The Place : Salty's on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave. S.W., 206-937-1600
The Hours : Daily, 3p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Place: Salty's on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave. S.W., 206-937-1600
The Hours: Daily, 3p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Digs: Salty's is the embodiment of that old real estate/retail/restaurateur saying, "location, location, location". Jutting out from the quiet, condo-studded end of West Seattle's Alki beach, Salty's sits among a hodgepodge of quirky landscape architecture--old concrete beams with exposed re-bar propped amidst bundles of sea grass, steel cut-outs of giant crabs, and Tavern on the Green-inspired night lighting.
Inside feels kind of like a crazy Grandma's house, with wooden schooner steering wheels, a huge pig studded with neon-colored stickers of stars, and nautical-themed wallpaper. But few people notice any of this. What they notice, and what Salty's is famous for, is the view. It is, unarguably, the best view of the city for dining. Directly across from downtown, Salty's 180 degrees of windows show off everything that makes Seattle one of the most beautiful cities in the world - cloudy skies included.
The Deal: The deal is almost as schizophrenic as the decor. Happy hour is every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a small but interesting variety of selections. Happy hour drinks are limited to a selection of two beers ($4 each), two wines (a red and white, $6.50 each), or four cocktails - all of which taste like they were made with Costco drink mix (Pomegranate Martini and Pineapple Express, for example - $6 each).
The food is where it gets interesting. Have a freshly-shucked oyster for $2 or a couple of incredibly crispy, yet tender, Colossal Coco Prawns for $5. The $4 Blackened Halibut Taco comes on a surprisingly fresh and fragrant corn tortilla. Then there's a splay of chilled, barely blackened, Tuna Sashimi ($7) under a rainbow of tiny roe and a mountain of pillowy-soft, perfectly crunchy Truffled Tots ($3). The menu kicks on to more submersible items such as the Crunchy Tuna Melt, Bacon Cheeseburger, and "Seattle's Cheesiest Nachos" (which, at $9, and for a seafood restaurant, is confusingly one of the most expensive things on the happy hour menu). According to our server, at the writing of this review the happy hour menu had changed three times in one month. So you might be surprised by something new and different upon your next visit.
The Verdict: If you need to impress someone from out of town, or are from out of town, Salty's happy hour is a smart bet for a visually-stunning happy hour visit (granted you are not trying to impress an interior designer). As one of Restaurant & Institutions magazine's prestigious Top 100 Independent Restaurants in the U.S., Salty's sucks in a cool $10 million-plus from tourists, graduation parties, weddings and lustful prom-goers per year. Throw another $25 Salty's way and enjoy an afternoon happy hour feast for the belly, and the eyes.