December 21, 2012

Hake in squid ink

"Merlu, chorizo, encre" at Saturne, our first dinner in Paris. Beautifully, perfectly executed.

December 17, 2012

cavatelli + tripe

Any day that Spinasse has tripe in the menu as one of the specials is a great day. Embrace the decadence, with chickpeas, of course.

December 9, 2012

Just a little bite

Flamed scallop crudo on crispy prosciutto di parma, avocado, paddlefish caviar, parsley oil and meyer lemon. It's great having a bit of free time to goof around.

December 6, 2012

A little weeknight Eritrean

Vegetable platter with injira, served with uncommon pride and friendliness at Dahlak, a nearby Eritrean joint located in a former strip club. The lack of windows is a bit weird, but the food is tasty, and an incredible value.

December 3, 2012

Soondubu jjigae (순두부 찌개)

One of my favorite things to eat on a cold, rainy evening. This lovely bowl is courtesy of LaV---her first time making it, and she totally nailed the flavor. What a great Monday!

November 28, 2012


Fresh yakisoba, stir-fried with pork and vegetables, and topped with a perfectly cooked omelet. Made by the exceedingly friendly folks at the newly opened--and very promising--4649 Yoroshiku in Wallingford.

November 4, 2012

A twist of lemon

The lemon gâteau basque from Honoré in Ballard... a nice riff on one of my favorite desserts.

October 7, 2012

twigs and branches

Or, lobster mushrooms and smoked potato appetizer. Love Portland.

September 14, 2012

mint caipirinha

Last fleeting days of summer. A beautiful Friday calls for a beautiful cocktail... A slight mod of a caipirinha. Novo Fogo barrel-aged cachaça. Mint from the garden. Sit back and enjoy.

September 13, 2012

crispy pig trotter

I don't eat pig trotter often, but when I do, it's usually at Spinasse. Stay hungry, my friend.

September 10, 2012

the "football" (鹹水角)

a.k.a. deep fried pork dumpling. my all-time favorite dim sum item ever since I was a kid. horrible if done poorly, but magical when done well. like at Sun Sui Wah in Richmond, B.C.

August 28, 2012

Phnom Penh chicken wings

The one and only. Coated in the signature sweet black pepper garlic honey sauce. It's actually impossible not to love these.

Even more amazing, though, is Chef Seng "Sam" Ong. A Cambodian refugee whose hometown fell to the Khmer Rouge when he was only 20 years old, Sam overcame unimaginable hardship and loss, ultimately becoming one of the  icons of the Seattle International District community. We got to spend a truly special evening with him, thanks to Ben and Emily.

Check out his memoir, I Survived the Killing Fields: The True Life Story of a Cambodian Refugee.

August 26, 2012

Corn zucchini fritter

Light and crispy, savory with little bursts of sweetness from each corn kernel, and just a touch of spice. Totally balanced goodness.

August 22, 2012

August 21, 2012

Almond croissant

Too often, almond croissants can be crushingly disappointing... Far too sweet, way too much almond paste, and not enough crisp to the exterior (these are baked a second time for a reason). Great almond croissants are about simplicity and restraint. Here is a fantastic version from Proof Bakery in Atwater Village down in L.A., one of the better almond croissants I can remember. Just the right amount of almond paste for an aura of sweet almond flavor. Just enough time back in the oven so that your first bite sends a little cascade of croissant shards all over the table. And finished with an appropriate dusting (rather than dumping) of powdered sugar. Perfect with a cup of Cognoscenti coffee.

Proof Bakery on Urbanspoon

August 20, 2012

Brioche doughnuts

Decadent, airy pillows of goodness. Madagascar vanilla whipped cream unnecessary. From LAMILL in Silver Lake.

Lamill Coffee Boutique on Urbanspoon

August 19, 2012

bibim naeng myeon (비빔 냉면)

Hard to think of anything better to have for lunch on a 95 degree summer day in Los Angeles. At Yu Chun on Olympic Blvd.

Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun on Urbanspoon

August 18, 2012


An abundant supply of ripe, juicy, delicious figs from the front yard of C+P's house in Silver Lake. Sometimes, the best things in life are free.

August 11, 2012

great coffee

Nicaraguan beans. Intelligentsia roast. Chemex brewed. Super clean, balanced flavor.

August 10, 2012

arctic char

In Chicago celebrating our anniversary. A nicely composed dish by the team at Goosefoot: arctic char, maitake, English pea, espelette. Perfectly cooked. Had a chance to chat with Chris and Nina Nugent... Two of the nicest people you'll meet. This place is a very personal labor of love. A super young team with lots of potential for great things in their future.

Goosefoot on Urbanspoon

July 31, 2012

neba neba

Really terrific soba by Kamonegi, a new pop-up soba operation in Seattle. Dense, chewy, toothsome noodles. Served with cucumber, grated Japanese mountain yam, pickled daikon and a runny, soft-boiled egg. All of LaV's favorite things.

Kamonegi also has a soba blog. That's pretty awesome.

July 30, 2012

goi cuon

Lav's fresh spring rolls. A great way to kick off the week.

July 29, 2012

a modern take on albacore

albacore coated with charred onion ash, paired with multiple textures of radish and seaweed. Castagna, Portland.

July 27, 2012

July 25, 2012

Late supper

After a terrific free performance put on by the Seattle Chamber Music Society at Volunteer Park, we found ourselves enjoying a late supper with the fine folks at Artusi. Tripe and pork meatballs with a veal ragu. Meat+meat... Total insanity. Wonderful, wonderful insanity.

