West Seattle, Washington
On the same night that much-awaited Dumplings of Fury opened a few blocks away, another much-awaited new Junction restaurant had a very quiet “soft opening” – Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya (4203 SW Alaska).
We only noticed because of a reader tip that Kizuki might finally – after months of promising “soon” – be opening this week; then while running an errand this evening between coverage of unrelated stories, we detoured over for a look, and discovered they were allowing potential customers in.
“Irasshaimase!” could be heard from outside, every time someone stepped in – that’s Japanese for “welcome!” We subsequently sent in our photographer, who learned the official opening day will be next Monday (July 25th). From thereon out, they’re expecting to start with 11 am-2:30 pm lunch hours and reopening at 5 pm for dinner. It’s been almost a year since first word that Kizuki – at the time called Kukai – was on the way; many reader questions about its progress in the ensuing months led us to bring you multiple updates, like this one in February with a sneak peek at the design (compare to the photos in this story that we took tonight).
Story and photos by Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
As reported here a few weeks ago, Dumplings of Fury is set to furiously serve several styles of dumplings to the masses tomorrow when the hotly anticipated restaurant officially opens for business at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Proprietor Ben Jenkins used a “soft open” Tuesday night to give his new venture a test run, giving a handful of Westsiders the chance to see the completed space and, more importantly, sample the food.
An abbreviated menu available Tuesday night offered guests not only a variety of dumpling options, but also revealed steamed-bun sandwiches and soup.
Patrons will also be able to indulge in strawberry or mango bubble tea, soft drinks, bottled beer, and wine served in cans.
The shop has minimal countertop seating, with eight bar stools inside the rather small space and another four small tables arranged for al-fresco dumpling eating. Considering the fairly quick preparation of the food, however, turnover of the seating should not be an enormous problem. Even so, orders Tuesday were conveniently packaged in fairly robust to-go containers.
Matt Siegel and Deborah Caul of Columbia City stumbled upon the restaurant opening via a “bit of serendipity” and managed to get a preview of what many West Seattle restaurant-goers have long been awaiting.
“It’s fresh, and hot, and a little bit different,” says Caul, who says the couple had come to The Junction to have dinner at Lee’s Asian Restaurant across the street, but learned too late that the Junction fixture is closed Tuesdays.
Siegel says the Xai Long Bao (soup dumpling) reminded him of wildly successful Taiwanese dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung and that, despite the 20-minute drive from Columbia City, he’d return for more. “I’d come over here before I’d go to Bellevue.”
West Seattleites Ashley Coulson and Stephanie Moores were instant fans of the restaurant, praising not only the food, but the assortment of wines, the quality of the table chili, and “the best people-watching” from the outdoor tables.
Dumplings of Fury – first mentioned here 11 months ago – will be open daily Wednesday through Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., 4302 SW Oregon. Jenkins says that extending hours later, particularly on weekends, is a possibility down the road.
Three and a half months after we brought you first word that Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery was on the way to the northeast corner of California/Edmunds in The Junction – it’s opening day!
We were there just before 11 am as proprietor Shelby Varden cut the ribbon, with help from his parents Fay and Bill. Remodeling of the space was still under way when last we checked in, but now it’s all ready for diners:
That’s just part of the space, which as we reported last month also includes areas that can be configured for groups, including a private room that has the only video monitor you’ll find in Shelby’s, just in case it’s needed for anything from a business lunch to a party. Here’s the finished mural on the north interior wall:
Shelby explained it to us last month as “the story of ice cream.” Speaking of which, here’s a photo of the menu with the ice-cream specialties and beverages; here’s a photo of the menu with everything else. On hand for the grand opening with Shelby and parents is his husband Mick Prandi, second from left:
Shelby’s hours are at the top of its website – if you want to be part of opening day, get there by 9 tonight. And note the mention of “snacky hour” 2-5 pm Tuesdays through Fridays.
P.S. We’ve recapped this corner’s history so often, we’re not doing it again, but Shelby’s declaration is, “The corner of California Ave SW and SW Edmunds St is turning over a new leaf!”
From today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: The owners of Capitol Hill restaurant/bar Chungee’s have canceled their application to rezone their south Morgan Junction home so they can add another Chungee’s there. The city Hearing Examiner was supposed to have a hearing tomorrow on the proposed 6921 California SW rezone, but that’s off, and the notice in the LUIB says:
On June 16, 2016, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI) published a SEPA decision and recommendation to approve a rezone of property.
