Before opening Taco Del Mar's startup location in Seattle in 1992, its founders spent years surfing California's coastline and devouring fish tacos and stuffed burritos. During this time, they developed a bottomless appetite for the local specialty—a taco with fried fish, shredded cabbage, lime juice, salsa, and a mystery white sauce—and decided to make it their signature menu item. Since then, the chain has opened locations in more than 20 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
The restaurant's Spokane location gives locals a taste of California-surfer cuisine and mission-style eats inspired by the Latino restaurants of San Francisco's bay area. Fresh guacamole dresses tortilla chips, and proteins such as seasoned pork and fried Alaskan cod fill tacos. Cooks roll meats such as braised chicken or ground beef into burritos or edible origami. The foodsmiths also whip up vegetarian and vegan options.
Located in the Davenport district, in the same refurbished brick building as the Montvale Hotel, Scratch Restaurant & Lounge blends contemporary cooking with a refined atmosphere of white tablecloths and black decor. Fresh aromas waft out of the open kitchen, where, true to the restaurant's name, chefs craft inventive dishes entirely from scratch. They draw on caches of seasonal ingredients such as herbs that only grow in a groundhog's shadow in February. Their USDA prime Angus steaks soak up flavors of smoked bacon and rosemary compound butter, while flaky halibut filets grill over smokey cedar planks.
Within the dining room, servers draw Washington and California wines from the rack that lines one exposed-brick wall. To further compliment the fresh fare, bartenders can shake or stir 32 specialty martinis.
Whipped butter glides across fresh pancakes and into the crevices of belgian waffles during breakfast at Scout. By afternoon, chefs pack PBJ or grilled cheese sandwiches into lunch boxes along with apple slices, oatmeal raisin cookies, and a handwritten note from a professional mom. Lunch and dinnertime delicacies also include hand-cut fries, bratwurst on a baguette, and half a locally raised game hen stewed with potato, carrot, celery, and onion. Feasts unfold in Scout's spacious tavern, where mini chandeliers hang above hardwood floors and Persian-style rugs, and a mounted deer mumbles to itself about nothing in particular. After meals, guests can cozy up on the lounge's couches with a book from the bookshelf, enjoy a round of pool at the billiards table, or knock back drafts from the tap until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The chefs at Pizza Oven hand toss fresh dough to create specialty pizzas available by the slice or whole pie. In addition to creative pies like the Bangkok Bombshell, slathered in thai peanut sauce, chicken, cilantro, and mozzarella, they also make classic bread sticks and garlic bread sticks.
DeLeons serves up authentic, scratch-made cuisine from its kitchen and in-house tortilla factory. At the Francis Avenue menu, early birds spit out their worms in favor of the shop's breakfast burritos, cylinders of succulence stuffed with meats, eggs, beans, and potatoes ($4.99). Lunch and evening eats revolve around combination plates, showcasing tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and flautas served with rice and beans ($7.99–$9.29). Riverside's menu also features various combo plates of tacos, chimichangas, tamales, and enchiladas ($6.99–$11.99). Or, quell spicy after-dinner palates with Aguas Frescas, south-of-the-border beverages in sweet varieties such as watermelon, hibiscus blossom, and horchata ($1.50+).