Reveling in good food and good company


I’ve heard many things about Revel, the much-celebrated Korean fusion restaurant in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Most of the buzz has been positive (life-changing food! nom!), but I’d heard some complaints, too (the drinks are too pricey! this place is too snooty!). I’m always more fascinated by restaurants that generate interesting conversation and some controversy than I am eateries that everyone likes. I finally had a chance to go last night with a group of friends to catch up with another friend visiting from out of town.

We sat in the cramped, dimly-lit bar next door, Quoin, for a while, until it and the restaurant cleared out. The cocktails are a bit pricey, setting you back about $10. Luckily, I’m not a fan of cocktails, and ordered a lovely, smokey-sweet brown ale from Two Beers Brewing.

Next we moved onto Revel proper, the adjoining space with significantly better lighting and an open kitchen. One of my friends remarked that it reminded her of Waffle House, until I pointed out that the last time she and I were at Waffle House together in college, many moons ago, the staff was scouring the grease behind the grills with a pressure washer. Torrents of light brown goop ran into the floor drains just as we ordered our food. Revel is nothing at all like freaking Waffle House.

The restaurant was surprisingly busy for a Monday night, so by the time we got our food I felt famished. My fault for going four hours without eating; beer is no substitute for actual, solid food, turns out. I made quick work of my Dungeness crab noodle bowl (Dungeness crab, seaweed noodle, creme fraiche, spicy red curry), which reminded of an alfredo pasta dish, only much tastier. There was savory coconut milk, a gentle touch of ginger, and bright sprigs of cilantro. My only complaint is that the sparse three leaves of bok choy were not sliced at all, making them a bit hard to get on the fork. Their presentation was lovely, but their large size compared to the other elements of the dish made the whole thing hard to eat. I didn’t let it stop me, though.

Yeah, I’d probably go back to Revel. Next time, I’ll have a snack first.