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jamesbra's Profile

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Most Overrated Restaurant in Seattle

Wow. Crush is getting crushed on here. Canlis too a bit. It's too bad Canlis can't tighten it up and really deliver. I hear that. Maybe they get by being average. I think Seattle overall is a bit overrated in the food city category while Portland might be under rated. Just a hunch. Most under rated? No one mentions Seastar both in Seattle and Bellevue - always super, super consistent and the salmon is just really done well. Pagliacci pizza is probably not only under rated in Seattle, but nationally. Go Dawgs!

Sep 12, 2009
jamesbra in Greater Seattle

Seastar in the Pan Pacific for lunch?

Just ate at Seastar in Bellevue on Sunday - it's some of the best, most consistently good salmon I know of in the city. Lark is expensive but good small plates. Def hit up Matt's in the Market

Sep 09, 2009
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Some Questions about Sushi in Seattle, after a Search

Flo Sushi Restaurant Belleuve, WA and Umi Sushi House & Bar..yum! Both a thumbs up. Nishino is very good as well.

Jul 29, 2009
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Izumi, Brazil, and Totem Lake West Shopping Center

we were at Flo last night and had a lovely time. I can't remember the name of the sake, but it was wonderful. Sashimi was divine. Straight up really good sushi. And it was almost packed at 845pm on a Tue. when we walked in...

Jul 29, 2009
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Best Restaurant for Salmon in Pacific NW?

Love Ray's Boathouse. Old school Seattle and great fish / salmon options done in classic, standard Northwest preparations.

Seastar is good. New restaurant in Seattle provides some of the best salmon I've had in a long time at lunch a month or so back...

Jun 20, 2009
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Third Annual Ultimate Seattle Restaurant Poll (2008)

1. Lark
2. 35th St. Bistro
3. Seastar
4. Le Gourmand
5. The Iris Grill (Issaquah)

Dec 15, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

SEA-TAC or Seattle--blowout seafood meal

Seastar is a great seafood restaurant, especially to impress, but it is high end, somewhat formal and white table cloth. Great seafood, amazing wine list and definitely a place to grab some great martinis.

Dec 01, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Lunch w/ the boss' wife in Seattle -- HELP!

I agree with the 35th street bistro call - it's causal yet refined, breezy for social occasions. It's got a vibe both in place (Fremont) and in setting (atrium and tree, open light) which makes you feel like your out of the "fray" so to speak. If you want a "downtown" "vibe" I'd go elsewhere, but this is a totally reasonable "french restaurant" pick

Nov 25, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Casual standard fare Italian in Seattle or Eastside

I agree - Rialto was very tasty and very affordable. Great stuff...

Nov 09, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

The Refectory, Columbus Ohio

Agreed! Great review - I can't wait to try it. Will try and come back with a review after I do...

Nov 09, 2008
jamesbra in General Midwest Archive

SEA: Danube Czech/Central European Restaurant, Bellevue

I've been hearing really good things about Danube and can't wait to try it - glad to find it on here...will try and remember to give an update shortly. Perfect weather for this type of hearty comfort food...mmmmm!

Nov 09, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Where to lunch in Kent?

I have to second - from the original post - Punjab Sweets (great authentic Indian Food) and one of the most quality bakeries and cafes in the Puget Sound - Wild Wheat Bakery and Cafe! Few people realize the extent they go to to make a lot of their own products. Great food.

Oct 09, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Suggestions for parents' 50th anniversary?

They don't 'quite' have a website yet but apparently are working on one:
http://www.legourmandrestaurant.com/

Sep 17, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

First date advice; need help

I agree - you will absolutely look like you know what you are doing if you take her to Le Gourmand - a drink at Sambar before or after: done deal!

Sep 11, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

5 days in Seattle beginning of September

Bruce Naftlay at Le Gourmand has been there since 1985...pretty amazing guy in terms of having been on the sourcing local thing even when it wasn't "hip". It's a very nice restaurant with a very cool bar next door. I'd say Bizarro is ok...it may source local "when they can" but its not the best rest in the world.

Aug 21, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Lunch in Downtown Seattle

Three Girls is a very cool place to grab lunch.

Best chowder, very good sandwiches and also in Pike Place - Pike Place Chowder - they are also "downtown" in Pacific Place. Best Seafood Bisque Chowder on the planet.

Mae Phim Thai - classic!

Aug 19, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Best Seattle Indian Buffet?

I just had dinner there again recently and was looking for new ideas on the Indian front - um...I think..humbly humble opinion - Bengal Tiger has the best food of them all - dinner and their lunch buffet has got to be one of the best deals in the city. site not so good but great restaurant (also, not high on "ambience" but that is part of the charm...SUPER nice staff:
www.bengaltigerwa.com

Aug 15, 2008
jamesbra in Greater Seattle

Challenge finding east coast favorites in Seattle

Snoose Junction: Awesome Pizza even though they charge for tobasco sauce

Pagliacci Pizza - someone was talking about "east coast" pizza and you can get good stuff on the west coast - my buddy was in from New York and he asked "I wish they had a Pagliacci's in New York - they don't make pizza this good there"

So THERE East Coast....

