Lake Union Restaurant

Photo courtesy mamnoonrestaurant.com
Photo courtesy mamnoonrestaurant.com

By now you’ve probably heard that beloved and acclaimed Middle Eastern eatery Mamnoon will be opening a new venture called ‘mBar’ in SLU, but it seems as though that’s not enough to keep Mamnoon’s owners busy this year.

In addition to the Mediterranean inspired rooftop spot (sure to be glorious with it’s 100-seat, glass railed patio, so as to protect and enhance your mealtime view), and the recently announced ‘Mamnoon Street’, it looks like the Mamnoon team will be opening yet another spot next door at Amazon’s new 6th Ave Doppler campus.

The newest addition to the Mamnoon line up will be called ‘Anar’ meaning pomegranate in Farsi, and will focus mainly on the “ancient traditions of juice and vegetarian dishes.”

From the proprietors:

    Anar will  be an ideal destination to get energized for the day, starting with a breakfast yogurt blend, Persian mint tea, or a specially blended kombucha.  Juices will range from sweet to savory to hearty, and will include such ingredients as orange blossom, rose water and pomegranate with available additions like yogurt, cashews and chickpeas.  Food options include small plates; a mezze dish with dolma, pickled and raw vegetables, arugula and gluten free crackers with a choice of Carrot bi tahini, muhammara, or ‘Persian’ green hummus, and big plates; Fatteh with cauliflower, garbanzo, gluten-free crackers and mint cucumber salad.  For a late afternoon pick-me-up, Anar will feature desserts, snacks and ‘mocktails’, such as muddled cucumber, cilantro, mint and soda. Items from Anar will be available for take-away or to enjoy in its warm, open, colorful space.  With seating for 18, Anar will be ideal for an intimate meeting or to settle into a cozy space to work with a delicious beverage and great music.

Anar will be opening later this month at 2040 6th Avenue with business hours of Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Thai cuisine is now a popular dining option across the Seattle area… I would even venture to say that there are nearly as many Thai restaurants as there are Starbucks locations. But one of the very first of these (if not the first – it’s always hard to say for certain) was Siam Thai Cuisine. Chai Asavadejkajorn was one of the original owners of the first Siam Thai Cuisine, which opened in Capitol Hill on Broadway in 1986.

The Capitol Hill location closed – to much sadness throughout the neighborhood – in May 2009, but Siam Thai was already flourishing in Lake Union and also in Bothell.

This month for our Lake Union restaurant spotlight, we’re featuring Siam Thai Cuisine in our neighborhood!

The Lake Union location opened in October 2010. “We offer authentic Thai food that is higher-end,” says owner Chai Asavadejkajorn. “We want to be modern with a similar feel at our restaurants … [This restaurant] is modern, open, and we have created a fun place to eat.”

That sentiment is echoed to the menus at both the Lake Union restaurant and the Bothell location, where most of the menu items are consistent at both restaurants. Actually, most of the menu items are from the original Siam Thai Cuisine menu – although the menu is getting a makeover for the summer. Asavadejkajorn expects to be releasing that in the next few weeks or so.

One of the favorites at Siam is the Jungle Chicken, with fried, crispy chicken that is stir-fried with pineapple, bell peppers and basil in a tangy garlic-chili sauce. Not surprisingly for a Thai restaurant, Panang Curry is also on the list of popular entrées. “We have the best Panang Curry in the city,” Asavadejkajorn says. “And people used to say we have the best peanut sauce, but now there are too many.”

Siam’s Soy Ginger Salmon, Shu-Chee Catfish or Salmon, and Scallop Prik Paow (sautéed chili scallops) are other favorites.

For Asavadejkajorn, keeping the atmosphere welcoming and the prices affordable is very important. “The treatment of the neighbors here is very important. If people can afford to come out, it keeps the business going,” he said.

Siam has a constantly rotating wine list, with about 40-50 bottles on it at any given time. There are six beers available on tap, and a featured cocktail list that changes every six months or so, in addition to a full service bar.

