Food News

Japanese Restaurant with AI Opens, Weekend Brunch Events, and More Seattle Food News You Can Use: April 12, 2018 Edition

April 13, 2018
JUNKICHI Robata Izakaya will open on Sunday—complete with a cute robot assistant called SOTA. (Junkichi via Facebook)

This week, welcome our new robot overlords: Junkichi, a new Japanese robatayaki restaurant on Capitol Hill opening Sunday, features its own resident AI robot SOTA that can assist guests. Plus, learn about a new ramen joint with all house-made ingredients in Tacoma, along with weekend brunch options, from boozy to Filipino-inspired to a soul food buffet. For more things to consume, check out 12 places to eat rhubarb in Seattle right now, as well as our food & drink calendar. You can find all the current food specials in town in our April flavors of the month list. And don't forget to check out our guide to Seattle Restaurant Week, from the best deals to Stranger picks to POC- and women-owned restaurants.

Broadfork Cafe
The owners who previously bought the U-District location of Chaco Canyon Cafe have re-opened the place as their own venture, with a similarly organic, sustainable, local mindset. They've partnered with local producers like Communitea Kombucha and Firefly Kitchens, and the menu features healthy, plant-based sandwiches, bowls, soups, and salads in additions to juices, smoothies, coffee, and tea.

Country Dough
After a temporary closure, the casual Szechuan flatbread spot in Pike Place has re-opened, though Eater notes its Yelp reviews post-reopening find it lacking.

Junkichi Robata Izakaya
This Japanese restaurant from Plenty USA, Inc., the same company that owns the Santouka ramen chain, features robatayaki, a traditional style of Japanese cooking similar to barbecue in which skewers are slow-grilled over hot, high-carbon charcoal called "binchotan." There's also sashimi and sushi, small plates like amberjack carpaccio and seared seven-spice tuna, and a selection of sake. And aside from robata izakaya, the restaurant also has its own resident robot: SOTA, an AI robot that can assist guests and recognize repeat customers by scanning facial features. The press release states that SOTA (an earlier version of which is in use at Santouka) will "be placed atop tables" and will "make sure communication with the servers goes smoothly." The restaurant will be open to the public on Sunday, April 15.

Moshi Moshi Tacoma
The owners of Tacoma's Indo Asian Street Eatery have opened a ramen joint, which will also serve yakitori skewers, small plates like pork belly bao and crispy beer tartare, craft cocktails, shochu, and sake. Almost all of the components, including noodles, broth, miso, shoyu and vinegar, are made in-house from scratch.

Ounce of Prevention
This bar with a self-proclaimed "eclectic, nerdy vibe" has opened in Fremont, with brunch options like breakfast totchos as well as classic pub fare like burgers, sandwiches, and fish and chips. As for the name, their take on the Benjamin Franklin adage is that an ounce of prevention is a "pint of cure," and they've got pints aplenty from neighborhood nanobreweries to cure what ails you, including horchata cream ale.

Poke N Roll
This poke joint on Capitol Hill features toppings like mango, pickled radish, and house-made kimchi alongside proteins like octopus and spam, in addition to standards like tuna and salmon. As their name suggests, they also have sushi rolls.

Schooner Provisions
Schooner Exact has re-opened as Schooner Provisions and is serving sandwiches on weekdays. A new addition called Schooner Beer Hall will join it on April 23.

Mio Sushi
The Green Lake sushi spot, part of a Portland-based chain, is closed and has a "for lease" sign on the door.

Zippy’s Giant Burgers
The retro burger joint closed its Georgetown location in March. Owner Blaine Cook will focus on the White Center location.

Art of the Table expands hours
The acclaimed hyper-local eatery is now open daily from 5-10 pm.

Elysian plans Pride release and overhaul
For Pride, the Capitol Hill Elysian Brewery will release a "Glitter is Pride" beer on June 1, a 4.4% alcohol cream beer that, if all goes according to plan, will contain real food-grade glitter. Following Pride Weekend, the brewery will shut down to install new brewery equipment to expand their operations.

Rhein Haus appears on the Travel Channel
The German beer hall will be featured on the "Brew-Haha" episode of the Travel Channel show Food Paradise, which will explore different pubs across America.

