When Marco Antonio Gomez Botello moved to the United States, his goal was to share the cuisine of his birthplace, Guadalajara, Mexico. When he opened La Hacienda in 1989, he did just that. The eatery serves Jalisco-style Mexican food, such as beef and pork stews, along with burritos, tacos, and tostadas filled with cheese, shredded beef, chicken, and ground mexican sausage. Specialty dishes include chicken sautéed in a house-made chipotle sauce and bacon wrapped shrimp served with grilled pineapples. La Hacienda's dining room overlooks lush green plants and a decorative stone pool, perfect for cooling off in after one too many jalapeño poppers.
Terracotta Red takes pride in the creation of dishes that utilize multiple cooking techniques and produce layers of complex flavors. Classically trained in the European style, Chef Jimmy Liang leads that march by composing a vast Pan Asian menu—or, a spread that, at the very least, spans most of Southeast Asia. To make use of fresh seasonal edibles, Chef Liang updates his menu twice per year and always makes sure to include harder-to-find ingredients on his Christmas list. But diners can also fall back on menu staples such as sweet basil beef, terra red duck, and caramelized spicy tiger prongs with garlic, sweet onion, and chili sambal.
All Rice Thai Hut neither resides in a hut nor serves only rice, but the name aptly encapsulates the chefs' casual Thai food. They prepare a large range of dishes, including their signature fried rice medley of jasmine rice with eggs, prawns, barbecue pork, Chinese sausage, pineapple, and veggies. Other specialties include the deluxe seafood curry and the golden noodle beef, which features chili-spiced steak on a bed of crispy egg noodles that are considered just as valuable as gold bullion in certain regions of France.
While living on Molokai, Bobby and Diane Nakihei couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a plate-lunch special. The classic Hawaiian dish—two scoops of rice, one scoop of macaroni salad, and an entree—is served at practically every fast-food restaurant and food wagon across the island. When the couple moved from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest, they began to long for the once-ubiquitous island cuisine. So Bobby traded the stuffy shirt and tie of a bookkeeping career for the patterned, button-down shirts of his homeland and opened Bobby's Hawaiian Style Restaurant, drawing transplanted islanders and locals alike to his plate-lunch specials, which often come wrapped in taro leaves and seaweed.
His cuisine earned the restaurant a spot on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and praise from Scott Gorman of the Herald, who extols it as “prepared and presented with a good deal of authenticity and style.” Revered dishes include Kahlua pig, which Chef Bobby cures with hawaiian sea salt, covers in banana leaves, and roasts for eight hours. The meticulous preparation extends to the rest of the menu, which spotlights the leaf-steamed pork of laulau and the sushi-esque spam musubi. In addition to the cuisine, owners Bobby and Diane showcase Hawaiian culture by offering hula lessons, presenting live Hawaiian music and recycling diners' lawn clippings into grass skirts.
At The Majestic Café, everything is homemade—even the ketchup. Proudly sticking to classics—with a few contemporary twists—it's been lauded by Open Table diners as a "neighborhood gem." The chefs work with small, local purveyors to source super-fresh ingredients that compose each dish. Menus unfold to reveal starters of crispy shoe-string fries drizzled with tangy, housemade gorgonzola sauce, and Majestic white bean and butternut squash hummus with toasted crostini. The signature french dip sandwich, lined with house-seasoned and roasted beef and shredded lyrics to "Da Dip," shares the spotlight with new york strip steak, fish and chips, and St. Louis ribs. Weekend brunch is offered to those who need their morning fix of huevos rancheros, spinach florentine scramble, or the Northwest benedict with housemade crab and bay shrimp cakes, all of which can be paired with bloody marys, screwdrivers, and greyhounds.
At the bar at Flights Pub, spirits and glasses cluster beneath a brick arch behind bartenders who pull frothy brews from a line of taps. The kitchen team prepares jalapeño poppers and fried chicken gizzards, which can keep fingers busy during televised sports games. For heartier meals, the staff serves bacon mac 'n' cheese, prime-rib sandwiches with a side of au jus, and burgers topped with pepper jack cheese. If staffers take a break from serving burgers and whiskey, they might look up and see the checkered ceiling, which, with a bit of Velcro and some stilts, is really just a chessboard. Flights Pub also offers billiards and darts, as well as live music, which blasts into the bar on Friday and Saturday nights.