COPACABANA What's the best part about eating here—the view or the food? It's like asking my mother which is her favorite daughter: totally a toss-up, she'll say (even though I heavily suspect it's me). When the sun shines on the second-story outdoor terrace and I peer through rows of daffodils down at the Market's cobblestones and shoppers—the Sound and Olympics in the background—I remember why I adore this city. When meat pies and spicy, saffron-infused paella arrive at my table, my mouth joins in the lovefest. The Bolivian food is so good that former Mariner Omar Vizquel valiantly tried to get Copacabana's recipe for sopa de camarones and picante de pollo after being traded to Cleveland in 1993; but the owners keep the family secrets, well, in the family. One recipe I'd go to the altar for (any available Copacabana cousins?) is the tres leches, a white cake covered in unspeakably luscious cream. Eat it for an appetizer and dessert. SARA NIEGOWSKI Serves: lunch and dinner. 1520 Pike Pl., 206-622-6359. PIKE PLACE MARKET $-$$ MIXTURA This kitchen does amazing things with purple potatoes. And with fruity desserts, too. Recently, we had a mesmerizing night at the chef's bar, watching the culinary wizards (including Emmanuel Piqueras, formerly of Andina of Portland) at work. If you can't snag a front seat, don't worry; the artistic results will arrive at your table. After trying some tapas, get a main course of grilled marlin or the sea scallops, wrapped in serrano ham atop mango ravioli, and study the shapely pottery on the back shelves. Sure, Mixtura is high-end, and some say it's veered too far away from authentic Peruvian cuisine, but we'll change into our good jeans for pisco sours and Novo Andean cuisine at this energetic restaurant any day. MOLLY LORI Serves: dinner. 148 Lake St. S., 425-803-3310. KIRKLAND $$-$$$ www.mixtura.biz
Dining Guide 2006 Introduction Around the world in one Seattle day: 116 of our favorite ethnic restaurants. North America Nell's, El Rincon, Northlake Tavern, and more. South America Mixtura and Copacabana. Africa Mesob and more. Europe From Bandeleone to Zaina. Asia Sushi, soups, sweets, and savories. Australia Would you believe only one made our list?