Is Jason Aldous allergic to the mainland? First came a two-year stint as Willows Inn sous chef on Lummi, then a year at Camano Island Waterfront Inn before he washed ashore at Friday Harbor House in the heart of San Juan Island in 2016. The bluff-top resort barely betrays its quarter-century age thanks to sleek design and regular nips and tucks, including this spring’s patio rebuild and kitchen extension, which made room for a Bellingham-made Wood Stone oven; now Aldous’s team can bake sourdough pizzas and finish steaks in a 700-degree wood fire.
Anxious locals were relieved to find the beloved bibimbap survived the renovation. The brunch favorite tops a crispy rice crust with braised pork belly, a poached egg, and fresh vegetables. Gochujang sauce adds kick, as does housemade kimchi; since the kitchen tosses any greenery on hand into the kimchi every time the seasonal menu shifts—pea tendrils here, kale there—the Korean classic becomes a kind a scrapbook of the season just past.
Score a pair of kitschy white sunglasses from the server if you’ve underestimated morning sun, then savor while ferries inch into the harbor below. Admit it, Aldous’s island addiction is catching.