Friday, December 12, 2014

Food Friday: Ma'ono in West Seattle

When visiting Seattle, one area that isn't quite as frequented by tourists is West Seattle. Many people may visit Alki beach, which is where the photo above was taken, but there is a lot more to the neighborhood than just the summer beach area.

By far, the best area to explore is the California Junction. Once upon a time, this was the streetcar junction where the current commercial center is (See maps of the Streetcar Network here. It was all ripped up in 1941 to make way for buses!)

The neighborhood commercial area here is pretty good. It has a good mix of businesses, bars, and restaurants that make it a vibrant area. There is Easy Street Records (one of the few remaining places to get knowledgeable advice on music), the kid friendly Cupcake Royale, West Five (the home of interstellar mac-n-cheese), and the renown Bakery Nouveau.

This time around, I tried Ma'ono for brunch. They opened up a couple years back, but this was the first time that I had been there. The menu is hawaiian inspired (delicious, but "healthy" it is not) and features fried chicken. Reservations are recommended, both for a table AND for the friend chicken. If you don't order it ahead of time, then you may end up without it.

So, how was it? Delicious. The breading is nice and crispy, while the meat is tender and not overly oily. The sausage gravy that comes with it feels so wrong, but ends up being something you can't stop eating. By the end, you are looking at those spoons in the gravy and thinking, "What if I just thought of this as a sausage stew? No one is going to judge me for eating stew, right?"

On the menu there is also chicken nuggets and french toast. While also fantastic and seasoned well, it's just not the same as the bone-in fried chicken. The french toast is lightly sweetened and plays well with the savory ground chicken nuggets, but isn't the same show stopper at the fried chicken. It's great by itself, but having them side by side will leave you wishing you could just some of the fried chicken with your toast instead.

A meal this good, however, is not guilt free. However, the guilt is a pretty cheap price of admission for something like this.

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