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Washington state license plate w... Washington state license plate with Saber car decal
I saw this license plate on my way home the other day. Cool! It is a reference to Saber from the Japanese anime series, "Fate."

#anime #japanese #fate #bellevue #WA

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The line wraps around the co... The line wraps around the corner of the building $9 lunch special: Giant bowl o... $9 lunch special: Giant bowl of shoyu ramen, 3 gyoza, and a half-cup of rice Beautiful color Beautiful color Unagi nigiri Unagi nigiri Sushi chef is torching the unag... Sushi chef is torching the unagi in this photo! After I finished eating there w... After I finished eating there was still a line of people waiting to get in
Tsukushinbo is a Yelp-famous Japanese restaurant hidden in the center of Seattle's International District. For reasons unknown, Tskushinbo has no signage at all. If you were to walk past the building you would never know a restaurant was there. Except for the line of people, I guess. Aside from intentionally hiding their restaurant, Tsukushinbo customer service lacks care. On both visits, my waiter answered with curt replies and rushed away before I could ask them more than a single question. I felt like the staff was putting on appearances with friendly smiles when they otherwise treated me like I wasn't good enough to be in their restaurant... but, does customer service matter if I think their food is worth the indignation?

My goal to taste the best Japanese food in Seattle compelled me to wait in line for over one hour on a beautiful, but cold, morning in December. You see, the window of opportunity to try the highest-rated ramen in Seattle is as short as their customer service: Tsukushinbo only serves their Tokyo-style shoyu ramen on Fridays from noon to 2 pm. On my visit, the line started with me at 10:20 am and had already wrapped around the building 40 minutes later.

With confidence, I will declare that Tsukushinbo's ramen was the best ramen I have ever tasted in my life thus far. Living in America, I do not have a lot of options. However, of all the restaurants I have tried, Tskushinbo's ramen was just outstanding. After waiting in the cold for a little over an hour, the prize of a piping hot bowl of the best ramen I've ever had made me forgive the grief I endured to obtain it.

The sushi served at Tsukushinbo is expertly prepared with huge pieces of fish, which is another win for them.

If you get the chance, I would recommend Tskushinbo for their high-quality food despite their sub-par manners. Your efforts to get in will be rewarded.
#tayloreats #ramen #Japanese #food #Seattle #WA #Chinatown #InternationalDistrict #downtown #Tsukushinbo #comfortfood #winter #December

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Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

Peanut butter molten cake with... Peanut butter molten cake with all the fixings + butterbeer in the glass.
I think I found my new favorite dessert place in Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. I went two days in a row because the food was so delicious. Hot Cakes is perfect for rainy days in Seattle. A warm, gooey meal and rustic ambiance is soothing. The name alone, Hot Cakes, reminds me of cozy winter mornings in front of a fireplace or pancake breakfasts at my grandma's house. Everything on the menu is made to order from local and minimally-processed ingredients. That means the food is as fresh and natural as possible. I ordered the peanut butter and chocolate molten cake which uses my favorite Seattle chocolate, Theo's chocolate, and I couldn't stop gushing over how decadent and rich the flavors turned out. I also appreciated the attention to detail and variety of accompaniments served with the cake such as peanut butter fudge bites, ice cream, chocolate sauce, and roasted nuts. I also ordered the Harry Potter-inspired butterbeer, which was just as rich as my cake and had a delightful buttery flavor I've never tasted in a drink before. I ordered another butterbeer on the second day because it was that good. My friends ordered espresso, chocolate milkshakes, and bread pudding from which I sampled. All were delicious! Before leaving, I ordered cookies and a slice of chocolate whiskey cake to go from the display case to see if the pre-made items tasted as amazing as the made-to-order menu. The whiskey cake blew my mind with its smoky and chocolate-y richness and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting. I've never considered a smoky flavor in dessert before, but I am happy to have discovered the combination.

In addition to a range of classic American desserts, Hot Cakes also makes grilled cheese sandwiches and egg breakfast sandwiches. They also have something called a grilled chocolate sandwich that piqued my interest. Oh, and they have alcoholic shakes and desserts as well. Basically, the entire menu sounds amazing and it makes me want to go back!