Wandering Goose's Heather Earnhardt opening hotel and restaurant on Willapa Bay
Chef Heather Earnhardt of the Southern-inspired cafe the Wandering Goose and her husband Zac Young will be renovating the historic Tokeland Hotel (which has previously hosted a weed-fueled jam session with Tacocat and Shabazz Palaces) on Willapa Bay and opening it with a 60-seat restaurant with a cocktail bar and bakery.

Breakdancing and Breakside Brewing Beer Release
To usher in new releases from Breakside Brewing, including Bourbon Barrel Salted Caramel Stout and Err to Excess (Bourbon Barrel Salted Caramel Stout with Oregon grown hazelnuts and cacao nibs), Full Throttle Bottles invites you to bust a move. They'll "lay out some cardboard, toss on some killer vinyl records, and break dance like we're the cast of Breakin 2: Electric Bugaloo."

By Tae Pop-Up
Enjoy hand rolls and sake at this pop-up from chefs Sun Karkhang and Matt Dillon.

Lidia Bastianich
You might know the warm, winning TV host, chef, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich from her Italian cooking shows on PBS and for her boundless enthusiasm for food and family. What you might not know is that she spent two years in a refugee camp in Italy and immigrated to America at the age of 12. Her new book traces her journey from her early childhood learning about Italian cooking from her grandmother in modern-day Croatia, to her experiences as a young teen cutting her teeth in restaurants in America (including working in a New York bakery with Christopher Walken at 14!), finally culminating in a career that includes three restaurants of her own, 13 cookbooks, and two decades as an Emmy Award–winning public television host. At this talk, the first lady of Italian cooking will discuss her story with Seattle food writer and restaurateur Molly Wizenberg, followed by a Q&A panel and a book signing.

Mac and Jack's Brewery Cruise
Booze while you cruise with this three-course dinner that pairs dishes like grilled baguette salad and pan-seared lamb chops with craft brews from Mac and Jack's Brewery.

Salare Tea Party
During brunch, James Beard-nominated chef Edouardo Jordan's restaurant will host their first-ever tea party with their tea dealer Sarah Farr of Harbor Herbalist, who will discuss her new book Healing Herbal Teas amid "yummy tea pastries and such."

Whisky Face-Off: Japan vs. Scotland
Four Scotch single malts go head-to-head against four Japanese single malts. There will be three cocktail samples and snacks made with whisky, as well as education about whisky, Japanese and Scotch whisky, and the history of distilling in both countries.

Wild & Scenic Hazy IPA Release
In honor of the 15th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, Peddler Brewing and Counterbalance Brewing will release their collaboration beer Wild & Scenic Hazy IPA, brewed with malt donated by Skagit Valley Malting. $1 of every pint will go to support conservation at Washington Wild. Brewery staff will (slowly) bike a 160-lb keg of the beer from Peddler to Counterbalance and will share their route, so you can pedal over to catch them on the way to their "bike-crawl" if you wish.

Boozy Brunch Pop-Up
Feast on "fun brunchy food" from chef Amy Beaumier and "fun brunchy cocktails" from Matthew Gomez.

Brunch Vibes
This all-you-can-eat brunch buffet will offer classic choices like bacon, veggie sausage, hash browns, eggs, and waffles, alongside less breakfast-y options like fried chicken, poundcake, mac and cheese, and cornbread (plus some fruit and veggies). DJ Topspin will soundtrack your experience.

Brunch with Musang: April Showers
The April edition of this recurring Filipino brunch pop-up will showcase dishes highlighting fresh, seasonal vegetables. DJ PhoSho will provide the soundtrack.

Mindful Meditation and Single Origin Dark Chocolate
Meditate on the deliciousness of chocolate: Rachael of Rebel Saints Meditation Society will lead a guided meditation, and Becca of indi chocolate will explain the "benefits and rituals" of cacao.

Pop-Up Rosé Tasting
Think pink with a variety of blush-toned wines, including rosé, sparkling rosé, and bubbles from different vendors, as well as tasty bites prepared by Pettirosso chef Derek Castro. Bottles will be available at steep discounts exclusive to the event.

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