This is not pork from Kau Kau, because it seems nobody in the annals of Weekly history has been able to muster the willpower to take a picture of Kau Kau meat before devouring it. Me included.
Among the favorite restaurants I chronicled for the newest edition of Voracious' Dining Guide, in Seattle Weekly boxes this week, is Kau Kau Barbeque, an International District mainstay that earned my affections with pork.
A slew of aspiring pit masters have lately opened barbecue joints in and around Seattle, hoping to enliven the region's traditionally cursed smoked meat scene. But the city hardly needs to ape Southern cooking methods when its talented char siu practitioners are already doing right by swine. And no restaurant is better at roasting seasoned pork than Kau Kau.
My standard Sunday night take-out order at Kau Kau is one pound of the BBQ Combo, which includes glossy spareribs, chopped-to-order barbecued pork -- reliably sweet and rosy, with coveted nicks of char - and segments of roasted pig with crackly skin. The whole mess is fatty and salty, and comes nearer transcendence than all the bacon-assisted dishes that have been barreling out of high-end restaurant kitchens over the past decade.
Kau Kau also roasts chickens and ducks, and will even roast your Thanksgiving turkey if you leave it with them. But none of the other meats approach the pork's grandeur: All the signature combo requires is a side of rice.