They have a vegan menu, too, which means everyone can enjoy.

Hot Cakes sells chocolates, sauces, and at-home baking kits so you can make sweets at home. The most interesting of their items is the cold-smoked bag of chocolate chips. I imagine they would go great with s'mores or even basic chocolate chip or hot chocolate recipes.

I spent too much money and ate too many calories, but I do not regret my choices one bit. That means this place is pretty great.
#tayloreats #hotcakes #seattle #dessert #favorite #wa #local #rustic #comfortfood

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Ishoni Yakiniku

Oishii! Oishii!
Last night I got to try yakiniku for the first time! Ishoni is the only true Japanese yakiniku restaurant in the area. In order to get a seat you must make a reservation because they only have a few tables. Each table is also given a 1 1/2 hour time limit so more people have a chance to get in. I've never tried Japanese pudding, plum wine, cuttlefish, beef tongue, karubi or other cuts of beef before, so I got to try a bunch of new experiences during my visit. Of the red meat, beef karubi with BBQ sauce was my favorite. I primarily ate from the seafood platter and enjoyed the scallops and shrimp the most. The shrimp were big and juicy! I overcooked a few pieces of the spicy miso cuttlefish, but they had a good amount of heat and a pleasant texture otherwise. We ordered cucumber and Korean kimchi for sides and I liked them, too. The biggest surprise and treat of the night for me was trying Choya plum wine. I've never had plum wine before, but now I am determined to find and sample more. The sweet flavor was striking.

Ishoni is a great place to experience if you get the chance.
#tayloreats #yakiniku #Bellevue #WA #Ishoni #Japanese #BBQ #plumwine #Choya

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Le Pichet oeufs, jambon et fromage

Simple elegance from Le Pichet... Simple elegance from Le Pichet in Seattle, WA
We had perfect weather this weekend in Seattle. The sunny skies and changing trees were breathtaking. I went to Le Pichet on Sunday morning and enjoyed a lovely French breakfast. Oeufs, jambon et fromage translates to eggs, ham and cheese. I was served a broiled-to-perfection slice of ham topped with two eggs and gruyere cheese, salt, and pepper. Baguettes are complimentary so I dipped the fresh bread into my egg yolks. So good! The coffee we ordered came from a local roastery called Caffe Vita, which was a good dark roast. My chef friend describes Le Pichet as "simple elegance," which definitely described our breakfast experience.

After breakfast I walked down to Seattle's famous Pike Place Market: browsing the variety of shops and colors on a picture perfect day is a treat in and of itself. We bought honey-covered pecans from Chukar Cherries as a holiday treat for my family back home. I also picked up some fresh salsa verde and spices from Market Spice and World Spice for my burrito bowls this week. Breakfast at Le Pichet inspired me to find a baguette to take home and I've enjoyed baguettes from Le Panier and Three Girls Bakery at Pike Place before. However, since it was so nice out, I went ahead and made a trip to one of my favorite bakeries in Seattle, Columbia City Bakery, for a sourdough baguette. The baguette elevated the soup I made for lunch and my egg breakfast this morning! I love Seattle because it has such high-quality foods and ingredients.
#tayloreats #lepichet #ham #eggs #gruyere #cheese #french #breakfast #PikePlace #Seattle #ColumbiaCity #WA #bakery #baguette #chuckarcherries

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The Butcher's Table

The most expensive steak in t... The most expensive steak in the restaurant is the wagyu ultra-grade ribeye cap aka "steak butter" pictured above
To celebrate a special occasion my friend and I went to a new restaurant in Seattle called The Butcher's Table. Dinner comes with a story as they raise their own cattle at the Mishima Reserve and they even have a showcase where you can purchase a steak to cook at home. The Butcher's Table has beautiful and contemporary decor via a mix of glossy surfaces, soft leather, wood textures, and shiny brass to wow you upon walking in. It looks upscale, but feels comfortable instead of stuffy. Our waitress filled me with confidence as she expertly explained the different cuts and grading scale for wagyu steaks. Service was excellent from start to finish. As for the steak, well, it is true to it's nickname of "steak butter" because it melts in your mouth. It came prepared to specification with a perfect amount of smoky salt rubbed in.

