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Iconiq chef-owner Toshiyuki Kawai will head back to Japan for a family emergency.

Say it isn't so. The French-Japanese Iconiq restaurant in Mount Baker is going on hiatus. Chef and owner Toshiyuki Kawai says he unfortunately has a family emergency to attend to in Japan. "It's really hard to focus on what I do in the restaurant right now," says Kawai, "so I think I made the right decision." It was definitely a tough call. He doesn't know yet how long he'll be gone, perhaps a month or two, but return he shall. "Don't worry," assures Kawai, he's excited to come back to Seattle and cook again in his beloved neighborhood restaurant.

The last day of service for Iconiq is this Saturday, October 28. And should you need reminding of why you might want to get in your last bites of Kawai's approachable-yet-fine fare:

"Okay, yes: Iconiq’s spelling seems more insufferable nightclub than understated destination restaurant. But then the terrine of chilled vegetables arrives, a crunchy kaleidoscope firmed with jellied vegetable stock and bound by a cabbage leaf—summer salad that masquerades as art. Next, risotto so imbued with herbs (parsley, dill, chervil...) and lemon that it’s tempting to describe it as light and ethereal—never mind that it’s butter rich and topped with sweetbreads fried in Japan’s tatsuta-age style for crunch. By the time the chilled summer berry soup arrives for dessert, its refreshing tartness and the room’s mellow hum have erased those initial fears of bottle service or heavy bass." —Allecia Vermillion

Read the full review in Seattle Met's July issue.

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