Dinner is available all day, however a lunch menu is also served during the weekdays to offer smaller portions and lower prices. Siam Thai kitchen hours are 11:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 11:30 p.m. on Friday, and from 3 – 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and 3 – 10 p.m.

Happy Hour at Siam offers about a dozen small entrées for $5-7 each, martinis for $7, $3.50 draft beers, $3 bottled beers, and $4.50 house wines by the glass. Happy Hour is daily from 3 – 6 p.m. and from 9 p.m. until close, and all day on Monday.


Set along Eastlake Avenue, Sushi Kappo Tamura is the place to enjoy delicious sushi in a casual, Lake Union restaurant environment. Steve Takamura and Taichi Kitamura opened the place in July of 2010.

“We use local ingredients with Japanese style,” says Taichi. “And we source local ingredients as much as we can … we like to buy directly from the farmer and fisherman.” What’s more, they have their own rooftop garden, where the vegetables and herbs used in their dishes are grown.

In addition to sushi classics including salmon, tuna, eel, prawns, and more, the Lake Union restaurant offers delectable oysters and even geoduck. Sushi makes up most of what they offer at the restaurant, although there are several cooked options as well. Their Miso soup and the pork cutlet are two favorites from the cooked side of the menu, as is their Black Cod Filet and the whole Red Snapper.

Oysters on the half shell have been a longtime highlight at Sushi Kappo Tamura. They are also known for their Mustard Greens with Washington Albacore tuna dressed in a delicious almond wasabi sauce. The restaurant’s sushi rolls are updated seasonally, with some long-standing classics as well.

“Our specialty is in Omakase, which features the best of what we have that day,” says Taichi. The meal is $100 per person for seven courses. A sample menu on the website includes oysters, Sushi Kappo Tamura’s signature albacore and mustard greens salad, a mushroom and Alaskan idiot fish dobin mushi, Chef’s choice sashimi and nigiri, flat iron steak, King salmon, and a chestnut butterscotch crème brulée to finish.

With everything at Sushi Kappo Tamura, “our guests can expect good quality at a reasonable price,” Kitamura said. “We want them to spend time, and enjoy good food.” He likes to focus on seasonal and local Pacific Northwest ingredients, while sticking to the authentic Japanese preparation. “It emphasizes the flavors best,” Kitamura says.

Dinner is offered seven days per week at Sushi Kappo Tamura. They also offer their version of brunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The brunch special includes seven pieces of sushi with sides like the restaurant’s signature soups and rice.

The restaurant has a full bar, as well as wines and beers available to enjoy alongside your meal. Sushi Kappo Tamura has an extensive sake list, with over 50 selections. There are ten wines available by-the-glass, a couple of draft beer options, and a few more by the bottle. Additionally, the restaurant offers a seasonally-changing cocktail list.

Sushi Kappo Tamura is open daily for dinner from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and till 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Chandler’s Crabhouse celebrated its 25th anniversary as a Lake Union restaurant in Chandler’s Cove late this last year. It’s one of the Schwartz Brothers Restaurants (started in 1973).

“Our original concept was to offer a market of East Coast and Seattle seafood, but that evolved to a West Coast focus after we discovered that’s what our customers wanted,” says General Manager Robert Onstad.

Since their earlier days, the staff and management at Chandler’s Crabhouse has endeavored to source responsibly and sustainably with as much of its seafood and other ingredients as possible. The problem? They haven’t been talking about it!

Chandler’s Crabhouse is making an extra effort to not only spread the word about their longtime best practices in sourcing their ingredients; they are also going the extra mile. Most recently, the restaurant has been going through the arduous process of becoming certified through Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Eco-Certification & Seafood Watch program.

“We try to buy everything as local as we can,” Robert says. “If it’s not local, we’re making sure it’s sustainably sourced … Of course, we’re at the mercy and honesty of the people growing and harvesting the food, and it takes effort and research but it’s worth it.”

Additionally, Chandler’s has partnered with Seattle Central Community College’s culinary department to find more ways to source sustainable ingredients.

