FOLLOWUP: Falafel Salam expects to open West Seattle Junction restaurant next week

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After “working day and night for three and a half months,” West Seattle chef/entrepreneur Shimi Kahn is almost ready to open his sit-down Falafel Salam restaurant in The Junction.

We first reported in February that the longtime food-truck owner was taking over the former Yummy Teriyaki space at 4746 California SW. After hearing that the transformation was almost complete, and that he expects to open next week, we stopped in on Monday afternoon.

First thing to catch our eyes: Plants.

The southwest side of the restaurant’s interior will have a “living wall,” not far from where the Falafelsaurus sits in one of the garage-door-style windows, which will be ready to let in the summer warmth and sunshine when Falafel Salam opens. (Some outdoor seating is planned, too.)

The entirety of the space, which seats about 34, has undergone a hands-on overhaul. Shimi has wood surfaces on the walls, the counter, and elsewhere, with materials from repurposed 114-year-old fir to birch:

He’s oxidized some other wood trim with “a concoction of vinegar and steel wool”:

Pulling back for a wider look – the kitchen is open, so you’ll see everything happening right there in the heart of the restaurant.

Something else you’ll see: A cooler full of grab-and-go food. While you are welcome to order anything on the menu for takeout, Shimi says, they also will be offering premade items “like a deli” for those in a hurry. Hummus, baba ganoush, and more. “Especially with PCC closing,” he notes, they want to make healthy quick food available to West Seattleites.

And along with the recycled wood, sustainability and low waste will be a theme with the food, too. For example, he plans to work with West Seattle Farmers Market vendors (Falafel Salam itself has been part of the WSFM since it moved into the street two years ago) to get produce that might “not be so beautiful” but will make great seasonal pickles. They will bake bread daily, and if there are day-old leftovers, they can be used for pita chips. Lemon rinds can be candied. And the list goes on.

And now, the practical details:

Falafel Salam will be closed Mondays – that’s when they’ll be working to prepare for the week ahead, since everything is made from scratch. The hours aren’t finalized but Shimi expects to open for lunch around 11 and stay open until 8:30, 9 for starters, possibly moving to a late happy hour after a while. The liquor license they’re seeking is for beer/wine, NOT a full bar.

Speaking of beverages, offerings will include fresh coconuts – “cold and with a straw!” promises Shimi – and mint and pomegranate lemonades.

Saturday and Sunday brunch will likely run 8:30 am-2 pm, with specialties including the egg dish shakshuka, lamb poutine, pita French toast. Look for a falafel twist on chicken and waffles, too.

Some things will be phased in – so keep in mind what you find at Falafel Salam once it’s open will be just the beginning. Shimi says he’s just excited to “open it and make it happen” and see how it goes from there.

Final inspections are currently expected toward the end of this week, so opening day could be as soon as next Tuesday.

27 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Falafel Salam expects to open West Seattle Junction restaurant next week"

  • newnative June 20, 2017 (12:12 pm)

    I hope this works out. Sounds good.  Even if they are infested with the Falafelsaurus! 

  • WS Parent June 20, 2017 (12:23 pm)

    Giddy up!

  • Neighbor June 20, 2017 (12:46 pm)

    Had a falafel from their food truck and holy smokes it was the best falafel I’ve ever had!

    Super excited!!!

  • misoginger June 20, 2017 (12:54 pm)

    So excited for you! Best of luck.

  • Vanessa June 20, 2017 (1:13 pm)

    …mouth watering already……

  • Swede. June 20, 2017 (1:30 pm)

    This looks great! 

  • Craig June 20, 2017 (2:52 pm)

    Great addition to the Junction!  

  • Sue H June 20, 2017 (2:58 pm)

    I was just wondering about this a week ago. I loved the food truck, but don’t always get up there during the market. Thanks for the update!

  • erm June 20, 2017 (3:48 pm)

    This is the most exciting junction development in months!  My coworkers and I are already planning how we’ll tackle upcoming lunch orders!  Wishing them all the success- & what a glorious makeover on that spot!

  • justme June 20, 2017 (5:42 pm)

    The hungry community awaits!

  • Pete R. June 20, 2017 (7:50 pm)

    The first thing you noticed was the plants, when Phil the Falafelsaurus was coming right at you? :-D

  • afrikando June 20, 2017 (10:25 pm)

    Can’t wait!

  • Morgan June 21, 2017 (12:01 am)

    Everybody seems to close at 9…shucks,

  • Gorillita June 21, 2017 (7:33 am)

    Will they serve gyros?

  • Yum! June 21, 2017 (11:14 am)

    I met Shimi and his team at the Queen Anne Farmers Market several years ago and have been a fan ever since. The food is wonderful and they are the nicest crew you’ll ever meet. So happy for them that they have a brick and mortar store and even happier for us that it’s nearby! A great addition to the neighborhood!!! 

  • far-away sister June 21, 2017 (11:45 am)

    just wondering if getting on a trans- atlantic flight just to get a taste of this, is something a normal person would actually consider, or am I normal?

  • sam-c June 21, 2017 (12:59 pm)

    Falafel is one of the few things my picky-eating kid likes. So if it is as good as everyone says it is, we will definitely have to make it one of our regular places!  Can’t wait!

  • WSFanBoy June 21, 2017 (1:20 pm)

    Forget falafels, I can’t wait for the diner down the street to open up!

    • WSB June 21, 2017 (1:48 pm)

      This is one of three restaurants on that block that are due to open this summer, including Vine & Spoon. Fun times!

    • WestSea2011 June 21, 2017 (2:02 pm)

      I can’t wait either! Such a great idea for a place to diversify as they are. Pizza Parties early in the day Ultra Lounge at night. That right there proves that some people just have a knack for business. I wish I would have thought of it first.

  • M June 21, 2017 (4:58 pm)

    Take my money now. 

    Will there be any partnership with a delivery service like Uber Eats for those us to lazy to make it to the junction? 

  • James June 21, 2017 (7:06 pm)

    Oh man, this is awesome. I love pita made from scratch, and if you use leftover pita in a fattoush salad then I am going to be Salam’s #1 customer. Especially if your baba ghanouj is smoky. And tasty pickles.

    …Any chance for coffee?

  • McFail June 21, 2017 (7:46 pm)

    Great!  I also saw on instagram thatLil Woody’s is coming to White Center

    • WSB June 21, 2017 (8:37 pm)

      It’s part of the Beer Star building, which we have covered on our WC site White Center Now.

  • Respect your mother June 23, 2017 (5:44 am)

    Yay falafel, more great vegetarian food here in the hood, looking forward to being a frequent flyer!

  • LuvFalafel July 3, 2017 (5:49 pm)

    Is there any word if this is open yet? I walked past last week and it wasn’t finished yet!

    • WSB July 3, 2017 (6:51 pm)

      Not that we know of – we’re checking daily as best we can and will publish a separate update as soon as we know it’s open!

Sorry, comment time is over.