Tell Us Something Good, Tomo Nakayama

The 'Melonday' Musician Recommends His Favorite Takeout Restaurants, Books, and More
January 12, 2021
(Tomo Nakayama)

As we reach nearly a full year of quarantine, you'd be forgiven if you're running out of ideas for keeping boredom at bay. That's why we're starting this new column we're calling "Tell Us Something Good": We're asking some of our favorite local celebrities for their recommendations for takeout, movies, places to go for walks, and everything in between.

To kick things off, we asked Seattle musician, songwriter, and producer Tomo Nakayama (whose latest album, Melonday, and new singles "With the Radio On" and "Paper Snowflakes" are available now on Bandcamp) how he's been staying entertained lately. Here are his answers.


What are your favorite restaurants for takeout or outdoor dining right now?    

The banh mi at Oh's Sandwiches, burgers at The Westy, pupusas at La Cabaña, Jade Garden and Maneki in the ID. I definitely encourage people to do takeout over dine-in, and always tip well either way!

What are your favorite local businesses or shops, aside from restaurants?    

I've been getting occasional deliveries from Champion Wine Cellars. Also love Easy Street and Time Tunnel Records, and getting coffee from Porchlight Coffee & Records (who also released my vinyl!).

What movies or TV shows that you've seen recently would you recommend?    

Kim's Convenience is a really funny, sweet show about a family of Korean Canadians who owns a convenience store in Toronto. I think it's a very relatable multi-generational story about the immigrant experience. I also really loved the film I Will Make You Mine, directed by Lynn Chen and starring my friend Goh Nakamura.

What music or podcasts have you been listening to on repeat lately?  

I got Tom Petty's Wildflowers on vinyl and that's been saving my life. Also love Phil Elverum, LAKE, ings, Robyn, Yuko Hara, and the "Open Floor NBA" podcast. I've also had "Take It Away: The Complete Paul McCartney Archive Podcast" on repeat.

What are the best books you've read in the last few months?    

The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh, Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta, Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly

What outdoor spots or activities have you enjoyed recently?    

I've been walking a ton with my dog, Mochi. We've walked pretty much everywhere around West Seattle. Favorite spots are Schmitz Park, Lincoln Park, and Jack Block Park. Seattle really does have the most amazing parks department and I'm really grateful to them.

How else have you stayed entertained in Seattle during COVID? Anything else you'd recommend?  

I've always loved cooking but it definitely became a much bigger part of my life this year. I've been obsessed with Midnight Diner on Netflix and I've tried making almost all of the dishes on the show with recipes from Just One Cookbook. I find it very meditative and it's a nice outlet for creative energy when I don't necessarily feel like making music.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Seattle when COVID is over?    

Playing shows! And playing music with my friends. I miss it more than anything.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Please mask up and stay safe! I miss you all very very much. Hang in there, Seattle.


Tomo Nakayama's music is available on Bandcamp. Melonday was released in April 2020, and his latest singles "With the Radio On" and "Paper Snowflakes" came out this winter.