“We’re going to do everything we can to participate in how people make their buying decisions, to help meet their needs and what they want to see,” Onstad said. “People want to know where their food comes from … We don’t do it because it’s trendy, we do it because it’s what you’re supposed to do.”

The menu at Chandler’s changes seasonally, of course. They are famous for their Dungeness Crab (which is also a sustainable product at the Lake Union restaurant) from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. “We buy more than any other restaurant in the city,” Robert says. They also have several varieties of fresh oysters available throughout the year. Another favorite, and signature dish at Chandler’s Crabhouse is the Whisky Crab Soup. Their chowder is made Northwest-style, with both surf and razor clams. The Crab Rockefeller, made with Dungeness crab legs, creamed spinach, bacon and hollandaise sauce is a popular item as well.

While Chandler’s prides itself on it’s classic menu (for both seafood and items sourced from the land), they are going to be introducing more unique items in the near future.

For six years running, Chandler’s has received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their wine list, which is heavy on the Northwest side. Their wines are largely from small production wineries, and the restaurant actually has a winemaker on staff whose wine they sell in-house. “We’re really committed to local,” Robert says. Chandler’s has over 200 bottles on their list, with around 30 white, red and sparkling options by-the-glass.

On the beer side of things, they have eight or nine rotating draft beers, continuing their commitment to local brands as well as a few national favorites. The cocktail menu changes seasonally, for a fresh new specialty in spirits to enjoy, alongside the Lake Union restaurant’s full bar. There are also a couple of ciders available for those inclined (or those looking for a gluten-free option).

“We have menu items that are gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian,” Onstad said. “We want our customers to see that we understand those needs and take them seriously.”

Chandler’s Crabhouse is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., and for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 4 – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 – 10 p.m. Happy Hour is seven nights a week (in the lounge only) from 3 p.m. until close, with wines by the glass and appetizer specials and $1 off draft and bottled beers. There is also a weekend brunch from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Featured photo of Chandler’s Raw Bar display, courtesy Chandler’s Crabhouse.

As much as we count ourselves lucky for all that Seattle and greater Northwest offers… the gray and wet winters can get a little long.  Fortunately, our South Lake Union neighborhood offers some fun options to get out, kick back, with wide variety of choices to enjoy happy hours.  This is just a sampling to get you started!

  • Paddy Coynes’ has been a favorite watering hole in the SLU neighborhood since 2004. You can walk there from all SLU locations and most importantly the SLUT station for that safe ride back home. Gather with friends and meet your neighbors at Paddy’s Happy hour and enjoy traditional Irish food and music.  For those of us who are Irish or just Irish in spirit, Paddy Coyne’s offers an Irish Club for members who can receive a 10% discount, t-shirt, and membership card.  Live Irish Music Sessions every Sunday evening and street parking is available. Every Tuesday is Trivia nights for “Geeks who drink”: 8pm. Daily Happy Hour: 3-6pm and 10 pm-midnight.
  • Whole Foods SLU Oyster Happy Hour features amazing oysters on the half shell for just $0.69 each! The freshest of oysters are from shore to the store in 12 hours. Fremont Brewing Company will feature selected tap pairings. Join the event on the Facebook page.
  • Daniels’ Broiler Happy Hour bar menu and live piano bar music has generated a faithful following. The live piano bar features Kacey Evans with his “broad repertoire that begins with jazz and standards, but includes rock, country, hip-hop, and up-to-the-minute throwaway pop. His warm baritone voice, instrumental acumen, sardonic wit, and amenability to requests make him an audience favorite.” You can find Kacey at the piano on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 7:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday 8:00pm – Midnight. Happy Hour 4:00-6:30pm and 9pm-close, 7 nights a week.
  • The Lobby Bar at Pan Pacific is known for its elegant urban décor and ever-changing drink menu. Enjoy your libations in the intimate and modern interior or the seasonal outdoor patio boasting some of the best views of the Space Needle in the city. The cucumber Cosmo and Eco Mojito pair beautifully with Chef John Howie’s Kal-bi-pork medallions and Kobi Beef Burgers. Happy Hour features $4 draft beer, $6 well cocktails. Small plates and featured wine specials, weekdays 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Chandler’s Crabhouse offers a most incredible view of Lake Union and happy hour is a fun way to take it in. Happy hour is seven nights a week from 3pm to close. SLU cardholders can get an amazing 25 cent happy hour when you “like” Chandler’s on Facebook. Specials offered on appetizers and wines by the glass as well as $1 off all draft and bottled beer. Sun-Sat, 3:00pm to close (In the lounge only).

