West Seattle restaurants: Marination sneak peek @ Seacrest

September 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 35 Comments

Marination‘s famous food truck was parked outside their new Marination ma kai bricks-and-mortar location at West Seattle’s Seacrest Boathouse – as Marination’s proprietors Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison hosted an invitation-only sneak peek inside the almost-ready-to-open eats-and-drinks place. Well, not just inside …

… the downtown-view patio was in use too. Ahead, more of the sneak peek, including the sample menus they circulated:

First question you might have: Opening date set yet? In short, no – Kamala says there’s still a little work to do, but they set the date for today’s sneak peek weeks ago and decided to just go ahead. One interesting touch – window seating along the east side of the building:

Behind the counter, Roz held court at the shave-ice machine. No, it’s not shaved-ice, as the menu reminds you. In Hawaii, “shave ice” is the name for what we recall from our childhood as a snow cone.

Marination ma kai will offer shave ice with extras – Husky Deli vanilla ice cream? Azuki beans? Or – for those 21-and-up – a vodka infusion. We also got a peek at the drink menu today – with eight beers on tap including the special Marination Brown Session Ale brewed by White Center’s own Big Al Brewing, eight bottled beers, seven wines, two proseccos, and six “house-made cocktails,” including Lychee Margarita, Jalapeño Kamikaze, Bloody Mary, “Mai Kai,” Sangria, and a Hibiscus Cooler. As for the food – some was in circulation:

The gleaming kitchen was not yet in use, but certainly on display:

More food:

From the menus (which didn’t include pricing, in case you’re wondering):

Breakfast items will include cold items:
Double Coconut Muffin
Mini Banana Macadamia Nut Loaf
Aloha Granola and Yogurt
Shoyu Eggs (hard-boiled)
Kalua ‘n’ Cabbage Manapua
Portuguese Sausage Musubi
SPAM Musubi

And hot items:
Breakfast sliders
Sunrise Burrito
Biscuits and Portuguese Sausage Gravy
Loco Moco

Lunch and Dinner Items:
Taco salad with kalbi bee, miso ginger chicken, spicy pork, or sexy tofu
Sliders – kalua pork or SPAM
Kimchi fried rice
Kalua kimchi quesadilla
Kimchi quesadilla
Loco Moco
SPAM Musubi

Those are Marination traditions – then “Made for ma kai, a special menu for our seaside spot”:
Fish ‘n’ chips
Fish tacos
Kimchi Sausage, Egg and Rice
Pork Katsu Sandwich
Green Salad

There’s a sign outside explaining ma kai:

Again, no opening date yet, but they say they’re very close.


  1. OMG that looks so good. I just had dinner and I’m already hungry again! Open soon!!

    Comment by datamuse — 9:42 pm September 26, 2012 #

  2. seriously. so. excited.

    Comment by fp — 9:56 pm September 26, 2012 #

  3. dat’s da kine!

    Comment by onceachef — 10:19 pm September 26, 2012 #

  4. WWWhat! Breakfast!?!? That sounds yummy!

    Comment by lyndab — 10:44 pm September 26, 2012 #

  5. Their shop in Capital Hill is pretty awesome. Hoping this new location is just as good, if not better.

    Comment by Rick Steel — 10:47 pm September 26, 2012 #

  6. YAya!!!!

    Comment by truth — 10:53 pm September 26, 2012 #

  7. Looks tasty. Can’t wait to try it.
    Hmm. I wonder if they’ll have kama’aina prices :-)

    Comment by cjboffoli — 11:08 pm September 26, 2012 #

  8. With delays and major renovation costs I hope the upfront costs don’t prevent them from being reasonably priced and successful. One appeal of their truck has been terrific food at a great price.

    Comment by onion — 11:08 pm September 26, 2012 #

  9. Ohhhhh I so look forward to real shave ice, not slurpee or crushed ice, REAL shave ice done right. Time for some li hing mui powder on mango/passion fruit shave ice! Will they do mochi, bean and icecream in the shave ice too? w00t! love it

    Comment by Mike — 11:16 pm September 26, 2012 #

  10. Love the colorful and free-form approach to patio seating! Not too crazy about that fence, but I can look past it (ba-dum-bump) and can probably get over it (kee-rash) — thank you ladies and gentlemen I’m here all week.

    Comment by Keith — 12:52 am September 27, 2012 #


    Comment by Spana — 6:53 am September 27, 2012 #

  12. This now may be my new favorite spot in Seattle and selfishly, I am glad it is opening post summer Alki craziness…the locals can indulge first! We will help make up for lost time and money, Ma Kai! Welcome to West Seattle!!!

    Comment by water taxi rider — 7:21 am September 27, 2012 #

  13. This is AWESOME.. I have CHILLS… I literally cannot wait to try everything on this menu!… WAY TO GO !!!!.. you went ALL OUT on this…… and it will show through…

    Comment by Jtk — 7:44 am September 27, 2012 #

  14. Yes, this is awesome. I will eat here. Can we please not make this “I speak like a Hawaiian” joke into a permanent thing though?
    The Seattleite accent is defined by it’s lack of accent. We talk normal here.

