I started my third day in Seattle with brunch at Dahlia Lounge, yet another of Tom Douglas’ restaurants. (Internet, are you keeping count? That’s three Tom Douglas establishments in three days.) I opted for a spicy Bloody Mary and steamed Penn Clove clams with fries and potato aioli.
The clams were tiny, but sweet and briny. There was also some cubed mystery vegetable or fruit floating in the broth, what looked and tasted like pear. I’m doubting myself though, because pears aren’t exactly the first thing I think of when I think of clams. In any case, they lended a bitter aftertaste to the broth that I could have done without. The potato aioli was a bit too greasy for my taste, but my Bloody Mary helped cut the oily taste and gave my meal a good kick.
After our meal, I walked downtown to Seattle’s Central Library. I’d heard so much about the unusualness of this library, and I was excited to see it for myself.
Unusual, indeed. But it was beautiful too, and it made me wish the Bay Area had a library like Seattle’s. (Not that there’s anything wrong with San Francisco’s downtown library, but it might be my second-favorite now.)
After the library, I met up with friends to check out Elliott Bay Book Company, which reminded me a lot of San Francisco’s Green Apple Books in San Francisco. (Green Apple Books remains my favorite.) Then we walked through Pioneer Square and past Safeco Field to grab some apricot ales at Pyramid Alehouse. The ales helped invigorate us for our next stop, Shiro’s. I’d read that Shiro’s is Seattle’s best sushi, but that it comes with a price.
We started with the Hatsumago sake. I’m not a big sake fan, but this was so much smoother than most sakes I’ve had.
My sunomono salad was light and citrusy, and a perfect palate cleanser. The tofu miso soup helped warm me up from what had been a freezing day outside.
I had ordered the chef’s choice sushi dinner, along with a geoduck nigiri. I always see geoduck at Asian groceries, their long elephant trunk-like insides protruding from their big shells. Naturally, I was curious to try it. It’s flavor was extremely mild, tasting very faintly of the sea, and its texture was soft and buttery (though not as buttery as glorious otoro).
The assorted sushi on my plate were incredibly fresh, especially the tuna. My only complaint is that they were all heavy of the wasabi, so much so that they drowned out the taste of the fish. I don’t like wasabi and most of the sushi restaurants I go to don’t put wasabi inside the sushi and nigiri itself so I didn’t think to specify my preference to the waiter. Note to self: always ask for no wasabi.
After dinner, we all spent the rest of the evening playing Rock Band. And by evening, I mean into the morning. I woke up late the next morning to visit Dahlia Bakery (Tom Douglas establishment number four) and to sample their potato bread.
It may be humble looking, but this is some of the best bread I’ve ever head. Crunchy on the outside, and ever-so-tender on the inside.
I finished just in time to meet friends for lunch at Jamjuree, a Thai restaurant in their neighborhood. (Basically, we came to Seattle to eat.) After we’d sufficiently stuffed ourselves with pad see ew and yellow chicken curry, I was dropped off at the airport. Aside from the four-hour delay I endured on the runway while waiting for our plane to be de-iced and for it to be safe for takeoff (it began snowing like crazy right when our flight was scheduled to leave), it was a fantastic trip. Seattle may be too cold for me to ever settle down in, but I’m more than happy to make the trip for excessive amounts of Rock Band and restaurants.