Restaurant Reviews

Critic Watch: Revel Rousers

Seattle critics heap praise on the Korean street-food spot in Fremont

By Jessica Voelker May 10, 2011

Critics’ Darlings Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang of Revel have a lot to smile about.

Photo Courtesy Jackie Baisa

(New series! When all of our local critics jump on one restaurant and review it, we compare what they say.)

Wow, but Seattle’s food critics enjoy their Revel. Let’s have a look.

I didn’t encounter any dish I wouldn’t happily have again.

That’s the Seattle Times’ Providence Cicero in her review back in March.

In an article with a dek that refers to the restaurant as a "spectacular winner," Seattle Magazine’s Allison Austin Scheff speaks of the joys of thumbing her nose at other cities via Revel:

Sometimes, it’s easy to fall into ‘other city’ envy…. But when a restaurant like Revel comes along right here at home, it’s one more notch in our belt, and the competitive food nerd inside me can’t help herself: Eat your heart out, suckers.

Bethany Jean Clement at The Stranger was a bit more mellow in her assessment, but she had good things to say nonetheless.

Revel feels like a grown-up dining hall—loud, crowded, fun. But, you know, with tasty updated Korean food.

Surly Gourmand, writing for Seattle Weekly’s Voracious blog, had this to say:

There’s nothing quite like Revel in Fremont. For years the region was devoid of fine dining, sandwiched between Wallingford and Ballard, both bastions of high-end neighborhood restaurants. Previously, diners in Fremont had to settle for a seemingly endless parade of Thai restaurants, or Cuban sandwich shops that keep unicorn’s hours, or shitty overpriced Mexican food that was really just a front for a 24-hour frat party. Now, with Revel, Fremont finally has a real contender. May their competitors die in a raging fiery lava flow!

This magazine’s Kathryn Robinson came to her own enthusiastic conclusions:

Here’s the thing: Street food—comfort food—has no business being technically flawless, even less being groundbreaking. Revel’s is both.

And finally, the new girl. Seattle Weekly’s Hanna Raskin chose Revel for her first-ever Seattle review. She had a few finger wags—not enough servers, for one—but in the end she joined the other happy critics.

When I think about returning to Revel, my mind fixates on the corned-lamb salad…I suspect what I liked best about the salad was what I like best about Revel: It was gutsy, unexpected, and nonchalantly delicious.

And there you have it: total consensus.

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