Aug 10, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Where will I find fruit pie in Seattle?

WILD WHEAT - easily the best pies in the land - great little bakery for lunch, brunch, breakfast, coffee, etc. If your in Kent - wish they would move one to SEATTLE!!!!

Aug 07, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Challenge finding east coast favorites in Seattle

Pagliacci Pizza is great - I've had guys in from Brooklyn mention" i wish they actually had these back east..." which shocked me - I felt they were a dime a dozen back there but apparently not.

Pike Place Chowder is the absolute bomb. They did win the Rhode Island National Chowder off, so a direct hit there....

Jul 23, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Seattle Sushi and Bar Recs for solo diner

if your going to be in town for a bit and you want to hit up some late night dining, great sushi (under rated, especially on a board like this in my opinion - huge fresh pieces), a bar (great cocktail scene) and live music, all in one: Wasabi Bistro. It's on...2nd and..near Bell. I just went to yelp..here you go: 2311 2nd Ave

I can't wait to try Maneki - I didn't know it had that good of a reputation.

Jul 17, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Dinner in Bellevue

Mediterranean Kitchen on Bellevue Way - next to where you were going to go anyway. Huge portions for a great price. Very well loved on the local dining sites (Yelp etc.)

Jul 10, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Best Seattle Oyster Bar?

ai, I don't know if your still here, but in terms of great pac nwest oysters and knowledge, I've been going to Ama Ama for a bit now - they have $0.50 oysters at happy hour, their super fresh, their very northwest and the staff apparently just took a trip up to the oyster farms in the san juans / puget sound region for a day to learn about the oysters - so there you go for 'knowledgeable staff'. This place too is getting better and better...anyway, that's my two cents on some good local oysters (West Seattle)

Jun 17, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Bellevue/Kirkland WA suggestions

If your still perusing around for suggestions, Bis on Main (main st. old town Bellevue) is one of the areas best. Always good. The Iris Grill in Issaquah - this restaurant keeps getting better and better (try Tim's Cheesecake as well). They have outdoor seating in a very cool part of Gilman Village in Issaquah (mountain views - 10 minutes outside of Bellevue - considered "eastside".

Low key options...
Downtown Bellevue for a quick lunch - huge portions - good food = Meditteranean Kitchen on Bellevue Way (downtown Bellevue). Pagliacci Pizza downtown Bellevue - Pagliacci's best location to date - great local company / local ingredients. Right in the heart of downtown Bellevue.

Jun 17, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

First time in Seattle

Wasabi Bistro: it could be said there are better pure sushi places in Seattle - I have consistently had some of the best sushi in Seattle here. Fun, vibrant and "night lifey" too.
Pike Place Chowder - best chowder in Seattle.
Pagliacci Pizza - standard, local classic: local ingredients.
Portage on top of Queen Anne - also a great little Italian "Seattle-esque" bistro.

Jun 15, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

SEA - Wedding Gift Dinner

Your not in LA anymore spot? Portage is your call on Queen Anne: really cool space in a really cool neighborhood.
http://www.portagerestaurant.com/

Jun 13, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Solo (somewhat) Intrepid Traveller in Seattle

When you hit the Pike Place Market you HAVE TO hit up Pike Place Chowder as mentioned above. They have a great Bisque chowder that has won awards at a bunch of "chowder offs". It's the real deal...

Jun 12, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Dinner in Bellevue before "Sex and the City"

Joeys is a fine "sex and the city" option.

Interesting, more 'original' location is 520 Bar and Grill right on Main St. - about 1/2 mi. from Lincoln Square. Always full, very fun atmosphere. A "locals" find.

May 30, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Lunch in Bellevue/Issaquah

I agree - BIs on Main is a great restaurant...

The Iris Grill in Issaquah - not to be missed as well. www.theirisgrill.com
Huge deck outside if it's nice. A secret, very cool location / find in Gillman Village about a minute off I-90

May 30, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest

Monsoon to replace Porcella Urban

There is actually plenty of places - tons of free spots - open and blowing in the wind, relatively speaking (seattle for instance) that I don't think parking was the issue. The place didn't succeed because it didn't execute. The owner said it was lack of foot traffic - that if he were in Seattle he'd have "killed it". Well, when I went in there it was a disaster - no one knew what was going on, nobody "addressed" me as I was pacing back and forth, trying to find a menu, finding a menu, etc etc and woila, nobody just addressed me the customer and said "hey, what would you like today". This is not space science.

My hunch is this place didn't succeed because it didn't grab the attention of its customers, prospective, potenatial or otherwise. It just didn't execute.

May 28, 2008
jamesbra in Pacific Northwest