Darn It, Momoya

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Our family is mourning the loss of our go-to sushi pickup spot that was hidden in a strip mall in Rose Hill. Where else can you get a 'sushi plate' for $20 and it's delightfully all of the items you like to order anyway? Momoya Sushi & Sake House will be greatly missed, pre-COVID it always had a steady flow of loyalists that flocked to their fresh rolls and chilled sake which paired perfectly with the casual atmosphere and friendly familiar service.  Even in the past year there always seemed to be an hour wait for pickup orders if you didn't call before 5pm. This closure has been coming for a few months now, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. RIP Mo.


BobaLust Opens in Bridle Trails

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It sounds kind of naughty, but it's actually sweet. This new boba tea shop, called BobaLust,  opened a few weeks ago next to Ace Hardware. The lobby is the size of a large dancefloor, which may come in handy later, but for now, is plenty of room for your socially-distanced pickup.  I got my kids a strawberry smoothie, a mango slushie, and myself a Thai tea (all +boba). Their boba is fresh and sweet, and I was intent on not losing any in the crushed ice.  Another alluring fact would be their pricing, which is $4.50 -5.50 per drink including tax, which definitely beats other places. 

I didn't really discover the joy of boba tea until my trip to Asia (remember when we used to travel?) where these shops are commonplace and there is usually a long line.  At first, those funny little gelatinous balls made me squeamish, but now I treasure poking my wide straw through the taught plastic and enjoying the delightful drink (always ask for 50% sweetness, it's still sweet) with chewy boba surprises along the way. What is Boba you ask? It is tapioca starch from the cassava root. You're thinking about trying it, aren't' you? It's only weird the first few times and then it's strangely addicting. 

Bobalust has four other Seattle-area locations. Their current hours at the Kirkland shop are Saturday-Thurs 1-9 pm and Fri/Sat 1-10 pm. Follow them on FB and Insta. Comment back here with your favorite drink discovery!

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Hearth's Christmas-To-Go

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Are you tired of cooking? Do you wish a holiday meal would just magically appear this year? No kidding. I've got your back! Hearth at The Heathman Hotel is on-the-ready to help you make this year's Christmas delicious and festive at your home with their four-course feast that is packaged and ready for you to simply heat and eat. Stress-free sounds pretty perfect. But don't procrastinate, because your pre-order needs to be called into 425-284-5900 by this Fri 12/18. You'll start with wild mushroom bisque, then onto gem lettuce and roasted beet salad, followed by an entree choice of honey glazed natural ham OR braised beef short trib medallions, and finish it all off with an apple crisp.  This delicious spread is $55/per person, and there are also some festive fave kids' meals, extra sides, charcuterie, and wine pairings available to elevate your experience.  Supporting local business and not cooking for the holiday never sounded so good.  Pickup is available on December 23rd, 24th, or 25th. Even if you are cooking, what a thoughtful gift for Grandma, Uncle Fred, or other family members you may not be able to share your meal with in-person this year.

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It's worth noting that Hearth also has the perfect pandemic-ready patio with plentiful heaters, widely spread tables, and gloved/masked staff.  I feel safe there. The building's architect must be patting him or herself on the back about now because nobody saw Coronavirus coming, but their design is keenly equipped for our current restrictions.  Steve and I were in for brunch and nestled ourselves in the outside corner fireside table humming along to the blissfully upbeat holiday music while wishing we could get waited on every day.  Check out our delish food photo from brunch (above, Sun 9-2). We also had a chance to chat with Executive Chef David Mitchell about the Christmas pick-up menu and he shared, "I want to make sure it's a good amount of food.  I really want people to be WOW-ed."  So if you're ready to be wowed with a stress-free holiday dinner,  call 425-284-5900 with your questions and pre-order by Friday 12/18.  Of course, Hearth To-Go and their Pie on the Fly program are also still available Weds-Sat 3-8pm.   And there's no shame in ordering a Hearth pizza for the holidays too, it is 2020 after all.  Note days of operation are Weds-Sat, reservations are recommended (and are required for the Christmas meal). Enjoy!


Deja Moo to you Too

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Pre-Covid we would get excited when a new restaurant sign went up, but in 2020 boyyyyy we can hardly contain ourselves when this level of mystery arrives in our fine city.  A new place to pickup food? Count me in! Recognize that font? You bet you do. The old Brix location in Juanita Village will be moving to Woodinville with a forecasted April 2021 opening, while the old spot (same owners) will become Deja Moo,  a counter-service version of Tipsy Cow (also same owners).  Expect to experience the same great burgers, wine, shakes and flavors of Tipsy Cow, with a new name.  They are shooting for a Feb 1, 2021 opening. Moooooooo-re details when I have them. ~j


Hearth's new 'Pie on the Fly'

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Hearth at the Heathman Hotel is showcasing its new pop-up "Pie on the Fly" concept with a pizza to-go menu that is hard to resist.  You can get the pizzas ready to go or Papa Murphy's style where they are flash heated and then you bake them for another 15 minutes at home so they are hot out of your own oven.  These medium-sized pizza pies are available Weds- Sunday 3-8pm by calling 425-284-5900.  Our family picked ours up last Thursday (photo of Brady's arms full of 4 pizzas for our family of 5) and our teenagers quickly motored through our new find.  