    Comment by Alex — 8:33 am September 27, 2012 #

  15. @Keith

    Good news! That bulky, view-blocking patio fence is temporary — it will soon be glass! YAYYY SO excited.

    Thanks for all the love, west side! See you sooooon!

    Emily R
    Marination fan & employee
    twitter: @curb_cuisine

    Comment by mle — 9:56 am September 27, 2012 #

  16. So excited for you guys, CONGRATS!
    Can’t wait to check it out

    Comment by Wendy — 10:02 am September 27, 2012 #

  17. Why didn’t they do this all summer? Seems like a no brainer.

    Comment by chris — 10:46 am September 27, 2012 #

  18. Am soooooooooooooo looking forward to this!
    Makes me wish I worked downtown again & could ride water taxi – a little Marination snack to start the day.

    Comment by YzzyMa — 10:49 am September 27, 2012 #

  19. I got to sample some of the new offerings yesterday, and I loved everything I tried: breakfast slider, Portuguese sausage (and I’m not a fan of sausage), fish taco, green salad(!) and shave ice (coconut & mango). Everything’s fresh and they make their own shave ice flavors (guava, lychee, strawberry, mango, lilikoi,green tea, pineapple,& coconut). With the shave ice you can also add Azuki beans and (Husky Deli) vanilla ice cream.
    If my friends can’t find me, they’ll just need to visit ma kai to track me down!.

    Comment by GreenGirl — 10:53 am September 27, 2012 #

  20. looks fantastic!
    i’m driving all the way back from calgary, canada just for the sliders & kimchi rice!

    Comment by supremelovegod — 11:15 am September 27, 2012 #

  21. Chris, you’re apparently new here. This has been an ongoing thing for many months. Marination wanted to open much earlier but was held up by city bureaucracy. As you said – it’s a no brainer. Unfortunately, in this case, the no brains part falls not on Marination but on the local permit process.

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 1:08 pm September 27, 2012 #

  22. I heard that the opening was this Saturday, Sep. 29…is that not going to happen?

    Comment by Grace — 1:36 pm September 27, 2012 #

  23. Based on our conversation with Kamala, it definitely won’t be that soon. But probably not too much longer, it seems.

    Comment by WSB — 1:37 pm September 27, 2012 #

  24. Loco Moco!!!

    Comment by Alki Resident — 3:37 pm September 27, 2012 #

  25. Alex: There is DEFINITELY a Seattle accent/dialect. It’s just a lot more subtle than other regional accents. I hear it most in the softer “a” sounds in words like ‘bag’ ‘vaguely’ and ‘dragonfly.’ And there are also some different word choices here. I can’t say I ever heard anything expensive referred to “spendy” anywhere else.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 6:00 pm September 27, 2012 #

  26. Omg, I can’t wait to get back there. I am going to spend the whole day there. What a great menu. GOOD LUCK to you all.

    Comment by Brenda — 6:58 pm September 27, 2012 #

  27. here’s another good write up: http://www.washingtonbeerblog.com/marination-ma-kai-best-beer-garden-seattle/

    Comment by leslie — 9:37 pm September 27, 2012 #

  28. Thanks for sharing the link. We know Kendall and Kim from WBB and chatted with them there (you probably know they are West Seattleites and also of Beer Church fame – annual benefit Turkey Bowl coming up later this fall!). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:53 pm September 27, 2012 #

  29. OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!!! WS is starving for your food.

    Comment by SusaninAlki — 10:35 am September 28, 2012 #

  30. Im a little confused I dont see the Spicy Pork tacos on the menu?!? They will have them right:-(

    Comment by Mabel — 11:55 am September 28, 2012 #

  31. Mabel- I thought you were wrong until I re-read:

    “Lunch and Dinner Items:
    Taco salad with kalbi bee, miso ginger chicken, spicy pork, or sexy tofu”

    but you’re right, it doesn’t say taco, it says taco salad. surely they will have the tacos though….
    maybe that is a mis-print (I hope!- I love those tofu tacos!)

    Comment by sam-c — 1:20 pm September 28, 2012 #

  32. We’re going to Waikiki in 20 days and just to know we’ll have somewhere to come back to, to remind us of the Islands will be great! Can’t wait.

    Comment by lily — 6:44 pm September 28, 2012 #

  33. Nice!
    Hawaiian taste of “home”.
    I’ll be visiting this restaurant when open.
    hope they offer a traditional shoyu chicken Mixed plate!
    or a mixed plate lunch special.

    Comment by MAV — 12:05 pm September 29, 2012 #

  34. I hope they’ll have spicy pork tortas, too!

    Comment by Jen — 8:35 pm September 29, 2012 #

  35. Stopped by tonight hoping to stumble into a soft opening but no luck, they’re still a ways away but getting closer every day!

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 5:19 pm October 2, 2012 #

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