrest, no outlet to charge.
Entertainment solution with the console is a good idea and I found it sufficient and easy to use.

Check in and boarding was fast and easy and a friendly experience as well.

I would flight Alaska Airlines 1st class again if the price is reasonable or if I have miles to use again. However, I will first check others before booking.

The biggest thing I did not like was that you do not have access to the Alaska Airlines 1st class lounge. I think it is not acceptable, that after paying 2ooo $ for a flight I have to pay 45 $ to enter the lounge. We had a not so good experience on the flight to Seattle, WA and did not even attempt it on the way back. I will write about it.

Alaska Airlines was a good experience with room for improvement. What was your experience?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Himitsu Sushi and Teriyaki in Bothell, Washington - One of the best Teriyaki places in Bothell and area that I know

Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA

Living in Florida is the best thing we managed to make happen in years. The sun, the lifestyle, the golf and much more. But there is one thing which I am truly missing. Good Teriyaki places where you can get a quick chicken Teriyaki or something similar for a decent price.

Lucky for me we planned a  2 week vacation in Washington State, where I was living for 15 years. A state, where it seems, there is a Teriyaki shop on every corner. You can see them everywhere. All shapes and sizes with all kinds of offers.
Back then I used to go and have lunch and sometimes even dinner. The specials were as low as 3.99 $ for the lunch special. I am fully aware of those days being gone.
One of my goals being in Washington State was to eat Teriyaki at least 3 times. I will report about the first time in a different short review. In this little article I want to report about a place which in my mind is the best Teriyaki Place I have visited in years and the best I know in Bothell, WA.

Himitsu Sushi and Teriyaki.

We were looking for a Teriyaki place for an early dinner (4 pm). While driving towards Bothell, Christiane saw a sign and said I should pull in here.  The restaurant is located at the end corner of a small strip mall  with easy access from the main road or from the cross road . Driving up to the place It already looked pretty new from the outside, inviting and clean.   
Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA  entrance and parking
 As we entered the restaurant we immediately were greeted with a smile by a lady who made as feel very welcome and directed us to a table, asking if that table would be OK for us.  
Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA entrance with some of the menu photos

The inside was furnished with modern tables and chairs but with a Japanese feel to it. They had white paper lights with Japanese decor above every table. On one side they  displayed their sushi menus on the wall including great photos of every platter and on the other wall there was pictures of all kinds of other menu items. On every table there was a little tray with soy sauce, Teriaki sauce, salt, pepper, hot sauce. Everything looked very clean, organized and inviting. 

I also liked the Sushi bar. Although I did not have any Sushi, I took a good look at the bar. Fresh fish was clearly visible. All in nice big pieces and clearly not frozen fish. Everything was clean and organized. 

Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki Bothell, WA Sushi Bar on right and Cash register, kitchen in back

First the lady came and asked what we would like to drink. We both ordered Pepsi Light and then took a good look at the menu. I liked the menu as it was easy to ready and not overloaded. When she came back with two large bottles of Pepsi we were asked if we were ready to order.

On that day we decided to try the Gyoza appetizer, the Egg roll appetizer and 2 Chicken Teriyaki. When I placed the order we were told that there is a combo available which would  be a better price. But I told her that I would like to have more chicken. With a smile she agreed and took the order.

The food was served after about 8 minutes. First we were served the Gyoza and the Egg rolls. ( I do not have a photo of the Gyoza but of the Egg Rolls).

Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA Egg rolls

Both looked delicious and that is also the correct word for the taste of both items. They were hot, not fatty and came with the right sauce. About 3 minutes into the appetizer the chicken Teriyaki was served. It came with a big salad and two balls white rice. The food was presented on a square plate. With the salad being on the left, chicken bottom middle to right and the two rice balls above chicken. It looked great. 

Himitsu Sushi & Teriyaki in Bothell, WA Chicken Teriyaki Meal

Everything was fresh, hot and tasted absolutely fabulous. The salad had a fresh light dressing. It tasted a little like yogurt. The chicken was grilled but still juicy and had a perfect amount of Teriyaki sauce on it.  The rice tasted great as well. It was not to dry and not to sticky.

We ate everything. The plates were completely empty.

The prices were great . The chicken Teriyaki was $6.50, 2 large Egg rolls were 3.25 $ and the Gyoza was 2.50 $ ( 5 pieces with pork and vegetables).

They provided exceptional customer service. When we ordered the appetizers Gyoza and Egg Rolls and chicken Teriyaki the waitress pointed out that we could save by ordering the chicken Teriyaki combo witch includes Gyoza and Egg Rolls as well. Throughout the meal they checked that we always had what we needed and made sure that everything was okay. Every time they spoke to us they had a smile on their face.

Overall , Himitsu Sushi and Teriyaki in Bothell, WA is a great place to go and enjoy a good authentic Teriyaki meal in a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

We will go there again and recommend it to everyone. Below you find the photos of the menu which we had available. Check it out.

As always we will write updates or comments when we go there again. So keep checking back.