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These photos give you a little preview of the pepperoni, Italian and margherita.  Steve and I loved the Italian pie with the meat and arugula while the kids preferred fighting over the pepperoni slices.  The meatworks deluxe was also really good, but not photo'd because we started eating that one too soon. You'll find the dough is excellent because it is hand-crafted with Cairnspring Mills local organic flour.  Our family discovered that we really appreciate doing the take/bake option because it gets the crust perfectly crispy and guarantees the pie is piping hot.  Exercising this option also saves you a few bucks over having it baked for you- the cooked pies are $16-23 and the take/bakes are $10-13.  Don't forget about this great local pop-up the next time you are going to order up a few pizzas.   I was silly to not order one of their $10 cocktails or $6 four-packs of beer to go with it!  While we were doing our pickup and parked out front,  it was also a good reminder that Hearth has a fantastic outdoor (and heated) patio to enjoy for everyday COVID-friendly dining. 


BeLocal Kirkland and Farewell to Hector's

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Would you like to help new Kirklanders discover some of your favorite local spots?  Why not share the love?  BeLocal Kirkland is a new resource that is compiling information about great businesses to help people that have just moved here find their (your) favorite places.  It relies on locals' input to create a 'best of the best' list on things like healthcare providers, home services, parks, restaurants, etc. Give your valuable input here before Sept 30th to be entered in a contest to win a basket of local goodies valued at $400.

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And speaking of Kirkland faves, our beloved Hector's is having their final day on 9/27 (this Sunday!) after 45 years with us.  My favorite meal there is the Protein Power-  a burger patty with eggs, spinach and mushrooms on top. So good.  Rumor has it they could be re-opening at The Raw Bar's former location sometime in the future, but that is still unconfirmed, so better get in for your last meal and strong drink at this legendary spot while you can. Thanks for all of the good times, Hector's, you will be missed!


Evergreens Preps for Weds Open


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Evergreens at Kirkland Urban will be officially opening its doors this Weds at 11am. You'll find them right at the top of the stairs by the new QFC.  I went to their practice session today where lunch was free (rumor has it Tues is too. 12-3. #winningtips #yourewelcome) while the employees got to practice their craft of quickly creating crunchy, healthy and delicious salads, wraps and grain bowls.  Their other locations typically have a line wrapped out the door so they are preparing for Kirklanders to bombard them with our health-conscious hangry selves.  

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I had "the Super Bowl," which seemed timely, and was oh-so pretty (photo).   "Don't You Forget About Me" was rocking on the speakers and taking me back to my youth while I ate my super fresh lunch in 10 minutes flat.  Great quick delish $10ish meals  and all of the trays, bowls, utensils and napkins are compostable. It's perfectly fine to grab your lunch on the go, there are only four tables in the space.    Menu is here, love the pics. Hours are 11-7 everyday and you can also order online and they cater. I asked an Evergreen staffer what they wanted you to know......"Eat healthy. Live healthy." That's their motto! enjoy. 


FEAST Your Eyes on This

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Chad and Jessi Waldher (photo), owners of Bottle & Bull on Lake St and Marcy's in Walla Walla, are getting very close to sharing their latest creation with you. Many of you were sending panicked emails when their Park Lane Public House closed its doors, but have no fear, a fabulous french brasserie named Feast will be emerging in mid-February at 115 Park Lane. This is a concept they have been talking about for a while, and all of the pieces and dream team just came together now to make it happen. 

Feast2020 (4) Simon, Rich, Jessi, Chad, Justin, Joe 


I had a chance to sit down with the new Feast crew (photo) and their excitement is palpable. "This new concept just didn't fit in our pub setting," says Jessi, who toured me around the freshly wallpapered walls and walked me through all of their new French-themed decor.  This will be a bit closer to fine dining but without the dress code or white linens. And still family friendly, of course.  "Casual refined," says Chad with a chuckle.  Chef Rich Jimenez, previously of Chateu Des Fleurs, can't stop smiling when he talks about his classic and modern dishes with a PNW flair that will be awaiting us.  I, of course, can't spell them! Nor did I know quite what this meant.  But then he jumped back into the kitchen and whipped me up a tasting platter and the world made sense again.  

