Aloha Happy Hour at Marination Station

Photo by Julien Perry
The Place: Marination Station, 1412 Harvard Ave., CAPITOL HILL.

The Hours: 2-5 p.m. Mon-Fri.

The Digs: While Marination Station's sister-on-wheels, Marination Mobile, roams all over the city as one of Seattle's most popular food trucks, their brick-and-mortar shop sits perched above the QFC on the corner of Broadway and Pine. You can still get the same Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine--you just no longer have to monitor TweetDeck to do so.

Plus, at Marination Station, there's beer!

The Deal: It's a good deal and one that encourages sampling the menu: order two tacos and/or sliders ($2.25/each) and get a third free. Bottles of Primo Hawaiian lager are $2. On a recent visit I ordered a sexy tofu taco, a miso ginger taco, and an Aloha slider, which is a way more fun way of saying Kalua pork. The tacos are served on four-inch corn tortillas with pickled jalapeno slaw and nunya sauce. What's nunya sauce? "Nunya business," is what I was told by the staff.

After a hearty laugh, I was told nunya sauce is actually an aioli-style sauce with Korean spices added to it. I was also told it was going to be bottled and eventually sold at Marination Station. In addition to said awesome sauce, the sliders are made with the Station's signature slaw and served on a sweet Hawaiian roll.

SPAM slider.
The Digs: Walking into Marination Station is like walking into a tiny boutique; before you even have time to take stock of where you are or what you want to eat (and is that The Who playing over the speakers?) you are quickly welcomed by a greeter. In this case, she was a fantastically funny woman named Dawnelle who was so charming--despite coming off a marathon stint at Mobile Chowdown--I sat and chatted with her while I finished my beer.

The scene behind the counter reminded me a lot of an actual food truck. The kitchen is shiny and extremely narrow and you can see the lightening fast cook firing up your order, hands darting back-and-forth grabbing for ingredients all within arms reach. My food was ready before I had finished paying.

The Verdict: The best things I ate during my visit were suggestions from Dawnelle: the chicken taco and the SPAM slider, the latter of which I went back for after my happy hour picks. Marination Station has great food, a great, relaxed vibe and great service. And it's much easier to find than a roving food truck. Aloha!

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