It was Sunday at 1:45pm and my friends and I had our monthly get-together. The line was out the door with a 20 minute wait for a party of 3. What madness was this??? For ramen on a Sunday afternoon? I wanted to introduce my roommate to ramen – and not of the prepackaged cup variety that many of us were familiar with in college – but the real, rich broth and hearty noodles with meat that melts in your mouth. Kukai is all of those things, plus the par boiled egg, with its runny yolk that completes the meal.
My friend traveled all the way from Tokyo, and people think that he wants Japanese food, in Seattle. He was born in Seattle and Japanese food in Tokyo is much better than any Japanese food you could get in Seattle – hands down. Tokyo has more Michelin starred restaurants than Paris and even more stars overall. It kind of puts things into perspective if you think about Japanese culture and their attention to detail and their craft, that it makes sense that the same sort of reverence and obsession would be applied to food. However, a trip to Japan and dining at one of the finest Italian restaurants is quite expensive, so we’re sticking to Seattle. There are a few top notch Italian places on my list: Cantinetta, Café Juanita, La Rustica, Agrodulce, Rione XIII (this is more comfort food), Tavolta, and Cascina Spinasse.
Today’s choice was Cascina Spinase, after having dined at Aragona earlier this year and remembering a pretty fantastic poached egg with fontina, I thought it was time to return. We were not disappointed and ordered a smattering of dishes to get a better taste of the kitchen’s talent. We watched, with rapture, a chef handmake pasta and breadsticks. The food was impeccable and truly highlighted their mix of ingredients.
The Black Knight and I go running, and nothing sounds better after a long run than comforting southern food. Today’s pick: Witness Bar in Capital Hill. It’s not a super trendy bar, so we were fine in our running gear sitting on the patio. There was a birthday party with a drag queen diva and it’s a lively place, smallish but not too cramped.
My bi-monthly dinner explorations with Salumi continued this month with Restaurant Marron. There has been a lot of excitement from foodies regarding this restaurant because it was supposed to be a 16-course journey. While that menu hasn’t quite come to fruition yet, a carte blanche for $98 is. Consider it their version of the tasting menu. How is it different from a tasting menu? Chef Eric Sakai makes dishes up as he goes along and it is splendid. There is no better way to get a sense of the chef’s chops than the tasting menu (the Black Knight would agree whole-heartedly with me on this) and so both Salumi and I ordered the carte blanche and waited to see what magic the kitchen could concoct.
On a nice day, the Black Night and I dropped by Marination Ma Kai after a day at Lincoln Park as he liked the idea of kalibi beef in a taco form. It’s one of those Asian fusion concepts that you have to try in order to fully appreciate its brilliance. The patio was crowded on a sunny day, but be warned, the draft coming off the water makes it really cold. Bring a jacket if you think you want to sit in the sun or get a better view of the cityscape. This is after all, one of the most iconic views of Seattle, after Kerry Park.
When Mr. Lo returns from Washington D.C., we always celebrate his return with good food and good friends. It’s a Good Life. We were going to go to Brimmer & Heeltap, but the restaurant was too small for a party of 9 and wasn’t child friendly, so Nutkin moved us to Hi Life not too much further down the street.
I’ve been there for their friend chicken Sunday dinner, which at $15, is an amazing deal and most certainly a must-try! I had not been there for other entrees, and I enjoyed the atmosphere and thought it was great for children and large groups. Their build your own cookie for children’s dessert was so much fun! They provide cookie dough and sprinkles and let the kids get to work. It is truly an edible work of art!
My mom likes Middle Eastern food because of all of its exotic flavors and spices, so when it came time to celebrate Mother’s Day (along with 3 other people’s birthdays) we went to Café Munir as we had heard great reviews about it. It’s a nice family restaurant in a non-descript neighborhood and no sign above the store. The sign is in the window. We had 4 people at our table and our order was just the perfect amount of food. The pastries are on the small side, but you’ll fill up on the hummus and baba ghanoush. The entrees are fairly generous.