The chatter that comes from friendly competition has a certain characteristic sound. That pleasant rumble often fills MVP's, where patrons might be battling their way through Halo 4, Tomb Raider, or one of 30 other Xbox 360 Games. Though it is an unorthodox sports bar, it is a sports bar nonetheless, so TVs will still be broadcasting all manner of athletic competitions, from football and baseball games to F1 racing and UFC matches. Netflix on personal Xbox consoles and monitors at tables emphasize that this isn't a typical watering hole, as does the menu, which includes churros with strawberries and drinks with names like "Zombie Killer." Those drinks pour freely during happy hour as well as events that include board-game nights and Super Smash Bros. tournaments.
The Loft Cafe and Social Lounge marries the rustic beauty of lodge-like architecture with a modern menu of Pacific Northwest and Mediterranean flavors that change periodically. Their executive chef has crafted a catalog of small and large plates that pair regional seafood, such as pan-seared Alaskan halibut and bay scallops, with basil-pesto sauce and roasted red peppers in garlic cream. Large parties can even request a custom menu for their festivities, instead of piling their entrees into the shape of a birthday cake.
The chef dispatches all meals to two floors, where shadows cast by hanging lights and chandeliers play across wooden ceiling grids. He also sends meals out to the courtyard, where towering heat lamps warm hands grasping coconut mojitos—one of the eatery’s many handcrafted cocktails. During happy hour, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day, guests take advantage of the lower cocktail prices and snack on spicy pancetta prawns and dungeness-crab croquettes.
Numbered balls ricochet across the green-felted pool tables at Olympic Billiards during regular open-play sessions and tournaments, their clacks creating a subtle rhythmic soundtrack. When not aiming pool cues or hiring a sheepdog to corral every ball except the eight ball, patrons can test their accuracy at dartboards and their timing at air-hockey tables. While playing, they sip on cocktails such as the incredible hulk, surfer on acid, or oatmeal cookie shot, or choose from 12 domestic, imported, and craft beers on tap. On the food menu, traditional pub bites mingle with Asian dishes such as gyoza, egg rolls, and spicy ramyun noodles.
Perhaps it’s the new releases, the waterfront location, or the nearby cafes and restaurants that garnered the solitary screen at Edmonds Theater more than a thousand approving thumbs on Facebook. Or maybe it was that historic screen itself, flickering like a time-traveling DeLorean or the fire that engulfs an inexperienced magician’s top hat in an old-fashioned movie house complete with colorful murals and balcony seating. No strangers to performing their movie magic, the cinephile staff members of Edmonds Theater have fostered a devoted following. Generally screening one new movie at a time, they are also known to set aside a day or seven for thematic marathons, which go down even better with candy, nachos, or kettle corn.
A hearty menu encourages sports fans to nibble between impassioned shouts at Mick Finster's 17 glowing screens. Paler patrons may sunbathe on Mick's beachside patio and interchange sudsy sips from the 13-beer tap (not included in today's deal) with bites of baked Idaho potato skins sprinkled generously with crispy bacon and green onions, and coated in a thick melted layer of Tillamook cheddar ($7.45 for regular). Mick's favorite burger bulges with one pound of grilled sirloin, crunchy lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and secret sauce, which is carefully crafted by whispering cooks ($11.50). While awaiting a Slam Dunk ground-beef sandwich ($8.75) or a wedge salad ($4.95), guests may shoot stripes and solids on Mick's billiards tables, whose clean green tops seem to celebrate the pub's Celtic roots and mock unwelcome dandelions.
As a former export manager of Alaskan seafood, the sushi chef at Sushi Spott knows his fillets. Fresh catches fill the glass display case at the sushi bar, where nigiri sushi and hand rolls join specialty rolls such as the salmon-skin roll and the citrus-infused lemon roll, whose tuna, avocado, and salmon cannot be made into lemonade. Sushi Spott also dishes out chicken teriyaki, bento boxes, and other entrees amid the dining room's white pendant lamps and decorative Japanese screens.