Featured photo from GoTime.com.

The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to gather with family and friends. South Lake Union dining affords those who live and work here a wide variety of restaurant options to indulge and celebrate the holidays. Right in our own neighborhood you will find a 4 star option, a variety of waterfront dining opportunities, and casual, bistros and cafes for breakfast and lunch. Happy Hour options abound! Highlighted here are just a few to get you started on your South Lake Union gastronomique adventure! Make sure to bring your SLU card for big savings and free offerings.

  • Shanik. Celebrating its’ one year anniversary, Shanik has established itself as the place to go in Seattle for distinguished and inventive Indian cuisine.  Co-owner Meeru Dhalwala is serving a style of personal Indian cuisine, which is “North American in lifestyle and attitude, while rooted in Indian heritage and cuisine.”  Owner Oguz Istif s’ Turkish heritage is evident in the warm, hospitable atmosphere, as well as the rich tones used in the traditional décor. The open kitchen design invites diners to share the experience and warmth of the cooks. Look here for holiday and regular hours for lunch, dinner, and happy hour.
  • Caffe Torino, a South Lake Union restaurant that has captured the spirit of northern Italy, offers a unique blend of part coffee house, part café, part local artist showcase, and part Italian language school! The rich coffee beverage menu offers Bicerin, Torinese, Chai Latte, and Spider web Mocha, just to whet your appetite. The sweets and pastry case is a feast not only for your sweet tooth, but for the eyes as well. The savory options include various savory pies, salads, and meatball sandwiches to name a few.  The new brunch and happy hour menus are a must to enjoy these cold winter mornings and warm up for the evening. Stop in to appreciate the full selection.
  • Pan Pacific has been voted Seattle Magazines’ Best Seafood Restaurant in Seattle and offers the Lobby Bar and also the Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar. Chef and owner John Howie can help you indulge in gourmet seafood, sushi, sashimi, ceviche, poke, and fresh oysters.  Choose from an expansive wine list as well as the varied selection of cocktails served at the stunning bar or your table. In addition to fun new cocktails and bar fare, the Lobby Bar also serves breakfast daily.
  • Veggie Grill. Known for its varied and tasteful vegetarian and vegan fare, Veggie Grill offers Seattleites a SoCal eatery at affordable prices for lunch and dinner.  Voted best American restaurant 2012 and considered on e of LA’s “Can’t Miss Cheap Eats”. Diners can feel good about the commitment to 100% plant based food, dairy and egg free, nutrient rich and clean protein options.  Avaried menu makes everyone feel included with gluten and dairy free options, starters, bowls, entrée salads and hearty home style plates and burgers. Hours are 11am-9pm and you can even order online.
  • 13 Coins is known as a great place that many generations have come for special dinners, family celebrations, or a good place for a late night bite from the traditional American fare menu. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Live music is every Friday and Saturday starting at 9:30pm. A recently renovated Room Thirteen private dining suite is available for up to 30 guests with video and large screen capability for meeting needs.

Not highlighted here but definitely worth exploring for the holidays are Dukes, Chandlers’ Crabhouse, Daniel’s Broiler, and Paddy Coynes’.

Featured photo from DiscoverSLU.com.

Shanik restaurant opened its South Lake Union location in December of last year, as an Indian eatery within the family of Vij’s notable dining spot in Vancouver. Today, October 14th, Shanik Market opened next door to the restaurant, as reported in Lake Union news by the Seattle Times.

