The story of Brown's Coffee Café begins in Europe during World War II, where the wartime experiences of Virgil Brown, owner Neal Brown's father, motivated him to seek a peaceful, provincial life. In the 1960s, Virgil moved the family to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia in search of this tranquil existence. But although the Brown clan found life on their 400-acre dairy farm fulfilling, the hard economic realities of dairy farming drove the family back to urban living.
Years later, when happenstance flung Neal into the world of coffee, his days on the farm filled him with sympathy for coffee farmers who harvested beans for menial wages, out of sight and out of mind for the coffee drinkers abroad enjoying the fruits of their labors. Neal therefore resolved that his shop would use only fair-trade beans that were free of chemicals and pesticides and capable of providing an honest wage to hard-working farmers. Eventually, like a popcorn kernel under an interrogation lamp, the café expanded, and it now includes a menu of chorizo burritos, cuban pulled-pork sandwiches, and other fare that represents the traditions of numerous nations, just as Neal's story does.
Featured in Seattle magazine and The Seattle Times, Kaya Korean Barbecue prides itself on its attentive service, posh presentation, massive portions, and a second-story location safe from dinner-interrupting tiger stampedes. Platoons of food soldiers can arm themselves with massive appetizers such as the marinated raw beef ($15.99) before focusing their attention on the feast as it arrives in steaming hot rock bowls. Choose from a variety of dishes ranging from the Angus marinated short ribs ($27.99) to soft tofu soup ($10.99), or go for an authentic barbecue experience by searing enormous platters of sizzling meats on the minigrill located in the center of your table, with selections such as the Kaya combo for four (Angus rib eye, marinated short ribs, marinated sirloin, beef brisket, beef tongue, bean paste stew, and your choice of beverages) ($96.99). Overhanging vents inhale the mouthwatering barbecue odors that would otherwise cling to clothes for days, ensuring that diners are not tempted to try out new recipes at home such as blouse jerky and deep-fried pants. In addition to grilluminating guests, Kaya pours copious cupfuls of Korean rice wine and beer.
Java Jane's plethora of gourmet beverages runs the drinkable gamut, from icy smoothies to steaming signature mochas. Begin a caffeinated patriot's ride down the gullet with a Roosevelt cheesecake mocha, with white chocolate and cheesecake and raspberry syrup constituting a unified liquid dessert ($2.80–$4.05), or celebrate simplicity with a Victorious vanilla latte ($2.80–$3.30). A Cuppa Joe ($1.50–$2) can get early-morning synapses to play nice, and one of four fruit smoothies ($3.65–$6.25), such as the strawberry banana yogurt or mango, keeps summer suns from overheating the head. Italian sodas ($1.55–$3.10) and iced Americanos ($1.55–$2.05) round out the on-ice lineup.
Sushi chefs slice and roll morsels of flavorful fish and fresh ingredients behind the counter in Rumble Fish Sushi Cafe's dining room. Sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows and round hanging lanterns lights plates of traditional and nontraditional rolls, such as the cream cheese-filled philadelphia roll or the Lion King's crab, avocado, and salmon. On the dining room's lacquered wood tables, other hallmarks of Japanese cuisine make appearances, with yakisoba and udon noodle dishes supplementing appetizers such as edamame, ika salad, and tempura prawns. The large space also accommodates large groups and parties with ample seating, and bar-side dining is a comfortable spot from which to watch games on a wide-screen TV and narrate play-by-plays of the sushi chefs' work.
The city of Seattle is speckled by pho joints, each one serving its own rendition of the beloved belly-warming noodle soup. However, Le's Phở Tái remains a cut above the competition with its commitment to using locally grown ingredients and creating flavorful broth. Chefs begin the process of preparing the beef stock more than 20 hours before the soup hits the table, setting beef bones and spices to boil in order to procure what reporters from Journal Magazine praised as "exceptional flavor". Once the broth is ready, the chefs add thin vermicelli noodles along with cuts of tender beef, fresh seafood, and crisp veggies. They serve the soup in massive bowls alongside plates of bean sprouts and jalapeno slices.
When chefs aren't cooking pho, their attention is absorbed in the preparation of other Vietnamese specialties—chewy spring rolls, tangy teriyaki dishes, and bahn mi sandwiches with barbecue meats and french bread. Servers carry these dishes out into the warm, casual dining room, along with glasses of sweet iced-milk coffee and refreshing coconut juice. The accommodating staffers encourage guests to call ahead to place food orders for faster service, particularly if they have to speed back home to make sure their cats don't start scratching the Bruce Willis statue they’ve been sculpting out of peanut butter.