Marination Ma Kai

The under-construction Marination Ma Kai. Hurry up and open! Photo courtesy marination-makai.tumblr.com.

When the Marination outpost in West Seattle opens, Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton will carry the Korean-Hawaiian staples that have made them a street food fixture. But Edison and Saxton also are using the Seacrest Boathouse property, which they’ve dubbed Marination Ma Kai, as a launching pad for some undeniably awesome additions.

They’ve imported a shave ice machine from Saxton’s native Hawaii to give the hard-to-find island staple its proper due. Sure, snow cones exist here, and yes, the two are similar, but break them down and cones can’t hold a candle to shave ice.

With the latter the grain is considerably finer, resulting in a fluffy-snowy appearance. Since the ice is so integral, Marination will produce its own blocks to achieve that unique texture. Snow cones often fall victim to mass-produced corn syrups; Marination, on the other hand, will make its flavorings in-house. Six flavors are planned (mango, strawberry), three of which will be infused with vodka.

Indeed, vodka signals a full bar is in the works. Saxton has made mention of Bloody Mary brunches (Ma Kai will serve breakfast) and scratch mai tais. There also will be beer aplenty courtesy cicerone Robyn Schumacher.

Bottom line: You will want to drink at Marination Ma Kai—it just has to open. Unfortunately that process is proving difficult so the target date is delayed to early September.