The new Shanik Market offers packaged curries, spices, chapatti, cookbooks, and even wine that pairs well with the food served at Shanik’s restaurant next door. Punjabi Lamb Curry, Yellow Lentil Curry, Curried Chickpeas, Tamarind-Date Chutney, Mint-Mango Chutney, Raita, and more are on the menu offering at the new market addition to Shanik.

Hot take-out options at the Market include Chicken Kofta with Rice and Chickpea Curry with Rice. In addition to a retail wine selection for sale, the shop will have non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase including a ginger-lemon drink, Mango Lassi, and Chai.

The Seattle Times reported that the market will also have fresh and frozen packaged meals to go, and fresh-made takeout specials. Shanik Market is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As a whole, the owners’ goal with Shanik and the market is to offer “Indian cuisine that is creative and daring, yet comforting. We invite our customers into a version of India that is not intimidating, cliche, or a rehashing of what is traditionally marketed as Indian,” according to Shanik’s website.

Shanik’s restaurant is also undergoing a small change. While its sister location in Vancouver, Vij, has a no-reservations policy that has been the rule at Shanik too, this has changed. One of the owners, Meeru Dhalwala, is tweaking that policy for Shanik because the South Lake Union location has become more of a destination, and some diners prefer to have a guaranteed table for their meal if they’re going to make the trip. So, Shanik’s restaurant will now take reservations for lunch and dinner, but half of the dining room will remain ‘reserved’ for walk-in customers. Click here to make your reservation.

Featured photo from SeattleMag.com.

In an old house that was previously used by the University of Washington for their fishery sciences, now resides the iconic summer (and year-round) dining and recreational destination, Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club. The Lake Union restaurant Agua Verde Café was opened in 1998, just after its neighboring paddle club.

It’s cafeteria-style dining of Mexican-inspired dishes during the day (pay at the counter, and sit where you like), and turns more traditional restaurant-style at night. During the summer, Agua Verde serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, but they are closed Sundays during the winter.

An outside espresso window offers great coffee and espresso, freshly-made breakfast burritos, and house-made pastries during weekday and weekend mornings.

According to Agua Verde’s website, “We offer fun & casual waterfront dining, serving a mix of original & traditional Mexican fare, but by God it’s Authentic! Our menu is prepared fresh, from scratch daily, incorporating organic, local & sustainable sources. We work closely with local farms & organizations.”

“It’s our ‘Loco for Local’ program, with a focus on local, organic ingredients,” says manager Katie Markert. “We’re really transparent about our ingredients.”

In addition to a purposeful use of local ingredients, the Lake Union restaurant offers selections for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diners.

While specials change daily, signature dishes at Agua Verde are the Tacos de la Casa, specifically the Bacaloa: fried Alaskan cod with coconut beer tempura, shredded cabbage, and creamy avocado sauce. The Bacalao was so loved in taco form that chefs added rice and pinto beans and made it a burrito option as well!

Another kitchen feature is the Mangodilla; a traditional flour tortilla with jack cheese, mango, poblano chiles and scallions. There are daily specials every day of the week, to keep things interesting – and delicious! Head to the salsa bar for your selection from three house-made salsas served in gigantic bowls on a bicycle wheel cart.

The Prickly Pear Margarita is a must-have from the drink menu. All of their juices are made in-house for ultimate freshness.

While Happy Hour is only Monday through Thursday during the summer, it transfers to daily from 4 – 6 p.m. during the winter. The Happy Hour menu includes discounts on beer, wine, and tequila shots, as well as two house margaritas and $4-$6 food.

Agua Verde Café is open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for lunch, and from 4 – 9 p.m. for dinner.

From food truck to brick-and-mortar, Skillet Street Food’s Josh Henderson has taken another big step in the Seattle food scene! His new duo of restaurants, Westward and Little Gull Grocery, opened in Lake Union news last week on the north shore of the lake.

With ‘contemporary Northwest Mediterranean’ cuisine at Westward, and oysters and grocery offerings at Little Gull, the pair is a unique addition to the Lake Union neighborhood. Part of the Huxley Wallace Collective that is managed by Henderson, the new Lake Union restaurants will be joining Seattle’s notable Skillet.