The applicant has requested cancellation of their application and Seattle DCI hereby withdraws the decision and recommendation and will cancel the application.
We first reported last August on the rezone/restaurant proposal. While the lot is already zoned Lowrise 2, meaning it can hold more housing than it does now, the owners had sought to add the “Residential Commercial” zoning designation to enable adding a restaurant/bar. This is the second notable West Seattle project cancellation we’ve reported in less than a week; last Tuesday, we discovered the CVS proposed for the Triangle was off.
9:52 PM: West Seattle’s most-asked-about restaurant-in-progress has set an opening date. During an event at Shadowland tonight, as dumplings were circulated, we heard from a reliable source that its sibling establishment Dumplings of Fury – just across the California/Oregon intersection – expects to open on Wednesday, July 20th. Looking for confirmation, we see the date announcement was tucked away in this online corner.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Phone photo of aforementioned dumplings:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Shelby Varden sees California Avenue SW through the West Seattle Junction as having some of the flavor of Disneyland’s Main Street USA.
By the time the West Seattle Grand Parade comes marching and rolling down that street next month, he expects to have Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery open right at the end of the route, on the northeast corner of California and Edmunds.
We brought you first word of the plan back in early April, but it was a quick update, after numerous readers spotted signs of activity at the 4752 California SW site, in what had been the abruptly closed Westside Public House, following the abruptly closed Terrible Beauty, among other predecessors. When we briefly caught up with Varden in the early stage of the remodel, he invited us to check back when his establishment was closer to opening – now set for July 19th – and we recently did just that.
Varden (above right) and recently hired chef Justin Reed (above left) gave us a tour of the space – now about 75 percent of the way to completion – and a preview of what they’re planning: Read More
Four biznotes this afternoon, all from The Junction:
THUNDER ROAD GUITARS’ NEW HOURS: Proprietor Frank Gross wants you to know that Thunder Road Guitars (4736 California SW; WSB sponsor) has new hours:
Tuesdays-Saturdays 10 am – 6 pm
Sundays – Closed
Mondays – Closed
AZUMA SUSHI’S VACATION: The recent change to six days a week has worked so well that the hard-working proprietors of Azuma Sushi (4533 California SW) are now planning their “first extended vacation since we opened 16 years ago!” according to signage all around the restaurant. The vacation closure will be Sunday, July 3, through Sunday, July 17, and the restaurant will reopen on Monday, July 18.
DUMPLINGS OF FURY SOON: This much-asked-about restaurant-in-progress (4302 SW Oregon) also has a brand-new public update: “Trying to get the last inspection scheduled now. Training up staff. All good stuff. Can’t nail a date until the inspection is scheduled though. Those guys are busy so we will keep hopes high that happens fast.”
One day after the official grand opening of Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que in West Seattle, today is the new restaurant’s first full day in business, and we’re welcoming them as a new WSB sponsor. As with all new local sponsors, Pecos Pit gets the chance to let you know what they’re about:
We believe in BBQ’s primal power: The artful use of wood, fire, and smoke to enhance the quality of one’s life and “spread the love.” So … we are taking this power, fusing it into an innovative business model and delivering a simpler but better BBQ experience. Do Well, Do Good, Have Fun!
After 35 years of having a single Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que location on 1st Avenue, Ron and Debra Wise have teamed up with Gerry Kingen to share their iconic Seattle jewel with the rest of the world. The new Pecos Pit location serves the same famous Pecos Pit BBQ found on 1st Ave for decades, along with some new habit-forming options. Offerings include our traditional pork, beef, and chicken sandwiches in a decidedly sloppy style, plus beef brisket and hot links. (Explore the menu here.)
New variations include stuffed smoked potatoes (sweet or russet) and a “Walkaround Bowl” filled with the meat of your choice plus cheese, cold slaw and sauce. We also serve healthy salads made with your choice of smoked meat, or have it veggie style with baby kale, olives, tomatoes, cowboy caviar, cheddar cheese, and blue cheese or ranch dressing. You can even buy bulk, smoked meats, including Pecos pork, beef brisket, turkey legs and smoked chicken.
Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que‘s new West Seattle restaurant is located at 4400 35th Avenue SW. Our hours are 11 a.m.– 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. We have indoor and outdoor seating; you can order ahead by phone at 206-708-7691; or, use the drive-through. Our 16 parking spaces are next door, off the alley, to the east.
