Food News

The Week in Five Bites, from Dancing Noodles to Smash Burgers

Plus, fancy rooftop patio dinners and secret Filipino menus.

By Allecia Vermillion September 28, 2020

HaiDiLao's first US location outside California has opened in Pacific Place.

Dinner on a Very Fancy Patio

Ben Paris has marshaled its eighth floor rooftop terrace and turned it into a chef’s table destination of sorts. Chef Quinton Stewart is doing special occasion–worthy menus up there, replete with welcome bevs, various surprises, and all manner of potential drink pairings from the talented Abigail Gullo. I’ll probably pass on the $500 chef-inspired Kyler Martz tattoo upgrade, but I admire the chutzpah. Downstairs, btw, sous chef Ethan Leung and his partner Geri Massengale do Baon, a secret—or at least super low-key—Filipino menu, on the weekends. It’s a great spread of food for $25.

Supportive Chowder

Ivar’s goes big on practical jokes, but I salute the candor in the restaurant company’s announcement that the Salmon House and Ivar’s Acres of Clams will both close until spring: “Like many restaurants, we made adjustments by installing additional cleaning equipment, personnel and systems to try and keep our employees and our customers safe. We have also reduced our expenses in almost every category, we have tried offering expanded menus, more delivery services, but the full service Acres of Clams and Salmon House on Lake Union restaurants have not approached break-even sales.” The rest of the company’s 19 regional fish bars will stay open.

Distanced, Dancing Noodles at HaiDiLao

I lurked outside the newly open HaiDiLao location on the third floor of Pacific Place Friday night (hey, I never said I was cool). The women at the front desk were answering a barrage of calls asking for reservations (which are already in short supply). The Sichuan-style hot pot chain, known for hospitality and dancers who acrobatically stretch noodles in the midst of the dining room also does takeout via the Fantuan Delivery app, should you be set up for hot pot action at home. The main part of the restaurant isn't visible from the front, but now I'm curious how one pulls off dancing noodles and hot pots in the era of Covid.

Smash Burgers Alfresco in Montlake

Josh Henderson’s been quietly, but rapidly expanding his smash burger chainlet, Burbs. He's setting up a new outpost this Thursday, October 1 at 2010 E Roanoke in Montlake, just west of the hole formerly known as Red Apple Market. Henderson's setting up burger base camp with a food truck, plus some fake grass and a couple pergolas for a seating area. Next up, a similar setup in Burien in November, then Mountlake Terrace.

Virtual Chicken Wings at a Virtual Night Market

Chinatown–International District's night market is always such a rad event; this year, like everything else, it's going virtual. At 6pm on Thursday, October 1, organizers are packing an impressive amount of programming into a single hour (every other virtual event in the world, please take heed). Things begin with food pairing and cocktails from Pho Bac Sup Shop, and the delightful ladies of Phnom Penh Noodle House will demo how to make their wings amidst dance performances and other demos.

Side Dish

Musang shows us what patio dining will look like when the rain sets in.  

Seattle's masked cooks know how to take the heat. (Tip accordingly.)

One-of-a-kind birthday cakes for when funfetti just won't cut it. 

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