10 BETTER Seattle restaurants

Posted on
Aug 4, 2009

Dear Kathika.com,

I want to be friends. I really do. I even follow you on twitter. But seriously, your last article about “hot” Seattle restaurants? Eeep. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to tell you like this. But it was a little off. For one thing, all of those restaurants are crazy pricey and overrated. For another, most of them are populated by old, rich, white men (see El Gaucho and The Met). Plus,  it’s been 90 degrees here for the past two weeks, and no one has air-conditioning – we don’t want “hot” restaurants. And lastly, you spelled Campagne wrong.

So I figured I’d help in the only way I can. I’d refute your article point by point. I know – I kinda suck. It’s why people love me. Or maybe why they hate me. Truth be told, I don’t really pay attention anymore …

You recommend: Wild Ginger. I actually ate here last week, and it wasn’t bad. The food is a little pricey, but the bigger problem is that this place has no soul (plus, like, 3 of my former bosses are investors here).

I recommend: Jack’s Tapas, Mainly Chinese. Yes, that’s it’s full name. No, they don’t have tapas. And it’s not “mainly” Chinese – it’s ALL Chinese. Get the scallion bread, shaved noodles, and crispy duck.

Photo courtesy of jwalsh via Flickr.com

Photo courtesy of jwalsh via Flickr.com


You recommend: The Kingfish Cafe. I’ll confess, I’ve never been there, but that’s mostly because no one can get in. The lines are insane.

I recommend: Ezell’s fried chicken. Oprah has it flown out. Who are you going to listen to? Oprah, or … THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS OPRAH.


You Recommend: Ray’s Boathouse. I’ll admit, the views are amazing, but I’ve never had a truly great meal here. It’s also a middle-aged meat market. Old people hooking up is not appetizing.

I recommend: Matt’s in the Market. Yeah, they’ll rush you out (after you’ve finished eating) because they’re always super busy. With good reason. Great seafood, super fresh, and hidden enough as to make you seem like a badass when you find it.

Photo courtesy of SauceSupreme via Flickr.com

Photo courtesy of SauceSupreme via Flickr.com


You recommend: Canlis. In this economy, that’s just funny.

I recommend: Etta’s. You’ll get the same creative Northwest cuisine for much less money. Plus, instead of mints, they have Swedish fish. That’s Seattle.


You recommend: The Metropolitan Grill. Are you Don Draper? No? Then don’t eat here.

I recommend: Skillet. You want manly? They have bacon jam. THEY HAVE A JAM MADE OUT OF MEAT. Do you hear me? Meat. It’s awesome.

Photo courtesy of inuyaki.com via Flickr.com

Photo courtesy of inuyaki.com via Flickr.com


You recommend: Assaggio. Which, granted, is well-reviewed. But as an Italian, I’ve learned not to trust people named Mauro. Sorry.

I recommend: La Vita e Bella. Cheaper than Assaggio, and in the same neighborhood, it serves great pasta, pizza, and dessert. And everyone there – including the waitstaff – is Italian (and to my knowledge, no one is named Mauro).


You recommend: El Gaucho. Which makes me think you aren’t even trying.

I recommend: La Carta De Oaxaca. At about 1/10th the price of El Gaucho, you’ll have one of the most remarkable and unique meals you can get in Seattle. Get the pork in mole sauce, and laugh at the foolishness of those who decided to eat anywhere else.


You recommend: Chez Shea. I’ve lived here for 20+ years, and not only have I never eaten here, I’ve never met anyone who’s eaten here. Personally, like R.O.U.S.s, I don’t think it exists.

I recommend: Entre Nous. What is more romantic than old French films projected on the ceiling, while you wolf down 2 baguettes and 3 pounds of cheese? NOTHING.


You recommend: Champagne. Which isn’t the name of a restaurant. Campagne is.

I recommend: Le Pichet. I can only assume the name is French for “awesome”. A stone’s throw from Campagne and exponentially cheaper. French onion soup. Pate. Cured meats. Pastries. Drool.

Photo courtesy of WordRidden, via Flickr.com

Photo courtesy of WordRidden, via Flickr.com


Okay, Kathika. That’s all I’ve got. I’m sorry if I was harsh. We really should make up and be friends. How about dinner? I’ll pick the place.


The Everywhereist

Leave a Comment

  • Too bad “Entres Nous” isn’t the name of a restaurant, either–it’s “Entre Nous”!
    (And it’s pronounced “on-truh”, not “on-tray”. Can you please tell my husband that?)

  • Geraldine

    My bad – fixed. In fairness, though, it was a typo.

  • I’m rather fond of El Gaucho but maybe it’s because I am two-thirds of the “old, rich, white” demographic. I like that it’s pitch black inside and the steaks are impossibly expensive and all the waiters wear fancy jackets and ladies are often escorted to and from the loo. Granted I’ve only been there twice in 10 years, so that should tell you which third of the aforementioned demographic I am not part of.

    Don’t tell anyone, but I like the rest of your recommendations. Jack’s Tapas, etc. is a delight (the staff is great) and I could eat Ezell’s until my heart explodes.

    Make time to get to Kingfish. Then make sure to get a hunk of the red velvet cake. You get a slice large enough for four people (or two, depending on whether or not one of them is me).

  • This is pure genius. I haven’t been to all of your recommendations but because you mentioned Jack’s, Skillet, La Carta & Le Pichet – I trust you with my life.

  • Geraldine

    Ashley –

    Holy carp (no, that’s not a typo. I said “holy carp”). Your blog is beautiful. And bacon caramels? Seriously? Let’s be friends immediately.

  • ellegold

    What Ashley says.

  • Skye

    A boyfriend once took me to Chez Shea and although the romantic relationship didn’t last my very favorable impression of Chez Shea will live forever. Sometimes “nice” is perfect and expensive really is worth it.

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Take note: if you ask your husband if you can move to NYC roughly four dozen times, he will start to cave a little.
  • Incredible reading by the love of my life to a packed room at NeueHouse Madison Square. So proud of you, @randderuiter, and the amazing emcee work by @michaeliconking.
  • Re-posting this photo that @wilreynolds took of us and his youngest near the beach outside of Lisbon. We're back home now, and I can't decide what I miss more: this little guy and his brother, or Portugal. Actually, scratch that. I know.
  • This place looks like a damn fairy tale.
  • Lunch with a view of the water, and some of the best seafood of my life.
  • The entire drive from Sintra to Lisbon looks like this. It's just miles of blue sky and rocky beaches.
  • No filter. This is just what Sintra looks like.
  • This street artist does amazing collages of animals from hunks of discarded plastic he collects (part of an effort to raise awareness about some of the most vulnerable victims of pollution). They're all over Lisbon, but we managed to get a close up view of this one.
  • Thousand watt smile on the little dude, and I am done.
  • Those eyes though.

All Over The Place

Buy my book and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.