We thank Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que (WSB sponsor) is now officially open at 35th and and Fauntleroy, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon:
That’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold next to proprietor Gerry Kingen at right in the top photo. Below, Kingen and wife Kathy Kingen (at left) were also officially welcomed by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s CEO Lynn Dennis and president Elizabeth Pluhta of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
Pecos Pit is open until 9 tonight. It’s the first of what the Kingens, who own Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), plan will be multiple franchised locations of the SODO-born barbecue restaurant.
Three West Seattle restaurant notes:
IRASHAI NOW OPEN: While covering the “Group Hug for The Admiral” this morning, we noticed the banner across the street at Irashai, the Japanese restaurant that took over the former Mawadda Café space. When it opened at 11 am, we ducked in to ask a few questions. This is the second day of the restaurant’s “soft open,” we learned; its operators have another restaurant by the same name in Alaska. The hours might change depending on how things are going, but for now they are posted as 11 am-9 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 11 am-10 pm Fridays and Saturdays, noon-9 pm Sundays.
PECOS PIT OPENING DATE: Pecos Pit BBQ at 35th and Fauntleroy has announced it will open on June 21st. It’s totally remodeled and expanded the former Beni Hoshi/Yasuko’s Teriyaki space. According to an announcement sent to the Junction Neighborhood Organization, a ribboncutting is planned at 3 pm on June 21st, and the restaurant will welcome its first customers at 4 pm.
SHELBY’S OPENING DATE: It’s been two months since we reported on Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery, taking over the former Westside Public House space on the northeast corner of California and Edmunds in The Junction. This establishment has also announced an opening date: July 19th.
Nine months ago, we reported that the proprietors of Capitol Hill’s Chungee’s Drink ‘N Eat were seeking to rezone and remodel their Morgan Junction home in order to convert it into another branch of their popular restaurant and bar. Rezoning requires City Council approval, and today’s Land Use Information Bulletin brings word that the official comment period on this part of the project is now open for two weeks – here’s the official notice. The rezoning proposal for the site, 6921 California SW, is the same as it was last August – seeking a “contract rezone” from Lowrise 2 to Lowrise 2 – Residential Commercial, the same zoning as parcels to the south, as noted in our report last August. “Contract rezone” means it’s related to a specific proposal, not just a general designation change. If you’re interested in commenting, you can use this form linked from today’s notice; deadline is June 13th. (King County Assessor’s Office photo)
Two months after we got word that Bok a Bok Korean Fried Chicken was on the way to White Center, it’s opening Wednesday, and invited media in tonight. We dropped in for a few photos and updates – including, most importantly if you’re interested, the menu! See it on WCN.
After almost seven years under its current ownership, Angelina’s in The Admiral District has closed. We went to the restaurant at 2311 California SW to investigate after getting tips from two readers, and got confirmation. West Seattleites Skip and Allison Rich bought Angelina’s from its longtime previous owners in 2009, remodeling it, adding a bar, and removing “Trattoria” from its name before reopening it that fall. Here’s the text of the note that Allison tells WSB they will be posting:
Dear West Seattle,
It is with great sadness that we have closed the doors for good. We could no longer balance our personal lives and the restaurant. We have given all we have to this baby for 7 years and it is time now to start a new chapter in our lives.
We thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the years. We have watched your children grow up and watched lives change in many ways. It was our pleasure serving you! We will miss you more than you will ever know. As you were customers, you were family to us! With every lasagna, chicken parm or Rod’s scramble we served, we did it with all our hearts.
Thank you Admiral District for treating us so well! We will miss you terribly.
All our love and thanks,
Allison and Skip
Their restaurant has been, and still is, up for sale.
The most delicious fundraiser of the year is now just a yummy memory – the Taste of West Seattle, with dozens of food/beverage providers delighting hundreds of ticketholders, filled The Hall at Fauntleroy on Thursday night – all to help West Seattle Helpline provide emergency assistance to neighbors in need.
From title sponsor Metropolitan Market, Jude and Megan were serving crostini topped with stretched mozzarrella and tomato bruschetta:
Also from Admiral, Mioposto‘s Bobby, Jeremy, Tiah, and Jayme served Tomato-Tonnato Salad:
From The Junction, Dream Dinners West Seattle was there with Kim, Gretchen, and Leslie presenting chipotle shrimp with mango salsa:
More of the deliciousness after the jump: Read More
As A la Mode Pies proprietor Chris Porter puts it, this is a big day/night for him and his growing company. Above, the window wrap is going up right now at their future West Seattle Junction expansion location on SW Alaska just east of California SW, on the ground floor of Junction 47; in honor of that, he’s inviting you to suggest WS-centric names for the “boozy milkshakes” they’ll be offering. (With Husky Deli ice cream!) You might recall hearing about the milkshakes, pies, and more when we first reported last month on Porter’s plan for A la Mode Pies to expand here.
