Bok a Bok Fried Chicken Is Open in White Center
Until recently, if you had a hankering for KFC—not the fast food chain kind, but the crackly skinned Korean Fried Chicken—you either had to drive north to Lynnwood or south to Federal Way. Now you can just head to White Center.
Bok a Bok, from chef Brian O’Connor, specializes in Korean fried chicken—deep fried, extra crunchy, and served with your choice of housemade sauces including chili, Korean bbq, ranch, and sesame-soy-garlic. O’Connor isn’t Korean, though he has spent many years frying chickens at Skillet Diner and Restaurant Roux. Bok a Bok also serves its chicken in kimchi-laced rice bowls and housemade biscuit sandwiches. Sides include kimchi mac n’ cheese and sweet potato tater tots; drinks include Korean and local beers, as well as soju slushies.
Other notable openings:
Another restaurant from chef Josh Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective (Westward, Quality Athletics, Great State Burger, etc.), this one located inside downtown’s new luxury boutique Thompson Hotel. Like all good hotel restaurants, Scout serves accessible food all day long (with plenty of local and seasonal ingredients), but dinner service is a decadent exploration of Pacific Northwest food. According to Scout, “cocktails, oysters, charcuterie and roasted meats arrive tableside on a custom-built fleet of carts,” while a seat at the chef’s table includes a meal with up to 17 courses. (Henderson's other project in the Thompson, a rooftop bar called the Nest, will open later this month.)
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in Belltown
As its name suggests, Absinthe focuses on the potent, herbaceous green liqueur. The bar serves many varieties of the spirit, available straight, in cocktails, flights, or via a traditional fountain, in which ice water drips over sugar cubes into an absinthe-filled glass. The food draws inspiration from New Orleans, and includes gumbo, fried green tomatoes, po boys, and fresh beignets.
Bar Vacilando on Capitol Hill
From the owners of popular Belltown “gastrotavern” Black Bottle, Bar Vacilando is a neighborhood bar with a generous selection of cocktails, wine, and beer, as well as a full menu of small plates. (Vacilando is on 15th Avenue, in the former home of 22 Doors.) The food, described as “international grazing,” includes dishes such as sisig-style pork cheek and chicken liver tacos, okonomiyaki with bonito flakes, salt cod croquettes, and savory breads called “crusts.”
If the weather's nice, consider a table on Vacilando’s hidden back patio. (Extra incentive: happy hour goes from 3-6 p.m., during which wines—of which there are many priced at six or seven dollars—are discounted by a dollar.)
Two beverage-focused businesses have also recently opened on Capitol Hill: Mystic Kombucha, a tasting room pouring the locally made kombucha, and Oasis Tea Zone, the third Seattle location of the popular cafe serving bubble and milk teas.