Seattle native and New York resident Paul Krug, 34, recently opened his sixth location of Glaze Teriyaki (3112 N. Broadway, 773-697-3580) in Lake View, joining three in New York and two in Northern California. Seattleites, he says, live in Teriyaki Central but don’t realize it. “People from Seattle don’t think it’s unique to Seattle until they leave Seattle,” he says.
Wondering what the Emerald City does differently? This Times article puts it nicely: “In Japan, teriyaki is a mix of soy sauce, sake and the rice wine mirin, which imparts a subtle sweetness. In Seattle…[c]ooks sweeten with white sugar and pineapple juice. They thicken with cornstarch and peanut butter. Ginger and garlic go into the mix, because of the Korean ancestry of many cooks.”
(Fun fact: in 2010, the Washington State Restaurant Association identified 83 restaurants in Seattle with “teriyaki” in their name, making them “so ubiquitous that they’re virtually invisible,” according to Seattleite Knute Berger.)
Glaze offers a choice of proteins grilled to order, brown or white (or no) rice, and the house teriyaki sauce, which—you guessed it—contains flavors of smoky caramel, apple, pineapple, garlic, and ginger. Sides include gyoza, shishito peppers, and cold soba noodle salad. Glaze chops open coconuts on-site for coconut water.
Stereotyping of teriyaki challenges Glaze, Krug says. “The typical perception of teriyaki is associated with mall food,” he says. “We have really tried to spruce that up.” That reminds us: An Orange Julius sounds good right about now.