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First Bite: Trapper’s Sushi in Puyallup

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on June 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm | 1 Comment »
June 7, 2010 8:39 pm
The extreme roll (front), spicy tuna roll (right) and Trapper roll at Trapper's Sushi in Puyallup, which opened June 3.

The popular Bonney Lake restaurant Sushi Town has spawned a new restaurant – Trapper’s Sushi, which opened Thursday, a block south from South Hill Mall in Puyallup.

Trapper’s is the third restaurant for Trapper O’Keeffe, who also owns Sushi Town in Bonney Lake, which I wrote about here, and Trapper’s Sushi in Covington.

I paid a visit to the new restaurant over the weekend and found much in common with its sister establishment.

The strip mall location is similar to the Bonney Lake restaurant, but where it differs is in the finishing touches in the décor. The walls are a steely shade of matte blue, and graphic murals span the soaring walls. The high ceiling with exposed duct work gives the restaurant an industrial, open vibe (seems that’s the look of the moment for restaurants these days). The industrial theme continues with diamond plating around the sushi bar.

It’s a small space, with seven tables providing seating for 28. The sushi bar seats another 15 diners.

There was one touch I found puzzling. The restaurant table seating was temporary card and plastic utility tables on my visit. It made for shaky dining on the rickety tables. A server assured us the gaffe would be corrected soon with the arrival of permanent tables. Still? Card tables at a restaurant? Not a fan.

What I was impressed with was that the kitchen was fully staffed with four chefs working the sushi bar and more employees in the back kitchen. Despite being packed on our visit, the wait for food and drink was minimal and the service seemed polished considering it was opening weekend, a time of frenzy for any new restaurant.

Trapper’s Sushi has near exactly the same menu as Sushi Town. Regulars at Sushi Town will recognize the familiar maki rolls, including my favorites, the Trapper roll, Captain Crunch and Mt. John.
Trapper’s is known for its long rolls, a menu of almost 48 maki. There also is nigiri, sashimi, hand rolls, teriyaki, tempura, soup and a short list of appetizers and salads.
Here’s what we sampled from the maki sushi roll menu:

Trapper roll ($9): A cooked crystal shrimp long roll was topped with the restaurant’s signature cooked scallop salad, which also tops the Mt. John and Mt. Rainier rolls. The generous serving of scallop salad, which spilled over the sides of the roll, had a creamy mayo dressing, with pops of crunchy green onions and salty bursts of tobiko. The roll showcased what the chefs at Sushi Town also do well, which is deliberate layering of textures and flavors. There was creamy yin to crunchy yang in every bite; and the flavors unfolded in a flood of tastes: salty-spicy, followed by tangy-sweet.

Spicy tuna ($6.50): Chopped raw tuna was mixed with a kicky sauce with a modest dose of spice. Notch up the heat with the addition of the custom hot sauces. Kamikaze or suicide have the most tongue sting and peppery bite.

Extreme roll ($8.50): with a name like extreme, I was expecting a healthy helping of flavor. This is not an overly assertive roll, despite the name. The roll was mild, seared albacore with creamy avocado and a light flavoring of garlic and finished with a tart, citrusy ponzu sauce.

I should note that I’m relieved South Hill has a new sushi restaurant that is not a conveyor belt sushi place. The past two sushi restaurants to open, Sushi Land and Sushi Station, feature less inventive sushi that spins around a belt. Trapper’s offers an extensive maki roll menu, as well as nigiri and sashimi offerings. It’s something South Hill, land of chain restaurants and way too much teriyaki, sorely needed. Trapper’s joins the already established South Hill sushi bars Sushi Island, which I wrote about here, and Happy Bento, which I wrote about here. (There are three other sushi restaurants in the Puyallup valley, as well).

A dining question: What would you do if you saw card tables in a dining room at a sushi restaurant? Run screaming? Shake your head and sit down and eat anyway? I’m curious.

Trapper’s Sushi
Where: 206 39th Ave. S.W., Puyallup
Info: 253-891-2046 or

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