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Now Open: Trapper’s Sushi on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on July 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm | No Comments »
July 3, 2013 8:13 am
Pictured here is the Uncle Steve roll, a spicy tuna with tobiko and fresh jalapeno. Many of Trapper's rolls are tweaked with punchy flavors and plenty of spice.
Pictured here is the Uncle Steve roll, a spicy tuna roll with tobiko and fresh jalapeno. Many of Trapper’s rolls are tweaked with big flavors and plenty of spice. Trapper’s opened its sixth restaurant today – on Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue.

Trapper’s opened its sixth sushi restaurant today – at 3118 Sixth Ave. The restaurant had a soft opening for employees last night. Today is the first day the restaurant is open to the public.

The interior mirrors the sushi chain’s Puyallup eatery with plenty of industrial metal touches – shiny tabletops and a long sushi bar wrapped in diamond plating. The space holds around 50 diners – with eight tables and about 14 stools at the sushi counter. The restaurant kept virtually the same footprint as Overtime Bar and Grill, which operated for about six months in that space in 2012.

Like its sibling restaurants, Trapper’s Tacoma outpost keeps the kid-friendly vibe in casual digs. The restaurant was fully staffed today with three sushi chefs churning out rolls that look more like mini meals than sushi rolls.

Rolls at Trapper's sushi are known for being over sized - each piece can yield two or three bites. Pictured here are partial rolls from a dinner at the Puyallup Trapper's. From the rear going clockwise, a Mountain roll, a Trapper roll, a Mt. Rainier and a Crystal Shrimp.
Rolls at Trapper’s sushi are known for being over sized – each piece can yield two or three bites.

Sushi at Trapper’s is a hybrid best described as modern American – oversized maki rolls come stuffed and topped with cascading ingredients, some with flavors that zoom way over the top. Rolls are drizzled with garlic-cilantro sauce, topped with flamed mayo, stuffed with chicken and coated in fried onions. It’s a style quite different from traditional sushi restaurants that feature minimal ingredients and pure, clean flavors. Think of Trapper’s as something more like TwoKoi than Sushi Tama (a personal favorite), which is just a short drive from Trapper’s.

Trapper’s is a sushi restaurant for diners who like big flavors and big portions – the restaurant offers all-you-can-eat sushi for $15.95 on select days and times.

The restaurant probably is best known for its maki rolls, but there’s also sashimi, hand rolls and nigiri, as well as teriyaki, tempura, miso and more. There’s a kid’s menu, too. For vegetarians – Trapper’s has a thoughtful menu of a half dozen vegetarian rolls. The vegetarian selection looks better than what I’m used to seeing on Tacoma sushi menus.

Trapper’s is a small regional chain with roots in East Pierce. Trapper O’Keeffe opened his first sushi restaurant in Bonney Lake in 2004. That restaurant spawned a sibling in Covington in 2009, then a Puyallup restaurant in 2010. Stores in Kent and Bremerton followed.

It’s a family business. O’Keeffe’s brother-in-law – a classically trained sushi chef from Osaka – taught family members the sushi business at his restaurant in Reno (that restaurant has since closed). When O’Keeffe moved to the Northwest to open his own sushi restaurants, his family followed. O’Keeffe’s three brothers – Frank, Jimmy and Jaysin Reyna – work at his restaurants and so does his mother, a niece and two nephews.

Trapper’s Sushi
Where: 3118 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253-891-2046,
Hours: Serving lunch and dinner daily

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