There are four new restaurants that make me want to expand my already established collection of loose-fitting pants in 2013. And they all feature either young sheep or noodles.
Shanik - Vancouver envy is so 2012, especially now that I don’t have to make a trek to score Vij’s famous lamb popsicles. Lamb popsicles have made their way to Sea-town, courtesy of Meeru Dhalwala. Dhalwala, wife of Vij, has partnered with Oguz Istif to open a killer new restaurant named after Meeru and Vij’s daughter. $27 seems a little hefty for three meat pops until you surprise yourself by gnawing at the bone with your hands until there is no more lamby left.
Agrodolce: Yes! Another respectable Fremont institution catering to people who didn’t drop out of a frat to focus on their drunken yelling. The genre at Maria Hines’ third venture is southern Italian, and I dare say I like it even more than her first baby, Tilth.
The three week old restaurant serves up the best sheep dish in Seattle: Anderson Ranch lamb loin paired with grilled treviso, onion marmalade, and celeriac.
Kamonegi: I have had my eye on Mutsuko Soma since she staged a soba pop-up at Sushi Kappo Tamura last year. After seeing her in several online and print publications announcing her handmade soba-making skills with a dedicated following anxiously awaiting the opening of Miyabi in Wallingford, I realize I should have asked for her autograph while I still had the chance.
Taichi Kitamura, co-owner and executive chef of Sushi Kappo Tamura, says the youthful Soma is critical in keeping the Japanese culinary tradition alive. ”If the younger generation does not start partaking in this beautiful tradition, sadly it will die with the older generation.”
Kukai Ramen: I fancy Tsukushinbo for their shoyu (soy sauce-based) ramen and Showa makes a heck of a miso ramen, but my ultimate craving is for the tonkotsu variation: Porky and rich with a hint of garlic oil. In the past, I have made the trek to Ramen Row in Vancouver, BC to get my fix, but no longer. Kukai, a Japanese ramen chain, has landed in a strip mall in Bellevue.
Despite a drive over the bridge and the noodle shop’s close proximity to a Walmart, I am all over it like a stoner on Doritos.