Randy “Macho Man” Savage is back in his rightful home. So is one of Seattle's best restaurants.
The wrestler's pop art portrait by Justin Kane Elder was a defining presence in Revel’s Fremont dining room. Now both Macho Man and this seminal Korean street food–inspired restaurant have returned to 401 N 36th St after a two-year hiatus. Significant caveat: There's no liquor license just yet, so keep an eye on Instagram for critical updates on that front.
When the building’s owners decided to redevelop, Revel owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi moved the restaurant to temporary quarters in South Lake Union in late 2017. Their team did a heroic job maintaining quality, but man it’s good to see Revel back in its natural habitat, one of the few Fremont blocks that still feels more eclectic than shiny.
The original Revel occupied a squatty, boxcar-like outgrowth of an old warehouse; this new incarnation, sheeted in steel like the original, has a handsome corner entrance at the corner of 36th and Phinney with a triangle of covered patio. God knows how, but Yang and Chirchi salvaged the enormous expanse of butcher block that anchored the dining room. It’s here, serving the same purpose in this new space. Preserving a solid length of wood the size of small bus was crazy difficult, says Yang. “But the counter really makes it Revel.”
Quoin is back too, reincarnated as a black cocktail bar space at the end of the room, rather than its own enclosed entity.
Revel turns 10 this year, and its owners have adapted the menu to reflect diners’ evolving habits. Back then, says Yang, bowls were fresh and contemporary. She and Chirchi have enshrined some favorites in a “Classics” section of the menu (the seaweed noodles with Dungeness crab, the tuna rice bowl), rounded out with sections dedicated to vegetables and meat and fish.
Another shift within the new location: The kitchen now uses tamari in place of soy sauce; now even soy–foundational dishes like the short rib rice bowl are gluten-free.