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Favorite Hidden Gem Restaurants in Seattle?


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I've been living in Seattle for the past five years or so, and am always on the hunt for little hidden gem restaurants.

 

We all know the biggies that are always on everyone's top list (Crush, Sitka and Spruce, Matts, How to Cook a Wolf, Volterra)...but was just curious if anyone had any favorite spots that typically aren't on the main radar.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated! I need a new restaurant to fall head over heels in love with. :P

 

Thanks,

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I don't think Seattle's restaurant scene is deep enough that you're likely to find unknown places that are truly great. Good restaurants get surfaced and talked about pretty quickly. There are places that are underappreciated, usually because they've been around for a long time. I thought Sostanza fell into that category, but it's gone now. Maybe Pomodoro too, but its been a very long time since I've been there.

 

I did recently 'discover' Copperleaf at Cedarbrook Lodge which, due to its location near the airport, is way outside most serious diners' orbit. I thought the food was as interesting, well prepared and delicious as comparably priced places in Seattle. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if this food was being served downtown or one of the hip 'hoods, blogs would be exploding with poetry about it.

 

Another new place I like is Japonessa in the old Union space.

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I think the hidden gems tend to fall in the 'to each his own' category. Or maybe I'm confusing hidden gems with neighborhood favorites. For example, I love Frank's Oyster Parlor. It's not discussed a lot but it's also not everyone's gem. But I like it.

 

It is tough to think of something that might still be hidden. Is there a specific cuisine or neighborhood you are interested in? Or what is on your beaten path? At BoM last night we had a discussion about fried chicken and I learned about many places that were new to me but know to the others.

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Copperleaf at Cedarbrook won best of show at Lamb Jam on Sunday. Lamb shoulder confit with preserved huckleberries and creamy parsnips. Enough to make a trip seem worthwhile.

 

I was also impressed with the bite from Barking Frog. They always do well at these events and yet I've never been to the restaurant. Georgian put up a nice bite as well. My favorite might have been re:public. Lamb pastrami with pickled onions - very bright flavors in a sea of braise.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, I am really happy Western Donut and Dim Sum is close by at MLK near Graham. Family dim sum in an old donut shop? Inexpensive and fresh.

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Lamb Jam on Sunday.

 

Ah crap, I missed it. I swore I was going this year and obviously spaced it. Glad to hear Copperleaf did well.

 

re:public is down the street from my work and I like it a lot. Particularly good value for the quality of food, IMO.

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Lamb Jam on Sunday.

 

Ah crap, I missed it. I swore I was going this year and obviously spaced it. Glad to hear Copperleaf did well.

 

re:public is down the street from my work and I like it a lot. Particularly good value for the quality of food, IMO.

 

 

ooh, good call. Re:public is also near my work and I haven't been there yet...I'll try that.

 

I live in Columbia City so how I missed that there was a dim sum shop in an old donut spot is beyond me. Will definitely be going there this weekend!

 

Thanks for the tips!

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Intrigued by your post, I stopped in at Western Bakery Donut and Dim Sum for lunch yesterday. It's a the northwest corner of the strip mall anchored by Viet Wah, which is on the northeast corner of MLK and Graham.

 

The good: Friendly service. Cheap!--1/2 of what I'd pay at House of Hong, 1/3 of what I'd pay at O'Asian. Great selection--my table was graced with steamed chicken humbau, green onion bread knot, sticky rice in the leaf, and steamed sparerib, among others. Egg custard tart was tasty.

 

The bad: Took a long time--I was there about 75 minutes, and was not at any point dawdling; it was fairly empty for most of this time. No fried dim sum items, as far as I could tell; particularly strange in view of the fact that it's a donut shop. Poor system of menus--you get different stories from the laminated menu, the xeroxed menu you mark to order, the picture signs on the interior walls, the picture signs in the window, and the counter case. While she was very well-intended, the server's lack of facility with English complicated my efforts to navigate this maze. And finally, and this completely wrecked it for me, every dish was incredibly bland. I understand that dim sum is quite typically an exercise in conservative, subtle flavors, but this food was essentially tasteless, quite unpleasantly so.

 

I'm sorry to say that they are unlikely to see me again.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, I am really happy Western Donut and Dim Sum is close by at MLK near Graham. Family dim sum in an old donut shop? Inexpensive and fresh.

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Wow, that has not been our experience at all. There has been a young man serving all three times and he is very helpful.

 

Yes, the food is subtle, if a bit salty, but very fresh and flavorful. They are trying different items, so the picture items on the wall tend to be more interesting. We had scallop in deep fried taro, but I don't tend to order fried dim sum so I did not notice the lack of other fried food! I've never been in a rush, but I'm sure I've never sat there for more than 40 minutes total. It doesn't feel as rushed as a cart place, but the food piled up faster than we could eat it. They have a pretty good hot chili sauce on the table - I believe made in house.

 

I like the shrimp and chive dumpling, the pan fried pork and vegetable bun, the pan fried needle noodles, the spareribs and rice noodles in lotus leaf, and the rice served in bamboo tube. Not fond of the green onion pancake and the scallop/taro dish was served cold which is odd for fried food.

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