Westward will feature an imaginative menu with influences from the Mediterranean, according to the Collective’s website. “The approach is natural and continually evolving, reflecting the simplicity of great products and the changing seasons.  The wood-burning oven is at the heart of the kitchen and is an integral element in the restaurant.”

The new Lake Union restaurant will have the aforementioned wood-burning oven and grill, and a patio and beach area with comfortable Adirondack chairs for seating. Boat-traveling customers will be able to come right up to the restaurant, and then boat away if they wish.

Formerly of the Madison Park Conservatory, Executive Chef Zoi Antonitsas will be running the kitchen at Westward.

Where Westward is going to be a full-service bar and restaurant open for lunch and dinner daily, with a full weekend brunch, it’s sibling Little Gull will be doing things a little differently. Little Gull Grocery hosts a 22-seat oyster bar with wine and beer offerings. In addition, there will be grocery items that are perfect for picnicking or a day on the boat, including bottles of wine and beer, charcuterie and snacks, wool navy blankets, sun visors and … wooden rolling pins? We aren’t sure why you’d need a rolling pin on the boat, but they’re rumored to be ‘impeccably sourced’.

Little Gull’s oysters are sure to be raved about in the months to come. “At the helm is national oyster shucking champion, and local oyster legend David Leck. He plans to carry an incredible range of oysters from across the US, heavily focused on the best the Northwest has to offer,” according to the Huxley Wallace website.

Another Huxley Wallace space is opening in Woodinville sometime next month, to be called the Hollywood Tavern.

Featured photo from Seattle.Eater.com, credit Suzi Pratt.

Neighbors, professionals, visitors and more can enjoy “scratch-made baked goods, lunch, soup and breakfast all day” at Nollie’s Café – a Lake Union restaurant and café. The breakfast and lunch hotspot is a favorite in the neighborhood for delectable baked goods and savory breakfast and lunch dishes.

Nollie’s Café opened in 2009, but owner Dan Munro has spent his life “in, on or around this building for 40 years,” he says. His family has owned businesses and/or been the landlords of the building on Harrison Street in Lake Union for decades.

“We specialize in excellent breakfast and lunch with high quality ingredients,” Munro says. “We have the best Eggs Benedict in Lake Union (and the cheapest)!”

With five Eggs Benedict options (available weekends only), delicious build-your-own breakfast sandwiches and classic and unique items to satisfy your morning cravings, Nollie’s is a fantastic breakfast stop in Lake Union.

“I like to think of it as food for ‘other people’ – food for the rest of us,” says owner Dan Munro. “To me, food is about memory. We try to bring those memorable flavors in, and make them addictive … My goal is to find legally addictive substances (food) for our customers.”

A big part of what Nollie’s Café brings the neighborhood is delicious, high-quality food and ingredients at an affordable price. All of the baked goods are made fresh in-house. According to Munro, “We have the best pie in Seattle,” thanks to Baker Karen Smith, who has been in the baking industry since the ‘70s, and it shows in her pies.

Munro himself is very involved in the kitchen – he’s perfected Nollie’s Double Dark Chocolate Chip cookie over the past 20 years to be the addictive, incredibly delicious treat that it is today.

One of their most popular lunch items is the Buffalo Gal sandwich. It’s made with chicken breasts marinated in Nollie’s jerk sauce, then baked and served on sourdough bread with Frank’s hot wing sauce and pepper jack cheese. Another lunch favorite is the Bib Mama – sourdough bread, Swiss cheese, Tillamook cheddar, Provolone, hand-sliced Korobuta ham, house-roasted turkey breast, and thick strips of bacon. That’s one cheesy, meaty sando!

Nollie’s roasts all of their turkey, beef, and chicken in house and the Yup’ik Yukon Indian Tribe in Alaska catches the salmon served at the café.

Nollie’s Café is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and weekend days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The café can also provide catering and hosting for your own events, celebrations, and parties – both in and out of house. Check out the catering menu and regular café menu on their website.