The Seattle dining public is fairly familiar with Brian O'Connor's food, if not necessarily his name—he ran the culinary show when Skillet Diner launched, went on to work with Josh Henderson's Huxley Wallace Collective, and most recently was cheffing at Roux. Now O'Connor has founded his own restaurant group and has two lively-sounding new spots in the works, both in White Center.
As you might surmise from the name, Same Same Noodle Bar will specialize in noodles, from soups like soba with yuzu and Dungeness crab to wokked dishes like sweet potato noodles with curried pumpkin and galangal. The sample menu already up online has plenty of influences from Japan, China, Korea, and Thailand, but bursts of Northwest and even Italian in the mix as well. Noodles will be made in house when warranted says O'Connor, otherwise sourced from legit noodlemakers near and far.
There will also be rice bowls, and starters like mayo-slathered fried corn or crispy garlic chicken feet, and the sort of careful sourcing that's almost an expectation of ambitious restaurants around these parts. Same Same doesn't yet have a location locked down, but it does have a prototype cocktail list, full of Asian-tinged takes on classics via bar manager Jael DeLeonardis. While the restaurant itself will likely open late summer or early fall, Same Same's food will make a sort of debut later this month at peripatetic porkfest Cochon 555.
Meanwhile, O'Connor, who lives nearby in SeaTac, has another White Center project in the works: Bok a Bok, he says, is all about Korean fried chicken...and biscuits. He just signed the lease for Bok a Bok, though isn't quite ready to share the specific location. But nothing helps speed up a timeline like an actual address; Bok a Bok should open before Same Same, potentially late spring or early summer.