At last, Top Chef: Portland contestant and fan-favorite Shota Nakajima has reopened his restaurant Taku for indoor dining. Plus, the takeout omakase sushi spot LTD Edition Sushi lands on Capitol Hill, and the taiyaki and soft serve pop-up Matcha Man has launched a shop in Georgetown (just in time for National Ice Cream Day on Sunday). Read on for all of that and more of this week's food news. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.
NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
LTD Edition Sushi
This new takeout-focused restaurant specializing in to-go omakase boxes of edomae-style sushi launched in the former Cure space on July 1. The spot only makes 20 boxes per day to ensure it's as fresh as possible.
Matcha Man Ice Cream & Taiyaki
The popular pop-up, known for its eye-catching specialties like taiyaki (Japanese fish-shaped waffles) and soft serve in flavors like matcha and ube, recently launched a brick-and-mortar shop in the former space of Seattle Freeze in Georgetown.
For the first time since its original opening in March 2020, you can now actually sit down inside the Japanese fried chicken joint owned by Top Chef: Portland star Shota Nakajima. According to a press release, Taku reopened for indoor dining on Thursday, and the food menu is mostly the same as the takeout menu that's been available, with the addition of watermelon salad, fried rice side dishes, and rice pudding with cardamom, fresh fruit, and granola for dessert. Now that patrons can sit at the bar, the drink menu has expanded to include kegged cocktails, boilermakers, and Suntory Whisky highballs made with a Toki highball machine (similar to the magical one at Tamari Bar that The Stranger's Rich Smith has raved about). They'll also continue to offer Jell-O shots in rotating flavors like creamsicle and watermelon.
Pickup, delivery, indoor seating
The barbecue pop-up Oaky's Tex-Mex, run by Wood Shop BBQ owners James Barrington and Matt Davis, will open a permanent restaurant in the Central District on the same block as Wood Shop this summer. (If you're experiencing déjà vu, it may be because the pop-up previously had a short-lived residency inside Batch 206 Distillery, which currently hosts Dantini Pizza, in 2019.) The spot, which was originally supposed to open in February 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic, specializes in Tex-Mex-inspired smoked meats like carnitas, brisket barbacoa, and chicken verde, tucked into tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. An opening date has not yet been set, but the restaurant had its first pop-up preview on Monday.
Serious 18 Drinks and Eats
A new restaurant and bar called Serious 18 Drinks and Eats is set to take over the former Hi-Life space in Ballard. The former firehouse was most recently home to the Italian restaurant/puppet theater Valentinetti's, an ill-fated pivot from the Hi-Life owners that closed after a mere three months. The incoming incarnation will be a casual, family-and-dog-friendly neighborhood hangout with beer on tap, cocktails, and a menu of pub grub and comfort food.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Pike Place Market increases its outdoor seating
Following last year's outdoor cafe street initiative, which launched in July 2020 and offered expedited and free permits for businesses to close down streets to make way for outdoor seating, the legendary downtown hub and tourist favorite Pike Place Market has expanded its outdoor seating, with 19 new picnic tables placed around the market and on the newly reopened MarketFront deck. The seating will be available from 10 am-4 pm daily through September 7.
POP-UPS AND EVENTS
Seattle World Whiskey Day
Over a dozen Washington craft distilleries will showcase their brown liquors, including whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes. Plus, listen to music, nosh on food truck fare, and browse items from vendors.
Redmond Downtown Park, Saturday, 1-8 pm
Pier 62 Beats & Eats
Propel your summer weekends on the pier by grooving to live DJ sets from Reverend Dollars, Supreme La Rock, and other seasoned Seattle spinners while you graze from food trucks.
Pier 62, Fridays through September 3, 4:30-7:30 pm
Phinney Food Truck Fridays
Make your way to Phinney Ridge every Friday this summer for food offerings from mobile purveyors such as Sam Choy's Poke to the Max, Panda Dim Sum, Bumbu Truck, Bean Fish Taiyaki, Delfino's Pizza, Kiss My Grits, Falafel Salam, Seoul Bowl, and Off the Rez, who will be posted up in the parking lot.
Phinney Center, Fridays through August 27, 4-8 pm
Feeling decadent? The recently opened sandwich shop is offering a weekend special: a four-cheese double-stacked truffle grilled cheese sandwich.
The frozen pop purveyor has introduced a summery new vegan and dairy-free lilikoi flavor.