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Originally published Friday, July 24, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Dining Deals

Choices galore at Cutting Board

The Cutting Board, a Japanese restaurant, is a popular pit stop along Georgetown's noisy, industrial corridor, with a menu as busy as the traffic outside. Go for the deep-fried food, eel roll and sashimi.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Cutting Board

Japanese

5503 Airport Way S., Seattle

206-767-8075

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Etc: Discover, Visa and MasterCard accepted; no obstacles to access; parking lot; alcohol served.

Prices: $$

The Cutting Board restaurant is a popular pit stop along Georgetown's noisy industrial corridor, with a menu as busy as the traffic outside.

A friend and I stopped in for a quick Japanese lunch. We were overwhelmed by the menu, so we ordered the bento lunch special and several sushi rolls.

I love having choices, but it's possible that the Cutting Board overdoes it.

The menu: Among other dishes, the menu offers 65 different sushi rolls ($2-$12.50), plus an array of small and regular-size bento boxes ($4-$15). Order yakisoba ($6-$9) with tofu, chicken, pork, beef, calamari, scallops, shrimp or mixed seafood. Carnivores can get the Japanese-style beef curry ($6). How about a deep-fried hamburger ($9)? The lunch specials are $8, and there's a happy hour and dinner menu, too.

What to write home about: The eel roll was the tastiest roll we ordered. Cooked and drizzled with teriyaki sauce, the eel was tender, not slippery. The asparagus and cucumbers in our sushi rolls were crisp and fresh. All of the deep-fried food with panko crumbs was, of course, delectable.

What to skip: The tuna, yellowtail and salmon rolls had so much cream cheese or spicy mayo in them that it snuffed out the subtle taste of the fish. If I could do it over, I would have asked for sashimi.

The bento lunch special was akin to a sampler platter (vegetarian gyoza, beef croquette, deep- fried shrimp, California rolls, deep-fried chicken, chicken teriyaki, fried tofu, edamame and salad). The fried shrimp, chicken and tofu were tasty, but the platter was mediocre overall.

The setting: You walk up to the counter, order your meal, pay for it and sit at a table. The friendly and efficient staff brings your order to the table. The dining area follows an L-shape, with tables for two snaking in front of and around the counter, back toward the rear of the restaurant. No sushi carousel here.

Summing up: The lunch special and four sushi rolls — enough for three people — cost about $40. The Cutting Board offers so many dishes, you'll want to come back to see what you missed. Vegetarians will be thrilled to find sushi rolls with apple, mango, fried yams and other options. As for me, I'm heading back to try the black cod, beef curry and soft-shell crab.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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