Heong Soon Park has taken over one existing restaurant—Bacco—and opened another in a space he already occupied—that would be Chan. This year the chef had his first-ever chance to create a place from scratch. One with a completely open kitchen, tall ceilings, lots of light, and an urban farmhouse vibe that doesn't feel cheesy.
Park's Tray Kitchen opens Saturday, November 1 at 4012 Leary Way NW, right where Fremont starts thinking it's Ballard. The food intertwines his Korean heritage with the Northwest seasons. Service is similar in spirit to San Francisco's much-lauded State Bird Provisions—rather than order from a menu, diners pluck appealing dishes from passing carts or trays. It's like dim sum, but with plates of cured salmon, pear, and creme fraiche or broccoli with fish sauce and Thai chilies.
Check out Nidhi's great photos above to get a better idea of what this is all about. Then read on for more details.
Eat: Whatever's coming by on the cart. Maybe the kung pao corned beef tongues? Servers also walk around displaying food on handheld trays—an eminently nimbler means of food delivery. If sharing isn't your jam, or you prefer to know exactly what you're getting (or don't want to miss the Korean-style fried chicken), consult the list of about entree-style plates. Another option: share one of these dishes and grab a few more plates as they go by on trays.
Drink: Any wine by the glass. Or the half-glass. Every single bottle on the list (nearly 70 in total) is available by the glass, the bottle, or even a half-glass pour so you could theoretically do pairings with every single plate without getting completely hammered. Wines hail from Europe and the US but are generally high in acid, low in alcohol, and generally friendly with food.
Sit: I'm awfully partial to the blue and green chairs at the communal table, but the six-seat chef's counter lets you call dibs on dishes that look promising.
Bonus Intel: About half the produce comes from Park's own farm in Woodinville. (It's right next to Jason Stoneburner's...aww farm neighbors.) Brunch starts in December and the patio will be in effect next year.