- Kelly O
- THE RHINO ROOM Ma’ono’s Mark Fuller brings his unstoppably awesome fried chicken to Capitol Hill (that’s the rhino up above).
In Seattle? Got $20? You can treat a friend to an upscale Ethiopian feast, sushi that's not Genki, a fried-chicken burrito (yesssss), and tons more. Here are 13 more brand-new places to eat for cheap... we tested them for you!
Hawaiian/Fried-Chicken Awesomeness at THE RHINO ROOM on Capitol Hill
The news that the brand-new Rhino Room, located in party-central Pike/Pine, was going to serve food from La Bodega was great. Any crestfallenness when that deal fell through was immediately obliterated by the even greater news (sorry, La Bodega) that the food at the Rhino Room was going to be from West Seattle's Ma'ono—home to some of the world's most unstoppably awesome fried chicken, plus assorted super-delicious Hawaiian food to boot. When we heard that the Rhino would also be serving Ma'ono at lunchtime, those of us who work nearby almost passed out from sheer joy.
Fried chicken and Hawaiian food don't sound upscale, but Ma'ono is, and it's expensive. It used to be an even more upscale restaurant called Spring Hill, and chef/owner Mark Fuller still uses only the best ingredients and most meticulous preparations. Fried chicken at Ma'ono is $20 for a half, $39 for a whole; as they put it, they do their best to make "the most delicious fried chicken money can buy... It's not exactly cheap, but we think it's worth every penny." And it is, but it's also in West Seattle.
Now at the Rhino Room, from noon to 10 p.m. every day, you can get a huge Hawaiian plate lunch with Ma'ono's fried chicken for less than $10. It comes with macaroni salad so good, it is clearly trying to kill you, plus murderously spicy kimchi (yay!) and rice. If you eat it all—or all of the version with kalua pork, or the combo with Spam—you WILL need to sleep. There's also the less-huge fried-chicken sandwich on a homemade Hawaiian sweet roll, musubi for snacking, and they just added a salad for you-know-who-you-are. But how can even salad-eaters resist this: a fried-chicken burrito?! I haven't tried it yet, due to terror of how good it will be. [Note: The fried-chicken burrito has the homicidally good macaroni salad INSIDE IT, along with fried rice, sweet onion, cilantro, cotija cheese, and habanero-pineapple salsa. God help us all.]
The Rhino Room itself is very pleasant during the day and at dinnertime, too. It's huge, with lots of kingly booths, sky-high ceilings, and a decor scheme you might call neo-deco-Egypto-minimalism, including a very pretty gold-leaf wall, inverted-pyramid light fixtures, mirrored pillars, and a subtly glittering rhinoceros surrounded by palm fronds. But please note: Due to the cavernous space, the acoustics can get weird (that is, LOUD), and you do not want to be here very late on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, unless you would like a parrrr-tay along with your fried-chicken burrito. (1535 11th Ave, therhinoroomseattle.com) BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT