Rich Broth, Rich Taste – Kukai Ramen

Posted on

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.

Kukai - garlic tonkatsu ramen

garlic tonkatsu ramen – it’s rich without being oily, punctuated by crunchy bamboo shoots and crisp bean sprouts; the noodles are al dente and firm to the chew – very different from what you may expect from packaged ramen; the kicker is the par boiled egg

Continue reading »

Inventive Italian – Cascina Spinasse

Posted on

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.

cascina spinasee - proscuitto and zucchini salad

proscuitto and zucchini salad – this was the first half of the antipasti sampler; prosciutto with melon, which featured a very sweet melon, in this classic pairing; and charred zucchini with cheese – like a deconstructed zucchini parmesan (fresh zucchini without a hint of bitterness plays well with the mild cheese)

Continue reading »

A Good Alibi – Witness Bar

Posted on

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.

Witness - chicken & waffles

chicken & waffles: Love love love the waffles, soft but so buttery! The chicken, well, probably could have used a little more seasoning, but it's the combination of sweet and salty that we're after here.

witness - pork sliders

pork sliders - a nice combination of slaw and pulled pork on a brioche bun; I was in it for the French fries though - and that horseradish cream sauce that goes with the fries! Those are pretty good fries!!!


Continue reading »