Other than steak, we ordered "fries" cooked in beef fat that were more like large tater tots in texture: fluffy on the inside and extra-crispy on the outside. They tasted good. The best side was their homemade biscuits that came with their beef marrow bones. I would like to try the poblano pepper and lime corn next time I get to visit!

Pricewise, steaks appear to be higher quality than more famous restaurants while being a little cheaper in cost! Steaks are cheaper here than at more established Seattle steakhouses like The Met and El Guacho. The Butcher's Table also serves a variety of affordable sandwiches, again sourced from their own farm, during lunch.

For a special occasion I would recommend adding dinner at The Butcher's Table to your list.
#tayloreats #wagyu #beef #steak #thebutcherstable #Seattle #WA #ribeye

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Blue Ginger Korean BBQ

Korean stone rice bowl: A fea... Korean stone rice bowl: A feast for the eyes and stomach!
My boss took me to Blue Ginger Korean BBQ in Bellevue, WA and this bibimbap or stone rice bowl blew me away. I've eaten kimchi for years and I've sampled beef, pork, and chicken bulgogi at a work-catered lunch once, but I've never before visited a Korean restaurant. The dish description is unassuming: "Stone rice bowl with beef, vegetables, and rice." What you get is a true sensory treat with an oversized and hefty stone bowl, rapid steam, patches of fresh color and the sound and smell of sizzling food. On the side is a sweet and spicy miso-soybean paste/sauce that you add before mixing everything together. I appreciated that each bite tasted a little different. The best part was how a little oil in the bottom of the stone dish fried the rice for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. I cannot wait to go back.
#tayloreats #delsot #bibimbap #rice #korean #bellevue #WA

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Cutting Board

Plenty to choose from! Plenty to choose from!
I love Japanese food because it is lighter than other restaurant fare: I can eat a sensible portion of food and still feel satisfied. Lunch was catered by the Cutting Board in Georgetown, Seattle for all employees thanks to my boss. My favorite dish had to be the pan-fried chicken salad because it was slightly crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I also enjoyed the ginger pork and warm vegetable medley.
#tayloreats #Japanese #CuttingBoard #Seattle #WA #Georgetown #stafflunch

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Italian Family Pizza

23" cheese pie with pepperoni... 23" cheese pie with pepperoni and garlic
Italian Family Pizza brought authentic east coast "pizza pies" to Seattle. The menu is simple: choose one of two sizes – 11" or 23" – then choose from a standard cheese pie, tomato pie, or white pie with your favorite toppings. Their tomato pies highlight the amazing red sauce and their white pies highlight the tasty toppings. On your first visit I recommend the cheese pie since it's your classic pizza style.

Their pizza is as much a conversation piece as it is delicious. People are drawn to me when I carry the oversized pizza box or reheat leftovers. The exclamations are usually "that smells so good!" or "that pizza is huge!" Conversations end with a recommendation.

Italian Family Pizza has the best tomato sauce in the city and their slightly charred, flavorful, and doughy crust has me hooked. I found Italian Family Pizza the first month I moved to Seattle and I haven't found anything else like it since.
#tayloreats #pizza #bestpizza #seattle #WA #tomatopie #pizzapie

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Bongos Cafe

The Desi: Citru... The Desi: Citrus Braised pork, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, banana peppers, house aioli, and cilantro, served on a toasted saba roll
Cuban food isn't something people associate with Seattle. Yet, just north of the city you'll find a beach-y getaway with delicious Cuban food! Complete with beach tables, sand, and a warm fire, Bongos serves up some of the best sandwiches I've eaten. Fried plantains, or Maduros, on the side are a sweet and savory treat you need to complete the meal. Sitting outside in the beach sand is the fun way to dine, but Bongo's has plenty of space inside for the cooler fall and winter weather too. Come hungry! Portions are sized to satisfy big eaters.
#tayloreats #cafe #cuban #cubanfood #plantains #pork #desi #sandwich #seattle #WA

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