Prya Oliveira, Staff Writer
Claiming that a restaurant has the best sushi and teriyaki in town is a bold statement, but the food served at Koibito is far above average. Located near Lacey’s Fred Meyer, Koibito offers high quality Japanese and Chinese cuisine.
Being raised in such a diverse state like Hawai’i, I never experienced a shortage of Asian restaurants, meaning there was sushi at every 7-Eleven. I was hesitant at trying Koibito because I was not sure if the taste was authentic and what the menu would consist of, but I was surprised with their wide variety of Asian dishes. There are many different types of sushi to choose from, including rolls and nigiri. The rolls are made up of eight to ten flavorful pieces and are drizzled with different types of sauces.
As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you enter a beautiful setting with Asian inspired art and decorations. You are also greeted by the workers who give you a warm “welcome!” and a smile. The restaurant is fairly spacious with many tables and chairs, so you would not need a reservation prior to your arrival. Another bonus for eating at Koibito is that I never had to wait more than two minutes for a table, regardless of whether I would go at 12 p.m., or around 5 p.m.
Koibito offers many meat options, and also some vegetarian choices. When I dined there recently, I ordered the coconut shrimp tempura roll and the cucumber roll, which was enough to fill me up. I have also tried the teriyaki chicken and “sweet N sour” chicken, which is my favorite dish on the menu. Their gyoza is a great appetizer, and in my opinion, is some of the best in Lacey. The sauce that comes with it is not too salty, unlike many other restaurants and the pork inside has a lot of flavor. The wrapping even remains crispy the day after.
There are a lot of different combinations for lunch and dinner specials, which can be modified to your liking. One combination I really enjoy is the dinner special. It includes nine pieces of nigiri sushi, and either a California roll, or a spicy tuna roll. The price for the dishes starts at $4, a reasonable price for good food and great service.
You can see that the staff works fast and efficiently, and even have a sushi bar where the chefs make sushi in front of you. The waitress I had was kind and patient.
When you first sit down you are given miso soup, which I love, but the only thing that bothered me was that there were too many green onions. Aside from that, I have no complaints about the food.
I highly recommend Koibito if you’re looking for delicious Asian cuisine. Their dishes come with a lot of food and are budget friendly to my college-student lifestyle. The service is good, and the atmosphere is relaxing. The location is convenient, being so close to campus, so if you have not been there yet, I would give it a try.