As part of the introduction to this community (which will be its second shop, after Phinney), A la Mode Pies also will be at the sold-out Taste of West Seattle food-and-drink fundraiser tonight in Fauntleroy, benefiting the WS Helpline. Porter himself will be at another event – the Puget Sound Business Journal “Business of Pride” event, at which he says A la Mode Pies will be recognized as one of the 25 largest LGBTQ-owned businesses in the region.
Now – your help needed! Porter is inviting WSB readers to suggest names for the five “boozy milkshakes” that West Seattle A la Mode Pies will offer.
Here’s the criteria:
· Hyper Local – Submissions might be influenced by a West Seattle neighborhood, a popular West Seattle destination, tourist attraction, or local saying. The name could also include something West Seattleites take pride in – like the largest employer, historical reference, or pillar of the community.
· The more whimsical, irreverent, and catchy the better.
· Relates to the ingredients in the shake (see descriptions below). Does the proposed name provide a hint as to what the boozy milkshake might taste like?
· Short-and-Sweet. Ideally, each submission will be no more than 2-3 words, as it needs to fit on a menu.
Here’s a description of each proposed boozy milkshake:
1. Cinnamon Apple – Vanilla Ice Cream, Cinnamon Whiskey, Hard Cider – served with cinnamon & sugar pie fries
2. Grasshopper – Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Vodka, Crème de Menthe – drizzled with chocolate ganache
3. Banana – Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Coffee Liquor, Rum, Fresh Bananas – drizzled with homemade caramel
4. Key Lime – Vanilla Ice Cream, Key Lime Juice, Tequila, Triple Sec – served with crushed graham crackers
5. Blue Hawaiian – Coconut Ice Cream, Fresh Blueberries, Malibu Rum, Crushed Pineapple – topped with toasted coconut
Got one suggestion – or five – or more? Please post in the comment section (if you’re reading this from the home page, either click the headline and scroll down, or click the word comment/s under the headline). Decisions will be made within a week or two. Meantime, Porter hopes to have A la Mode Pies open in The Junction in September.
Thanks for the tip that the signage is up for Irashai, taking over the former Mawadda Café space at 2352 California SW in The Admiral District. When last we reported on this space in March, Mawadda’s proprietor indicated they would soon shut down – which they did – but wouldn’t confirm that Irashai was taking over, though a liquor-license application was already in the works. Now, there’s also a remodeling permit on file. We haven’t made contact with Irashai’s proprietor(s) yet but will update when we do. One more thing the signage reveals, besides the name – sushi seems to be part of the plan, underscored by the one detail in a document found online related to the remodel – “install sushi bar.”
8:50 AM: The founder and namesake of West Seattle to White Center to West Seattle restaurant Meander’s says she’s out. Here’s what Miranda Krone posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page this morning, three months after its newest incarnation opened in the ex-Kokoras Greek Grill space in Morgan Junction:
Well, golly folks. I guess I spoke too soon; stick a fork in it, Meander’s is done.
Kim has decided to dissolve our partnership, effective immediately.
I understand that she has chosen to forge on with her own restaurant and her own menu in the space, but it is no longer Meander’s.
To all of the friends and neighbors who have supported us through the years, thank you. You have no idea how much you’ve meant to me, and how much I’ll miss you.
We had been in contact with Krone recently while seeking more information on the liquor-license posting at the former Ripple Café space at 35th SW/SW Henderson, which had suggested another Meander’s enterprise would open there. She tells WSB now, “That lease has since been voided.”
BACKSTORY: The California SW location was the fourth location for Meander’s, which originally opened in early 2011 in the former Jade West Café at 6032 California SW (now home to Harry’s Chicken Joint). In fall 2012, the café moved to a big White Center space (now home to Noble Barton), downsizing to another WC spot about a block south in late summer 2013 until closing there last November. While her business road has been bumpy – and she acknowledges that – Krone’s fans are passionate about her food. On FB, she’s telling commenters she might try “some pop-ups” in the future.
11:30 PM: In comments, we’ve now heard from Kim Depew, who’s continuing to run the restaurant at 6400 California SW.
