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  1. I think that your partner should consider Union. Just twist his or her arm a little.
  2. Good example--We had one meal at Veil and decided that there were many other places in town where we will choose to spend our money instead. It's just not nearly good enough for the money they are charging. Although the restaurant looks great from the inside, it is cramped and the food is just not near the money they are charging. I'm also not into the "be seen scene", so that angle is lost on me. I was happy to see the magazine bring up Veil in this context--it adds significantly to my impression that these are actually unbiased restaurant reviews and listings.
  3. So, I just got a copy of the brand-spanking-new Seattle Magazine restaurant issue (April 2006). All in all, I'm impressed. I agree with them on many accounts, with a few minor quibbles. The restaurants I'm familiar with seem accurately represented--I think I could give this issue to a friend or visitor and think that they wouldn't be steered completely wrong! I don't get the feeling in the least that this is advertising-driven--I think this is honest reviewing and recommending. With that in mind, I wonder about checking out some of the restaurants mentioned that I'm not familiar with. This roundup is worth checking out. BUT, and a big one here.... CREMANT--to quote from the review: "In February, Scott...opened Cremant, a charming restaurant that has infused the main Madrona retail/restaurant strip with a much-needed dose of rustic French classicism. The dishes served here are traditional yet creative and exceptionally prepared (albeit rich). Order the cassoulet with Tarbais beans, pork, lamb, pork sausage and duck confit or the moules mariniere, mussels with white wine and parsley.... We can't wait to see the awards Emerick, now on his own, will rack up in the future." While all of this may indeed prove to be accurate, Cremant finally opened, after a delay, A LITTLE OVER A WEEK AGO. I fully expect this restaurant to be great, as many of you probably do to. So, here are my thoughts on this specific review, which is not attributed to any of the four writers of this issue's restaurant roundup: Either the writer of this review never actually ate at the restaurant and came up with the entire thing based on the chef's excellent reputation and maybe a tour of the space before it was open, OR the writer ate at a pre-opening party or similar junket and based the review on a special occasion dinner prepared for food media and VIPs that does not have much to do with an actual retail meal that you and I could purchase there, OR they ate at the restaurant on opening day and then in a mad dash of holding the presses, got this review into the magazine at the last second and had it printed and in my lap one week later. In doing this mad dash they forgot to correct the part about opening in February and didn't give the place time to iron out opening kinks. I think this mad dash is impossible in the world of magazine publishing which tends to work a couple months in advance. OR something else happened here that someone will straighten out quickly. Am I wrong? Thoughts on the quality of the reviews? Thoughts on the Cremant thing?
  4. Wow, let the floodgates open! Thanks for the good info from all, and the great seasonal details from tofino. I think we'll research the possibilities a little more, make a couple of reservations, and play the rest by ear when we arrive. It sounds like we will be happy eating in the rain at the taco truck for a couple of meals. Overall, there seem to be much better eating possibilities than I realized. If the floodgates open on our heads, so much the better. I agree with tofino that about the weather. If we didn't want rain on our vacation, we'd be in a different locale! Maybe that's why we go on overnight hikes in the rainforest in December, or plan NW pacific coast trips in the middle of winter. Ahhh.... We'll be in town at the end of February, will probably check in with tofino when we arrive to say hi and chat briefly for the 'latest', and will report back here on our meals. Stay dry in the wet now, everyone....
  5. As this seems to be the top Tofino thread, I'm going to resurrect it briefly. The two of us and our 2 1/2 old child are going to spend 4 nights in Feburary at the Wickaninnish Inn , maybe a couple of nights in the area before or after. We plan on having one dinner at the restaurant (babysitting provided for guests!), and probably a breakfast and lunch or two, depending on prices. We don't have a lot of money to burn, but will do so occasionally when justified. My questions for those in the know (I've read this entire thread, going back over two years!): Are some of the restaurants mentioned seasonal (ie, which ones are open now?) Which ones will let us take our CHILD, assuming for the sake of argument that even though the child is great, there will be lots of fussing and crying when we step into a nice restaurant. Which ones need reservations in advance? We generally like playing things by ear, but don't want to miss a great meal because we didn't plan correctly. Sorry for the smilies, they're just so tempting sitting over there. Must...stop.... Thanks, all.
  6. Hello all, I've come out of lurking / 1st post! Some thoughts on this thread: I haven't been to Shilla in several years, but used to go on occasion for a fix before finding other places and other cuisine. It was the best that we found easily at the time near downtown Seattle, but there weren't many choices. We've been to the other Ho Soon Yi way up on Highway 99 in Edmonds (a couple of blocks north of the road to the Edmonds ferry) a couple of times. Initial impressions are that it is good. They haven't watered down food or service for us "westerners". Good strong flavors with a kick, with very good soup; very enjoyable and a busy place. There is a little market in the corner of this small strip mall (a door or two down from the restaurant) that has a self-service cart of to go items, labeled in non-english, most items looking like a mystery to me. If you want to be adventurous and try some interesting stuff, do like we did and just scoop out a bunch of small plastic containers of mystery food and see how you like them. I think we asked for some categories, and got answers like "meat", "fish", etc.... Fun. We used to go to Koryo on Aurora in the 100+'s for a quick cheap fix (it looks like an old converted Shakey's pizza). At the time they were just fair, and had just passable food overall, but had a tasty oily chap chai, and a very good Bi Bim Bap in a hot stone bowl (the bowl I find hard to find elsewhere). They were always empty. A couple of years ago they changed owners/names to Merinae, they got worse, and we haven't been back. In the "Ranch Market" strip mall in Edmonds (22511 Hwy 99) is BCD Tofu (the only WA outlet of a small California chain), which we first tried "to go" when the Pho restaurant next door was closed. We've been back one more time. It is always crowded with Koreans (we pass it to go next door), which is a good sign. They are not a Korean BBQ, so don't have grills, but their beef bulgoki was surprisingly good (twice) from the kitchen. The tofu soup comes out in a bubbling bowl and is very good also; strong flavors and spicy-but-not-too-spicy. This is most definitely worth a sample if you are doing a sampling of the genre. The Bi Bim Bap is average, and is the kind in a cold bowl. The kim chee assortment includes fish, not the little dried guppie-like ones you see sometimes, but actual just-fried fish a few inches long which are pretty tasty. Smallish shop with no atmosphere, other than little crowded restaurant. As an aside, next door to BCD is some of the best pho we have found yet, at Pho To Chau. This is a big restaurant, not many people, also no atmosphere other than a big sparse restaurant. But the broth, which makes pho 'sink or swim', is really good and fragrant and carries the place. They also have a branch in Kent which we haven't been to. Yummm and cheap. While you're in the strip mall, take a walk through the asian Ranch Market. We also went recently once to Hae-Nam Kalbi & Calamari, a new branch of a Korean chain on Aurora. Good first impressions. However, the beef bulgoki, despite grilling on the table by yours truly, was forgettable and rather tasteless; we probably won't order it again. Nice and shiny and new facilities with an electronic button on each table to call for service or something. Almost across the street from Hae-Nam Kalbi & Calamari was Old Village, a tiny place that we seeked out looking for a 'hole in the wall' that won't get a second visit unless someone else convinces us we went on an off night. Never been to Akasaka, but it's on the list.... Edited to add: After re-reading above, I 'd have to say that I think the best of these listed is Ho Soon Yi, which we've been to a few times. My jury is out yet on Hae-Nam Kalbi & Calamari, as we've had only one visit, but it has potential. Cheers.
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