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Grouchy Chef in Mukilteo closed

In case it is not widely known, the Grouchy Chef closed down a few months ago. Some sort of bar offering 'Japanese Fusion', according to the note on the door, will be going into the space.

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  1. I walked by on my way to get sandwiches earlier this week for my sons and saw the new place was open for lunch. When I peered inside it was busy.
    Due to the way the menu and "rules" were posted on the doors and windows, as well as their wording - it may be still owned and run by the Grouchy Chef.

    1. The only thing I know about Mukilteo is the Diamond Knot Brewery on the edge of the ferry dock. AMAZING beer (and grounchy locals).

      1. Here's the menu: http://cafe-soleil.net/index.htm. I stopped by tonight. Salisbury steak for $18 that was smaller than most burger patty-size, a "dollop" of mashed potatoes and uninspired broccoli/baby carrots steamed with no seasoning. Demi-glace gravy on the plate tasted of the chemical-laden stuff from FSA or the like. All entrees, even those with potatoes, come with rice, or "housemade" croissant. Owner's wife stressed that the croissants are made fresh. I recognized them as the frozen mini-croissants from TJ's. I saw the NY steak (tiny) and the lamb (really tiny). For the 22-seat spot, with no view in Mukilteo, the place, however precious and engaging, is not worth the price for the food.

        15 Replies
          1. re: GourmetLight

            Thanks so much for the update. I wonder where Chef Masumoto went. I remember the last couple times I was there, he had a note up about his lease coming up for renewal, and he was thinking about looking for a less-expensive location.

            Based on looking at the menu, this doesn't really call out to me.

            1. re: MillCreek

              The beloved "Grouchy Chef", Chef Masumoto isn't gone. What a loss to Mukilteo/Snohomish County if he did leave. He just moved to a larger place a bit south of the old location. He will be in an unlikely place where all his regulars can find him and his surly signs. He is moving into the HERS Industrial Complex in a commercial building on Russell Rd. just off of Mukilteo Speedway.

              Can't wait for him to be back up and running again - he always serves the best food in the area for reasonable prices - just be respectful of the work he puts into providing outstanding food, of his place (don't lean your chair on the walls, smoke in the bathroom, don't track mud into his place, keep your kids under control, don't expect more than you pay for or try to tip him or be demanding with specialty orders) Act as if you are visiting some's home, don't be an obnoxious jerk and he will always be respectful back. If you don't want to follow the rules, well, No soup for you - and more for me.

              Open, open, open.

              1. re: when

                Hmmm, there used to be, or still is, a cafe back in that area called Buffalo Bob's that did a breakfast and lunch trade for the surrounding industrial park. I have not been back there for quite a while. I wonder if that is the site, or if Chef Masumoto is converting another space to a restaurant.

                1. re: MillCreek

                  On Sunday, I went riding my motorcycle all through that industrial park. I did not find his space. Perhaps there is not yet any signage or the like that would give it away.

                  1. re: MillCreek

                    Found it !
                    'Grouchy Chef' appears to be taking over the south end of the grey buiding. There is no signage but -- a Beer/Wine liquor license application plus an electrical work permit are posted .
                    'Grouchy Chef'
                    4433 Russell Rd # 113

                    Best of Luck to Chef Masumoto

                    1. re: YT_4914

                      Thanks YT 4914! This would be right by Buffalo Bob's, which was at 4403 Russell Road, so probably in the same building but at the north end of it.

                      1. re: MillCreek

                        The 'Grouchy Chef ' logo is on the building (no clue when an opening is planned).

                         
                        1. re: YT_4914

                          Excellent. The logo is new, but I did see the entrance with the lamps when I went riding around through there a couple of weeks ago. So now I know exactly where it is. You are going to have to know your way around that industrial park to find it. His new location is not at all visible from the Speedway.

                          1. re: MillCreek

                            Walls painted and light fixtures on today. Contractor of some sort working inside. No furniture or kitchen that I could see but the major construction looks nearly complete. Might take him a month to re-make all of his handwritten signs if he didn't keep them when he closed down.

                            Regarding Buffalo Bob's, he closed in 2003. Grouchy chef is right on the corner of Russel rd and Cyrus.

                            1. re: jeff87nt

                              It's looking pretty good. From what I heard the expected opening is November 4th.

                              1. re: when

                                The Grouchy Chef will be opening again in the near future. The new opening date has not been determined. I will keep you posted.

                                -----
                                Grouchy Chef
                                9999 Harbour Pl Ste 105, Mukilteo, WA 98275

                                1. re: Dag

                                  The Everett Herald published a review of Cafe Soleil today:

                                  http://www.heraldnet.com/article/2009...