July 24, 2012

shrimp shack

Among the things that are quintessentially Northwest, there's a special place for Sweet D's Shrimp Shack. Run by the super-friendly husband and wife duo of Dieter and Laurel, this is a must stop if you're near Deception Pass on Highway 20.

A 5-lb bag of sweet coonstripes and an order of fresh wild cod and chips and you're set! Picnic tables, a live bluegrass band, and some amazing Skagit Valley strawberries for dessert complete the picture. Now if they could just serve beer and wine...

July 23, 2012

kouign amann

My favorite thing at Neil Robertson's tiny bakery, Crumble & Flake. Roughly translated to "butter bread", this treat is composed of thin layers of bread dough coated with butter and sugar. A Breton cake first invented in 1865 in the village of Douarnenez, Robertson's version elevates and refines this typically simply treat with atypical touches of detail--not the least of which is the deeply ambered paper-thin outer sugar layer, adding a beautiful burnt caramel note to the crispy-chewy buttery goodness.

Here's an interesting profile on C&F in the Economist.

July 19, 2012


Just another amazing night of sushi at Miyabi. It felt like everything was even better than their usual awesomeness. Albacore, toro, saba, iwashi (wow), mirugai, amaebi, uni, sockeye, and sawara. Perfect texture, perfect temperature... Totally hit it out of the park.

Fried shrimp heads from the amaebi--a great way to cap off the meal.

July 16, 2012

Fish tacos

One of LaV's new specialties, tonight's crispy fish tacos were the best she's made to date. Fresh sole fried with a panko crust... Add some sweet mango, corn and avocado salsa. Amazing.

July 15, 2012


Because some days are just made for a juicy burger and a glass of wine.

July 14, 2012

Oysters over the campfire

A first attempt at recreating the terrific grilled oysters from last weekend at Hog Island Oyster Co. in Tomales Bay.

Fresh pacific oysters from Claude's Live Crab Shack in Bremerton. Garlic, butter, lemon juice, parsley. Super hot coals courtesy of Belinda's mad campfire skills, Illahee State Park.

July 12, 2012

Prosciutto-wrapped opah

Getting home late on a weeknight, needing something quick and satisfying. Fresh opah filets from the market, wrapped in prosciutto, 3 minutes per side on a hot grill. With a salad of grilled peaches, corn, avocado and purslane.

July 9, 2012

油条 (yóutiáo)

The last three posts have all all been about grilling (yes, summer has arrived), so let's go a different direction for a moment, to the land of fried goodness.

On our quick trip back to the Bay Area for our niece's first birthday party, we had a chance to indulge in an old weekend tradition from by youth: yóutiáo (Chinese doughnuts) fresh from the fryer. The best yóutiáo are lightly crunchy on the outside, with soft, slightly elastic and airy interiors. When you get great yóutiáo, it's a magnificent combination of textures without feeling excessively greasy. Much like croissants, average-to-bad yóutiáo are abundant, but the best versions are elusive.

You can have them with rice porridge, but my favorite way to enjoy these golden batons of nutritional void is with a steaming bowl of sweetened soy milk. No wonder I was a big kid...

July 8, 2012

Oysters off the grill

It's hard to beat spending a sunny afternoon at Tomales Bay, downing some freshly shucked Sweetwater oysters at Hog Island. Add in some addictive barbequed oysters with a chipotle garlic butter for bonus bliss. Good times.

July 5, 2012

Grilled corn salad

Blistered and caramelized kernels off of a hot grill. Tossed with feta, mint, lime juice and zest. Supremely simple, bright and refreshing on a beautiful summer day.

July 1, 2012

Summer grilling

While the rest of the country is enveloped in a heat wave, we're struggling to break 70 degrees. But we'll take it! Summer in Seattle always officially begins July 5th, and this year will be no different, with a bit rain expected the next two days. No matter, we took to some serious grilling this weekend, including this monumental, beautiful double cut bone-in pork chop from Tails & Trotters. Brined with  cinnamon and star anise. Juicy, fatty and rich... a decadent meal for two.

June 30, 2012

Yam pla grob

An amazing crispy smelt salad with spicy greens, tomatoes and rice. Close your eyes... the bright, sparkling flavors will teleport you to another land. Made by my heroes at Little Uncle.
Little Uncle on Urbanspoon

June 26, 2012

Tamago nigiri

Not everyone makes their Tamago like this. Sweet, spongy, almost cake-like... The perfect way to end a meal. At Shiro in Belltown.

June 24, 2012

salsa delle erbe

Tonight's Sunday supper:  steak off the grill, dressed simply with an oil of fresh garden herbs. Rosemary, flowering thyme, sage, basil, and parsley, with a touch of garlic and red pepper flakes. Drizzle it. On everything.

June 23, 2012

Roasted broccoli

Speaking of Sitka and Spruce, one of my favorite times to stop by is Saturday morning brunch, when the kitchen us chill and the room is flooded with light. Today's dish was classic S&S: roasted broccoli, new garlic aioli, migas, and a poached egg. Beautiful way to start the day.

June 21, 2012

Grilled octopus

I love well-prepared grilled octopus. They used to do this all the time at the old Eastlake location of Sitka and Spruce. This lovely version is from Bar del Corso. Meaty, tender and kissed with a light smoky char. Served with an heirloom pepperonata for luscious sweetness.
Bar del Corso on Urbanspoon

June 20, 2012

the tandoozy plate

This plate has it all: tandoori chicken, dhal, basmati rice, tikka masala, mango chutney and naan right out of the tandoor.

Everything is solid, but man, the naan and chutney are real knockouts. Places like Tandoozy at the Columbia City farmers' market make our neighborhood special.
Tandoozy (Fremont Sunday Market) on Urbanspoon