7458 N. Division St.
Sooji Shin says her father has worked with fish for 25 years, first in their family's seaside hometown of Busan, South Korea, and then stateside in California and Las Vegas.
Now he creates sushi in his Japanese and Korean restaurant, Kinja, tucked in the corner of the Dollar Tree shopping center on North Division Street. Shin helps her parents with the family-run business and is learning how to make sushi herself.
Her family moved to Spokane and opened Kinja a few months ago after running a restaurant of the same name in Tacoma for four years. Shin says Koreans made up much of their customer base in Tacoma, but here in Spokane, the clientele has been mostly Americans, many of them still figuring out the sushi game.
"A lot of customers come in, but they don't know how to eat sushi," she says. "But I just want them to enjoy it." She recommends the Jane Roll to diners who aren't regular sushi eaters, and she says they usually like it and even come back for more.
The Jane Roll — shrimp tempura and crab topped with spicy tuna, sauce and crunch — is one among many of the items on the conveyor belt that rolls plates of sushi, fried seafood and desserts ($1.50-$4.50) around the seating area.
Shin says the belt provides a good opportunity to get sushi to people, but no one is ever forced to eat sushi because there are a variety of other foods — fried or cooked — on the belt or the regular menu.
846 N. Fourth St., Coeur d'Alene
Tucked into the corner of a commercial strip along Coeur d'Alene's Fourth Street corridor, Angelo's Ristorante is a paradoxical wonder. Unassuming from the outside and partially hidden by wooden fencing enclosing the patio, the cozy space has nonetheless become a word-of-mouth favorite.
Under the direction of chef/owner Angelo Martini Brunson, the kitchen dishes up a wide array of pan-Italian cuisine, including from-scratch appetizers, entrées and desserts mostly using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Expect traditional foods with an emphasis on freshness and flavor like tender artichoke hearts oreganato, grilled eggplant "parcels" with pine nuts, goat cheese and basil; veal, steak and lamb dishes; fragrant Cioppino; and plenty of pasta.
Established in 2004, Angelo's has since made modest changes, expanding to include additional indoor and outdoor seating and adding pizza to the menu. It's one of nearly two dozen signature items on Angelo's standing dinner special: two entrées and a bottle of wine for $55. A fine dining experience combining Old World charm and cuisine in an unlikely CdA setting.