For those of you who haven’t heard, the two Sungari Restaurants downtown are owned by different people. Sungari Pearl is opening a branch next to Roots in East Vancouver. Then there is Fatburger, also opening next to Roots. Ah, Fatburger; this reminds me of a story…
Many years ago, they were pretty darn good; at one time they were about as close as one could get to In-N-Out in the Northwest. I used to eat at one on La Cienega in Los Angeles on a weekly basis. It was a 24 hour dive, at the conflux of West Hollywood, Crenshaw, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. Talk about a diverse crowd! Movie stars, drunks… I used to know half the drag queens and prostitutes in that area, because we’d get into conversations while waiting for burgers at 3:00am.
Anyway, a few years ago in the middle of a big rainstorm, I got a wild urge to try one of those new donut places: Krispy Creme. I drove all the way to Bellevue Washington and stood in the pouring rain for a meh donut, when like a beacon in the night, a Fatburger sign called to me from across the parking lot. So, on top of my four glazed donuts, I went in and took a stroll down memory lane. The burgers weren’t so great, just average, and the store was full of screaming kids. Still, it was an adventure, and it gave me a story to serenade you with now.
Chef Scott Shampine Opening a Cena in Sellwood
As we reported a month ago, the old Assaggio Restaurant is still on track to reopen with Scott Shampine, formerly of er, Gracies, formerly of Olea, formerly of… from what I hear a chef who keeps his bags packed. Let’s hope he gets it together. The Oregonian reported last week that the new place will be called a Cena. One of the owners is a psychiatrist. Hmm… from my experience with some chefs, that could be useful.
Chef Aaron Barnett Taking Over Olea Restaurant
Speaking of Olea restaurant, Aaron Barnett is the latest chef to walk through their revolving door. He put in some time at Lumiere, and “studied under esteemed Chef Gary Danko before working as a sous chef at San Francisco’s Myth Restaurant. He then moved on to an executive chef position at Desert Sage Restaurant in La Quinta, CA., Where he cemented his stellar reputation when the restaurant earned the best new restaurant award from Palm Springs Life Magazine.” Olea is a great space, and I hope he makes something of the restaurant.
Blackbird Wine Opening in Beaumont area
From a reader:
“A wine shop (wine bar?) called Blackbird is opening at 3519 NE 44th, that’s right behind the Umpqua Bank on the corner of 44th & Fremont.
Greg, son of the owner of McPeet’s Bar, is opening a wine bar behind Parisi’s at 46th and Fremont. I don’t know Greg’s last name and a database search on McPeet’s didn’t turn up anything.
Vinideus is close to opening at 48th and Fremont, looks like a wine shop but maybe that is a bar they are building in there.
Speaking of tastings, did you know the liquor store on Hawthorne has tastings on Fridays? Not always, but they were tasting some local gin a couple of weeks ago.”
Liquor store tastings? I suddenly feel like I’m on a cruise ship! Where do I sign up?
More angry letters
Occasionally I get letters from angry readers that are so good I have to pass them around. Here’s a paragraph from a recent one that had me on the floor:
You know, as I was reading your review of Acadia just now, I recalled an episode of the old Star Trek series with William Shatner, where the transporter device fails and Captain Kirk ends up in an alternative universe where all the Enterprise crew are identical to those in his own universe, except that they are all evil. Since what you say about Acadia is so out of touch with the reality I’m familiar with, I wondered if I had not been suddenly transported into just such a dysfunctional universe, where the restaurant critics are all paranoid delusional psychotics running around pretending to know about food.
I came close to posting the entire letter, and then a response, but Nancy R wouldn’t let me. Probably just as well. I think someone is watching me.
Naomi Pomeroy’s newest venture, Beast Restaurant Opens
The menu is prix fixe. It’s BYOB BTW. The first menu sounds ambitious, and in the interest of being totally cool, uses no capital letters! This alone makes me want to go. From their website, “BEAST is loud and we have the infamous chairs from clarklewis- we think the food makes up for it, but you will decide that for yourself.” God I hate those chairs.
- duo of soups: french heirloom squash and sweet corn, truffled pork cracklings
- smooth chicken and duck liver mousse, pork rillettes stuffed poached pear
- whipped herb custard, trout roe, squid ink cracker
- oxtail galette, cauliflower and sorrel gratin
- butter lettuce and radicchio salad, creamy
- french goat cheese, cauille blanc apple paste
- chocolate and plum soufflé, noyaux ice cream, dark caramel sauce
In an homage to Michael Hebb, anyone asking for substitutions will be physically thrown out of the restaurant, spat upon, and banned forever.