New Blooms in Ballard, Snacks at Studio 1000,

Selections from Voracious, our food blog.

After-School Specials at Studio 1000 Where? Studio 1000, inside Hotel 1000, 1000 First Ave., DOWNTOWN What does $13 get you? A blood orange high sea specialty drink ($9) and the short rib sliders ($2.50 during happy hour) Recommended? Definitely. And while the cocktail was the bomb, I'd say go for a well drink, draft beer, or select red and white wines by the glass (respectively $4.75, $3, and $5 during happy hour) if you're short on dough and big on appetite. All the food is half-price during the two happy hours, 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday. Tasting notes: Despite the fact that we've just strolled into an early daylight-saving time and Easter is just a couple of weeks away, it's still chilly enough outside to gather round a cozy fire. And Hotel 1000 has served up just that in its Studio 1000, along with BOKA's menu. The digs: lots of leather and a very loungy vibe with a fire pit in the center. Don't let the posh surroundings throw you, though. The prices are awesome, with half off all urban bites (appetizers) and urban eats (more substantial food) during happy hour. If you're willing to forgo the drink specials and splurge on a signature cocktail, I highly recommend the blood orange high sea ($9), which has blood oranges muddled with Mount Gay Rum, Bacardi O, and Pimm's Cup. Pair it with the short rib sliders with horseradish cream served on house-made buttermilk biscuits (as a gal from the South, I must add that these flaky little devils taste like they're right out of Granny's oven—minus all the lard). If you're ditching the specialty cocktail in favor of a cheaper bevo—and still want to stick to the $13—go for the BOKA grilled cheese and tomato bisque (just $5 during happy hour!). It'll help melt away that lingering SAD. -- Jen Harper Aster, and Other New Blooms in Ballard Aster, a new "coffee lounge" in Ballard, opened last Saturday. With sparse, simple furniture and cement floors, it says "office away from home" more than "hot hangout," but the (read: my) essential ingredients for a successful coffee shop are there: They're serving (Intelligentsia and Novo) drip from a Clover, desserts and pastries from Upper Crust Bakery in Magnolia, and a limited selection of local beer and wine. I'm already plotting my perfect workday: breakfast from up the street at Cafe Besalu (whose pastry chef, James Miller, is up for a James Beard Award, go James!), followed by a morning at Aster (there's Wi-Fi, of course). Good day? Caffeinate and work like hell. Bad day? Screw it and head next door for a pedicure. Return for happy hour beer ($3). I do have to wonder how my favorite local roasts would taste out of the Clover, though. Aster Coffee Lounge, 5615 24th Ave. N.W., 784-0615, BALLARD Open 6 a.m.­–10 p.m. Mon.­–Thurs., 6 a.m.– midnight Fri., 7 a.m. to midnight Sat., and 7 a.m.– 9 p.m. Sun. Happy hour daily 4–6 p.m. Other news from the area: My Ballard reports construction began on the Whole Foods in Interbay. The Monkey Bridge, Ballard's newest Vietnamese restaurant, is now open. Farther north, the folks from Olive You near the corner of 85th and Greenwood are opening a sweets and gelato shop on the southeast corner, to be called called Sweet on You. I hope the flavors make up for the garish hot-pink and yellow paint job. -- Jess Thomson Soak It Up: Filipino Brunch at Kawali Grill Apothecary: Kawali Grill, 5300 Rainier Ave. S., 723-6179, www.kawaligrill.com. HILLMAN CITY (which is essentially South Columbia City). Open for breakfast 8:30 a.m.–noon on weekends. Time of Entry: Sunday morning. Level of Hangover (1–10 scale, with 10 being a paralyzing head-thumper): 1. I forgot I was supposed to prepare for this meal by carving out yet another chunk of my liver with a whiskey scalpel. How hungover does waitstaff look? I think the three women working the dining room made the same mistake I did. Sobriety all around. Prescriptions: Half of Kawali Grill's breakfast menu is traditional American, half Filipino. We mostly went Filipino with tapsilog (steak with eggs and fried rice) and tusilog (tocino, or marinated pork, with eggs and fried rice), as well as a spinach-feta omelet for the veg in the group. I went in all excited to order spamsilog (guess), but Kawali Grill turns out to be too classy to serve Spam. I settled for a lumpia omelet, with a glass of extra-sweet kalamansi limeade on the side. Oh, and a side of longanisa, a plump, fuschia-colored (really), sweet sausage. You can order it with eggs and fried rice as longsilog. Hair of the Dog: Mimosas and mangosas. Success Rate: Kawali Grill opened last year serving mostly American food, with a few Filipino entrées, but the longer it stays open, the more Filipino dishes show up. Most of the Filipino families in the restaurant were ordering fresh lumpia (crepes with peanut sauce) or bowls of stew off the specials insert on the table. Although I can't think of a more potent headache sponge slash liver tonic than kare kare (oxtail-peanut stew), not everyone can face its anchovy-paste aroma after a boozy night. Not sure whether you'll think this is a good thing or a bad thing, but the brunches were big on meat but not grease. Plus, all the eggs were cooked right, the tocino was tender and sweetly marinated, and the lumpia omelet didn't have chopped-up egg rolls in it but, instead, roasted pork and cabbage. And orange slices for garnish! A class act. Not that that's a bad thing. -- Jonathan Kauffman

 
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