Back in March, Jason Harris set up a lunchtime popup at Kylie’s Chicago Pizza in Fremont. Though instead of slices or pies, the former Showa chef and veteran of Chiso and Sushi Kappo Tamura served beautiful, seasonal bento boxes.
Now Harris is getting ready to open his own place on August 7 at 5410 17th Ave NW, just off the main Market drag in Ballard. Bloom Restaurant will have a takeaway area up front where you can still get those stunning bento boxes. But the restaurant’s sit-down menu will move Harris’s love of Japanese food and seasonal market produce out of the box and onto plates both full-size and small.
He’s planning three types of ramen, one similar to the carefully wrought ramen recipe back at Showa, with a deep, rich pork broth. There’s also a shio ramen made with chicken and a vegetarian version seasoned with coconut milk. Other items like the koji chicken and braised pork shoulder have made regular appearances in bento boxes, but will be served up here in actual plate form. Along with lots of pickled items.
One thing you won't see at Bloom: sushi. "That market is saturated," says Harris. But he is excited to do some seasonal sashimi, like great Washington albacore in the summer, and perhaps uni in the winter. Meanwhile he has set up the requisite kickstarter to help him give the space a "Japanese farmhouse" vibe, a living wall herb garden, and a menu that gives the gluten-free crowd plenty of options.
Bloom will open for dinner only at first, then expand into lunch service a few weeks later. Track updates on Bloom's website. And if you pick up our August issue, you might find a gorgeous picture of Harris's koji chicken bento box in the dining section. Just sayin'.