                                  -----
                                  Cafe Soleil
                                  9999 Harbour Pl Ste 105, Mukilteo, WA 98275

                                  1. re: Dag

                                    I was really hoping that he would leave that "Grouchy Chef" schtick behind when he opened a new restaurant! He's a good chef, but I was really tired of the signs and the affected "mean" looks from him. Just cook! I think he needs to be more behind-the-scenes. Would probably make more $$$. My 2 cents.

                                    -----
                                    Grouchy Chef
                                    9999 Harbour Pl Ste 105, Mukilteo, WA 98275

                                  2. re: when

                                    Taken from an email sent by chef Masumoto:

                                    "The opening day maybe around the middle of December or so."

                                    No take-away available, at least at first.

            2. Has the Grouchy Chef open ?
              The lights were on and a few cars were parked by the door. There was a large group at a table (enjoying wine), but the door was locked. Nothing was posted on the door. Has Mas shared his hours of operation with anyone ?

              9 Replies
              1. re: YT_4914

                Posted on the door:

                Opening

                On Jan/5/10’

                BUSINESS HOURS

                Lunch Mon – Fri
                11 – 1 pm

                Dinner Tue - Sat
                4 – 8 pm

                Reservation only
                For Lunch & Dinner

                  1. re: MillCreek

                    I believe the chef takes great pride in what he does. I look forward to his excellent soups and great dishes. I hope he does well with this new larger restaurant.

                    1. re: Dag

                      Updated Signage:

                      NO outside food,
                      NO outside beverage,
                      NO muddy shoes,
                      NO flip-flops,
                      Please.

                      Be 100% responsible
                      for any actions which
                      kids make if you
                      bring them in, please.

                      Reservation Only
                      For both Lunch & Dinner
                      425 493 9754

                      1. re: YT_4914

                        Not again with the signs.... I think I'll pass this time around. I do wish him well, but too many other places to spend my hard-earned money in this economy.

                        1. re: YT_4914

                          He's open and better than ever. No excessive signs (yet). Quite nice inside. Yes, you need to call for reservations. We called at 11:15 for lunch at noon and he was quite fine with that. He just wants to make sure nobody waits.

                          The capacity is much larger than before, which is nice. The chef is probably happy to have a great kitchen space to work in now as well.

                          The menu is largely the same (the same regular dishes plus two rotating specials). Today there was confit of duck for $7 (tax included), and it was almost too much food to eat. 2 full legs, a pile of roasted potato and a huge salad.

                          I would love to hear where GourmetLight goes to spend their hard earned money that could be a better value. These are $20+ dishes for a third of the price. I can handle picking my food up at the counter and filling my own water for $15 savings.

                        2. re: Dag

                          Called at 11 for table at 11:45, not a problem. How can you beat the lunch special? He had halibut cheeks, bacon potatoes, egg omelet wedge and salad for $10 (almost too much food) and Duck Confit for $7. He currently doesn't have heat but it wasn't too bad and was a nice large space, you would hardly guess you were in a industrial park from the inside. To me it is a nicer place and better atmosphere for the same price. He even came over and talked to us when we were leaving. Shook my hand and wished me a happy new year. I too wish gourmetlight finding better food for the money.

                          -----
                          Grouchy Chef
                          9999 Harbour Pl Ste 105, Mukilteo, WA 98275

                          1. re: gt1485a

                            Co-workers tried to call ~11:20 the day after my visit and he was booked for lunch (after a company wide email to 200+ people). I'm very happy for the number of local, regular, dedicated customers who have followed him in opening his new place. He will do just as well being off the speedway, with 1/3 the rent. I would bet 90% of his business was word of mouth where he was anyways. From now on I will have to call a day ahead, book a table and know that on any given day I can find people to fill the reservation within 5 minutes. (side note: table in the back seats 8)

                            I sure hope he doesn't get too busy for me to get in, but I give 10 times the support to local businesses when I can.

                            1. re: jeff87nt

                              What a wonderful surprise to discover Grouchy is back! I called at 11am on a thursday and got a table for two at 11:15 :) A little hard to find, so allow extra time to find the industrial park. There were two specials, and one sold out by 11:30. I had the seared salmon, delicious as it always was, and my friend chose the skewered beef. he absolutely loved it, it was his first time. I will be eating here often and taking all my friends. The prices are still the same as they were for lunch, under $9 for entrees. Highly recommended! (although the desire to keep this place secret is very strong).

                  2. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html...

                    The Seattle Times reviewed Cafe Soleil and it is posted at the above link.