Five quick West Seattle (and vicinity) food notes:
WILDWOOD MARKET: Finally an answer to the question of “what’s going in at the old Guadalajara Restaurant?” at 9214 45th SW in Fauntleroy. Wildwood Market‘s website says it will open this fall, a market and sandwich shop described as “… your locally owned community-focused eatery … A modern take on Seattle’s old neighborhood corner stores, you will find wholesome foods, beer & wine, and staples for your fridge & pantry, in a family-friendly atmosphere.”
(added Wednesday night) We reached Lonjina Verdugo, part of the Wildwood Market team, who you might remember as proprietor of the Center Studio in White Center. She says it’s a family operation, and they’re modeling it on a market in Washington, D.C., that a relative operates. “With permits and remodeling, we are hoping to open this Fall if not sooner. Very excited!”
(back to original report) HARRY’S CHICKEN JOINT ON VACATION: Don’t get alarmed if you find Harry’s Chicken Joint (6032 California SW) closed; proprietor Bruce sent a note this morning to say, “We are taking a much-needed rest and vacation and will be closed until Friday, June 3rd.”
CRAWFISH AT CIRCA TODAY: Circa proprietor Gretchen e-mailed to say they’re doing another crawfish boil at the Admiral restaurant (2605 California SW) today, 11:30 am-4 pm. Gumbo too. (And their regular menu is available as well.)
PROLETARIAT PIZZA LAUNCHES BRUNCH: As of last weekend, “the pizza that made White Center famous” – created by the Albaeck family of West Seattle – is now serving brunch on weekends, 9 am-noon. Get a taste by checking out the first brunch menu on our partner site White Center Now.
KIZUKI RAMEN UPDATE: This is the number one reader question in the restaurant realm right now – “when is Kizuki Ramen opening in The Junction?” Especially since the sign went up recently (thanks for the pic!):
Latest answer we’ve found to the “WHEN?” question: “In a few weeks.”
(And yes, we’re following up on a hefty helping of other eats/drinks on the way; more news as we confirm it!)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The West Seattle Junction’s pieshoplessness will soon be over: A la Mode Pies is expanding this way.
Proprietor Chris Porter just signed the lease for a prime spot in Junction 47, facing SW Alaska just east of California.
A la Mode will be the first pie shop in The Junction since Shoofly closed almost two years ago.
It will be the second café/bakery for A la Mode Pies, joining the Phinney location.
We talked with Porter by phone to get the scoop on what the café will be like.
Thursday is the annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser, with more than 100 restaurants around Seattle donating part of their proceeds to Lifelong, supporting its Chicken Soup Brigade, which provides food to people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Here’s who’s participating in West Seattle/White Center, and during which daypart(s) on Thursday, according to the regional list:
Noble Barton (9635 16th SW), donating 30 percent all day/night
El Chupacabra at Alki (2620 Alki SW), donating 30 percent at lunchtime
Buddha Ruksa (3520 SW Genesee), donating 30 percent at dinnertime
Locöl Barley and Vine (7902 35th SW), donating 30 percent at dinnertime/late-night
If you’re going to be outside WS/WC on Thursday and still want to support Dining Out for Life, search other neighborhoods here.
If you’ve been thinking about Sunday dinner at Azuma Sushi in The Junction, you have two more chances, tonight and next Sunday. As of May 1st, Azuma will be closed on Sundays. And that means a regular day off for this mainstay:
That’s Harry Tu, co-proprietor and sushi chef for Azuma, who has worked seven days a week since the restaurant opened in 2000. We photographed him while lunching there on Saturday, after getting a tip from a patron about the notices posted throughout the restaurant and on the menus:
Harry’s standards are exacting, we’re told, and so even though Sundays have been a half-day at Azuma, open just for dinner, he’s still worked a full day, coming in early to prepare the fish and vegetables with which his creations are made. But starting two weeks from today, he and everyone at Azuma will get Sundays off. Their hours are staying the same otherwise.
12:55 PM: If you haven’t seen the note in the WSB Forums – Pegasus Pizza on Alki is closed “for a few days” for remodeling work, starting today. It’s been eight years since the restaurant moved to 2770 Alki SW – a few steps west of its former location, which subsequently was demolished and replaced by the building that’s now home to Top Pot Doughnuts and Subway. The spokesperson who sent word of the closure hasn’t yet answered our followup question about the remodeling plan, but documents on file with the city mention the creation of office space and moving the exterior signage. We’ll update when we get word of their reopening date.
3:35 PM: Just went over to find out more. In addition to adding office space on the west end of the restaurant and moving the signage to the east end, they’re removing the raised half of the floor so it’ll be all one level.