Putting Glaze Teriyaki to the Seattle Test

Please give a warm welcome to our newest contributor: Donny T. from the site Eat to Blog

Back in December, Glaze Teriyaki opened to a lot of excitement from Midtown Lunchers and teriyaki lovers. The obvious excitement came from the fact that the owner is a Seattle native, bringing what has become THE food of Seattle to NYC. Chris H. was lucky enough to try the teriyaki when it first opened and liked it a lot. But how does Glaze Teriyaki compare to the real thing?

Well, guess what? I just got back from Seattle!  Don’t mind if I do…

Seattle the birth place of grunge, coffee culture and the home of the teriyaki. Yes teriyaki, which I only found out when I did my “must eats” research. How in the world did teriyaki become THE food of Seattle? I couldn’t leave Seattle without getting some teriyaki. So on the very last day of my visit, just few hours before my flight I went on a search for it.

Osaka Teriyaki

Right on Pike St, just blocks from Pike Place, was Osaka Teriyaki. For $7.50 you can get the chicken teriyaki special but for 50cents more I went for the chicken and pork combo. This place was pretty much run by the couple behind the counter. For $8, this plate could’ve easily fed 3 people (or 2 of me!) The meats were piled high and dripping with sauce, tasty sauce. I ate a piece of chicken by itself and thought “wow the sauce is really salty with a little bit of sweetness in it.” But when I ate it with the rice it was perfect! The meats were grilled to perfection with bits and pieces of charred goodness. The raw lettuce with a squirt of (what I think was) ranch dressing was admittedly a little sad, but in some ways it’s what I love about good cheap food- there was clearly no fuss over it. The meat may not have been locally raised or massaged with sake but it was damn comforting- especially in the cool gloomy Seattle weather.

Of course once I got back to New York, I was curious about Glaze Teriyaki (and in need of a perfect lunch for this cool gloomy NYC weather.) For $7.75 I got the Murray’s chicken thigh teriyaki with white rice and the sesame dressing for the salad. I got there right before Noon, which turned out to be the perfect time because the tiny shop quickly filled up after I placed my order- and even then I still had to wait a bit for my food.

Glaze Teriyaki

I opened the box to a nice looking lunch. The salad was definitely better looking then a pile of raw lettuce and the sesame dressing was excellent. The slices of chicken were juicy and had nice looking grilled marks. But really it all comes down to the sauce. How did it compare to teriyaki in Seattle?! Well, first of all, there wasn’t a lot of sauce on the chicken, and some pieces were actually sauceless (the horror!) But in the end I’ve got to agree with Chris H., there is no fault to be found in this sauce. Sure, if push came to shove I guess I preferred Osaka’s. The flavors were bold and screaming, while the sauce from Glaze was a bit milder. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time) I will try the spicy version and make sure to get extra sauce.

The + (What somebody who likes this would say)

  • Closest thing to getting real Seattle teriyaki
  • Actually has room for group dining
  • Option for double meat? Yes please!

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Not enough sauce
  • Waited too long for my food

Glaze Teriyaki, 638 Lexington Ave. (btw 54+55th St), 212-935-3400


  • glaze is pretty good but their portions are too small for the price…if they had 20% more meat I’d be in much more often. Their double meat option for $3 seems more like 50-70% more meat, which is lame. Also, I find it ridiculous that they charge $1 extra for hot sauce…which is ok, but definitely not worth $1. Get some of that free Sriracha off to the side instead. And agreed about the wait…guess that’s the price of made to order food.

  • Donny, if you’re going to compare Glaze to Seattle teriyaki, you can’t use Osaka as a reference (which us Seattlites referred to as Scary Teriyaki)!

    I have yet to try Glaze, but it is definitely on my list, as I’ve been having a hankering for real teriyaki.

    Seattle Weekly did a great write up about the history and evolution of teriyaki. (http://www.seattleweekly.com/2007-08-15/food/how-teriyaki-became-seattle-s-own-fast-food-phenomenon.php/)

    • I was going to try Happy Teriyaki but they weren’t opened and Osaka was the closest to my hotel. Which teriyaki place do you prefer in Seattle?

      • There are a few I’d recommend (not all are my personals preferences):

        1. Teriyaki Madness in Kirkland (but I think they have other locations) has the best tasting teriyaki I’ve ever had. The sauce is sweet, and it came with a side of sunamono, which is a Japanese cucumber salad.

        2. Tokyo Garden – Anytime you mention Teriyaki to a UW graduate, I can guarantee they’ve heard of it. Located on “The Ave”, this spot is known more for the size of its lunch plate as opposed to the taste/quality of the food. The typical order was Chicken Teriyaki – no salad (which provided a 2nd huge serving of rice). The chicken tended to be a bit overcooked and dry, which I firmly believe was a result of high volume. They would throw a crap-ton of chicken thighs on the grill during the lunch rush and serve them as needed…resulting in an overcooked chicken. I found if you went during non-peak hours, the chicken was usually properly cooked.

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    As a girl I have to say, I love the ingredients glaze uses as they seem to be really good quality…eat there like 3 times a week. My coworker from outside of seattle brought me there and she says its great too

  • Just now tried the spicy teriyaki sauce and it’s got some nice heat and kick to it…perfect blend of sriracha-teriyaki.

  • Glaze does offer extra bottles of teriyaki sauce on the tables, which is nice. However, I agree it’s overpriced. Would rather have Teriyaki Boy for $4 than Glaze at $8.

  • Oh how I disagree that Osaka is not the place to compare it to. I just moved here after 16 years in Seattle. Got my teryaki fix once a week from Osaka. Yes, I tried lots of other places with mixed results. Some really good some not so much. But Osaka was always the same, very tasty and very filling. Sure the “salad” was just some lettuce. But the dressing was good and who got it for the salad anyway?
    I guess the idea of arguing over where the best teryaki in Seattle is in a forum on New York foods is a bit silly. But I do miss Osaka! Going to give Glaze a try based on the review.

    • I’m not saying it was the worst Teriyaki…but it did have its reputation (which I think was mainly based on it’s location across the street from “Turf”). My point was primarily, that if you were to compare Glaze to what true Seattle-style teriyaki was, then you’d want to compare it to an institution.

      Donny asked earlier for my recommendations on a better place to have compared…I’ll respond to his post with my list.

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    I haven’t had a decent teriyaki in years. I used to enjoy it from Yagura Mart from time to time but it’s been ages since I’ve checked up on that old standby.

  • I’ve tried it twice. I’m not a big fan. Teriyaki Boy is much better overall because of the non-teriyaki options (Curry dishes). The chicken thigh is OK, but the spork and steak are dry. The sauce does lack flavor. I think there are more interesting choices in that neighborhood (Goodburger, SenseBowl, Korilla, etc.).

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