Dinner options at O'Asian Kitchen and Lounge range from simplistic stir-fried snow peas to complex dishes such as the spicy golden Maine lobster that's flavored by dried shrimp, chinese sausage, dried black beans, bread crumbs, and hot pepper. Along with tons of traditional lunch options, the culinary team handcrafts more than 60 dim sum items every day, including chicken feet in black bean sauce and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves. Imported and domestic beers, traditional and signature cocktails, and rare Asian teas wash down meals, which unfold in a warm, sophisticated space with an attractive dining area, cosmopolitan lounge, and six private rooms. High-end Japanese vodkas are also available, as well as a selection of sake, which pair well with O'Asian's signature wasabi prawns dish.
Where to Sit: May’s 100-year-old teak house, brought over from Thailand and lovingly reassembled, features a formal upstairs dining area. The romantic space showcases imported redwood furniture and a picture of the Thai royal family. Downstairs, you’ll find a more casual lounge space that’s no less regal, dotted with Thai decor and red and gold accents.
When to Go: May rolls out a truncated lunch menu, but the kitchen serves the full dinner menu well past midnight—the lounge itself closes at 2 a.m. each night.
While You’re Waiting
Galangal root: resembling ginger in appearance and flavor, though with a much stronger taste.
Tom yum: a hot-and-sour soup typically starring shrimp. Seasonings include lemongrass, kaffir lime, fish sauce, and chilies.
The Booze: Sun Liquor has the unique distinction of being part bar, part restaurant, and part distillery. The latter is the domain of head distiller Erik Chapman, who worked with founder Michael Klebeck to come up with their own distilling processes for gin and vodka. In 2011, they debuted their signature creation, the Hedge Trimmer gin, which they make with nine fresh and dried botanicals. Other award-winning vodkas and gins followed soon after.
The Pour: Bartenders take the distillery’s liquor and combine it with fresh-squeezed juices and housemade bitters. They focus mainly on signature cocktails, though they also pour a selection of craft beers, including Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout.
When to Go: Stop by on the weekend, when the restaurant serves brunch items such as housemade country-style biscuits and gravy.
Vocab Lesson Grenadine: a common bar syrup characterized by its deep red color and sweet and tart flavors. It’s traditionally made with pomegranate juice and sugar.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Peruse local artwork, or adorn your body with some at True Love Art Gallery (1525 Summit Avenue), which also houses cutting-edge tattoo artists.
After: Buy a unique board game or card set at Gamma Ray Games (411 E. Pine Street), which is open late, for post-drink reverly at your apartment.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Sun Liquor Lounge (607 Summit Avenue), which features the cocktails, but not the food.
At Poco Wine Room, the influences come from near and far. More than 20 wines available by the glass represent wineries from the Pacific Northwest as well as locales such as Italy, Argentina, France, and Spain. The origins of the food are just as eclectic: the monthly rotating menu may include Albondigas—pork-and-beef meatballs in a tomato piquillo sauce—or orange-chicken skewers topped with crushed almonds, which chefs favoring local ingredients whenever possible. Even the beer list spans the globe, with brews such as Pike Place IPA and Tieton Wild Washington cider sharing billing with standbys like Red Stripe.
At The Tin Table, the dinner menu offers local, sustainable, and pub-friendly eats, including modern American salads, meats, and seafood selections. Grab a seat at the bar to sip Chimay Blue Reserve ($10), tongue-tie on a few shoestring fries with truffle salt ($4), or simply snack through a plate of duck-liver pâté, cherry jam, sweet pickled-carrot ribbon and crostini ($5). For a hearty dinner, Tin Table tablemates can hang fangs on seared swordfish adorned with spicy avocado, sweet corn, red onion, and peppadew ($14) or Carlton Farms pork tenderloin flanked by braised rainbow chard, shaved garlic, and a fig drizzle ($15). To top off the evening, make a heartfelt request for the black-plum galette served warm with almond cream, caramel sauce, and vanilla-bean ice cream ($8), because, with the exception of speaker-boxed teddy bears, nothing says “love” like dessert.
At Tavern Law, an artfully crafted cocktail is something to celebrate. As the bartenders create the perfect classic cocktail, guests can peruse the upscale tavern menu, which includes foie gras terrine or mac and cheese topped with duck-fat breadcrumbs, in stylish, speakeasy-inspired surrounds. Chef-owners Brian McCracken and Dana Tough have received critical acclaim for their culinary achievements, including earning a coveted spot on Food & Wine magazine’s list of Seattle’s best restaurants for their other eatery, Spur Gastropub.