Get ready to experience vanilla bean applesauce on top of foie gras torchon, a burger with short rib Beaujolais demi gloss and pork jelly smoked onion aioli, tuna with pickled plum aoli in sesame leaf, roasted carrot with burnt honey brown butter and petit coriander, and a lyonnaise salad. Pair your meal with one of their 30 carefully selected wines by the glass or perhaps an old world bottle of beer. You'll find many new world wines that are still French in style.  Expect price points to be $12-18 for the first and second course and $20-40 for mains. Here are some sexy food photos to get you in the mood..

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(french onion soup, cod w/polenta, lyonnaise salad, mussels, mushroom risotto, roasted carrots)

The team at Feast is excited to take you on this journey with them.  "Kirkland has always been good to us.  We want to thank everyone and let them know we are eager to serve them again!" says Jessi.  Opening is targeted for the second week in Feb.  This establishment will be dinner only from  4-10 pm and they will be closed on Monday. Happy Hour in the bar 4-6pm. 


Lollicup Fresh & Eat Local: Mixing Things Up on Park Lane

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Lollipcup Fresh
There are some exciting new reasons to stroll a little further east down Park Lane.  First, I should tell you that when I went to Asia earlier this year I developed a little bubble tea habit that I've been trying to keep under wraps.  So I definitely wasn't sad to hear that Lollicup Fresh was opening at 211 Park Lane. This is a franchise out of California and so far, Kirkland is their only location in WA.  Owners Helen and Tri (photo) have been locals for three years and are so friendly and gracious.  They offer bubble waffles ($8), ice cream, boba smoothies and fruit teas ($5-6).  Our family has tried a milk tea and a matcha tea with boba and also a Hawaiian Dance tea lemonade- all delish and I prefer that you please don't tell me how many calories might be in them.  You can customize your treats, of course, to have more or less ice or sugar or boba.  What is boba, you ask? It's those chewy black blobs at the bottom of the drink that are really spheres from partially cooked tapioca powder, which is the refined starch of the cassava plant, a starchy root like taro that is indigenous to Latin America but now grown worldwide.  The good news is that Lollicup Fresh also offers catering and fundraising help- just email them at lollicupfreshkirkland@gmail.com or call 425-307-1842. Hours are Sun-Thurs 11:30-8pm and Fri/Sat 11:30-10pm.

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Eat Local

A skip step from Lollicup Fresh at 205 Park Lane, you'll find Eat Local Remarkable Frozen Meals.  And they really are.   They opened on 11/8.  I wasn't expecting to walk in and feel like I was in a small grocery story with lines of coolers stocked with many many fantastically sorted thoughtfully prepared meals.  Kirkland is their 5th location, with others in Queene Anne, Capitol Hill, Burien and Mercer Island.  This company has been around for over ten years with the mission of serving convenient food with real ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Everything is created in their Burien kitchen and then blast chilled and  frozen to lock in flavor and nutrients until it gets warmed in your oven or microwave.  I was amazed at how everything is colored coded for easy selecting: Vegan, Keto, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Mediterranean, Whole 30, etc and best sellers and staff favorites are highlighted to help you narrow your choices.  Their nutrition guide explains a lot of the different popular 'diets' and what they mean, and they even offer a free nutrition consultation with one of their Registered Dietitians.  These are the same folks that carefully design the recipes to have intentional ingredients and high nutritional value.  Yes, they ARE sneaking veggies in there like your mom did. 

When we stopped by and chatted with the store manager, Lily (photo), she was warming up some samples of "Keto Creamy Chicken with Bacon & Chives" which my son decided we HAD to get for home.  He practically licked his container clean and is still talking about it.  I have to say it was pretty darn delicious, and Russell Wilson, their Brand Ambassador agrees with me.  We also bought  some chicken tikka-masala for my girls (who were impressed!) and a few others to stash in the freezer for another day.  Of course, the more we bought the more we saved.  Most items come in both a single or double-sized serving and range from  $8.99- 10.49 per serving, depending on ingredients.  For dessert they offer locally branded treats such as Acme Ice Cream, Pure Pies and Seattle Pops.  Hours are 9am-8pm daily.  They also have wine and you can dine in if you would like them to warm your food up for you.  I like that they are making us healthy fast and convenient food that we can peruse and talk about and then take home.  But if you prefer, you can also order online and they deliver (free on orders over $98 and also do Uber Eats and DoorDash.  Let me know your faves! We will definitely be back.

 


1 Year Coastline Anniversary= $1 Burgers for Us!

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Locally owned Coastline Burgers is celebrating their first anniversary in Kirkland and is thanking the community by offering $1 single patty burgers all day on Thursday Nov 21st.  My son has put this in his calendar and has already snap-chatted all of his friends. I suggest you do the same. Don't worry, I'm sure there won't be a line??!  Kudos to you, Coastline, we are glad you are here! Congrats on your success that comes with accolades such as a 4.7 star average review on Google and Facebook.  Owner Aaron Shepherd said, "The warm reception of the Kirkland neighborhood has exceeded all expectations.  I am so glad we decided to make the Kirkland community home to our second store as we continue to grow into the future."