Surviving the wait for dinner at Vij’s in Vancouver is part of the experience—a sort of badge of honor you wear as you ravenously devour your lamb popsicles. And when Meeru Dhalwala opened Vij's sibling Shanik last year, she said the South Lake Union restaurant would have the same no-reservations policy, in the spirit of equality.
But Dhalwala is also keen to make sure her restaurant reflects Seattle, rather than simply replicating what’s happening in Vancouver. So now, thanks to “the reality of Seattle traffic” and a few other factors, she says Shanik is taking reservations for lunch and dinner. But only in half of the dining room, so walkins still have plenty of real estate.
The crazy crowds that arrived after Shanik's opening have calmed down. And it's certainly possible to walk right in and get a table during some pockets of the week. But oh man is it nice to arrive knowing there's a table for you...especially during prime time.