West Seattle -- anything new?
I live in Seattle and am planning to meet up with some friends this weekend, for cocktails and small plates. We'd like to do West Seattle, but nothing is grabbing me. I eat in W Seattle quite a bit and would like something new...but I've heard so-so things about AmaAma and Shadowland (which also seems a bit overpriced). Below is the list of places I've tried, with the reason I've ruled each one out (for this particular weekend).
West 5 -- it's fun, food is okay, but the Hobart (dishwasher) smell is too much for me
Matador -- too much of a singles scene
Buddha Ruksa -- not really a fun Friday night spot, no bar, though I love the food
Beato -- we have a non-wine drinker with us so this place is out
Cactus -- not a fan of the Alki location, a bit frat-y
La Rustica -- it's a date spot, not a fun group spot
Mission -- possible, but I find it just so-so
Jak's -- not really a small plates place
Mashiko -- it's so busy that you can't really hang out, plus they don't have a bar
Blackbird...maybe? I've only eaten there once.
Am I missing anything? Or should I give Shadowland or AmaAma a shot?
It's too bad you've ruled out Beato due to the non-wine drinker. This is not just a wine bar. It's a fabulous restaurant. I give it props for creating an environment where you can have a conversation with your tablemates without shouting. I dined there last night. Here's my take.
Dinner at Beato:
$13 Piatto Misto - assorted cheeses, meats, green salad, house-made hummus, olives. A great way to start the meal. This is a very large appetizer - too much for just 2 people.
$9 Soup du Jour - smooth mushroom soup with truffles. A wonderful dish. This, too, was a generous portion size.
$17 Dungeness crab agnolotti - Pasta stuffed with fresh crab and ricotta. Light and delicious.
$22 Beef short ribs with braised kale & polenta cake - the standout dish of the night. Boneless rib meat that is fork tender with an amazing flavor. I will be returning for this dish alone. It was a nice portion size, not too small, but not half the cow on my plate either.
Just wanted to say thanks for the input and let you know what we decided -- we went to Georgetown instead! Met up at Smarty Pants for sandwiches and drinks, then walked to 9lb Hammer. Meant to continue to Jules Mae for pinball but didn't make it. The SP sandwiches were delicious and I will definitely be back. In fact I think SP will be my West 5 replacement -- too bad they aren't open on Sundays, though.
Just an FYI to hounds in the West Seattle area, there's a new place opening called Springhill, right on California in an old floral shop place. It's going to be owned and run by Mark Fuller and his wife, Marjorie. Mark was the chef under Tom Douglas at Dahlia Lounge for years. They're targeting late-April, early May and I am WAY hopeful! West Seattle needs a real, complete package restaurant. I'll report back!
I'll let my brother's brother-in-law know you're not a fan of Mission (he owns it... as well as Blackbird)... :)
My brother and I had dinner at Shadowland a few weeks ago. The food was surprisingly above-par; it's expensive for West Seattle, but not for the quality. I went to Ama Ama once for happy hour, and the oysters were incredibly skimpy, as though they'd cut them in half and split them between shells. The lamb sliders were about the size of a White Castle burger, with half the taste. It's shame.... I have fond childhood memories of the space from when it was a Godfather's Pizza (cheese bread, lunch buffet)...and then it became W Seattle's first gay bar, and then Ovio, which was terrific.
I would give AmaAma a shot but just avoid the raw oysters (the fried oysters are fine, like in the buttermilk fried oyster Bibb salad w/ green goddess), get the black cod maki, great steak sliders (or lamb or oyster sliders), crab roll etc. go during happy hour if you're looking for discounts.