Sunday 1/18: Morning Star Cafe Pop-Up Brunch at La Isla de Mojito

Tarik Abdullah, a current contestant on ABC’s reality cooking show, The Taste, will once-again be bringing his global pop-up brunch, Morning Star Cafe, to Columbia/Hillman City’s La Isla de Mojito this weekend, Sunday (1/18), from 9am-1pm. Abdullah’s pop-up has received a lot of attention as of late, earning him write-ups in both The Stranger and The Seattle Weekly.


From The Stranger:

This past Sunday I was finally able to check out Morning Star Cafe, chef Tarik Abdullah’s brunch pop-up held at La Isla del Mojito restaurant in Hillman City. Abdullah, who runs his pop-up under the moniker A DJ and a Cook, has been hosting brunch and late-night gatherings at different locations around the city for the last two years, but thankfully it looks like brunch has settled into La Isla for the next few months.

The vibe alone—decidedly South Seattle—makes Morning Star worth a visit: a diverse group of people, happier and more energetic than most early diners I’ve encountered in this city, sharing four communal tables surrounded by bright yellow walls and big picture windows. It was gray and rainy outside, but you would never have known.

Abdullah’s flavors are bold and wide-ranging, heavily influenced by North African and Middle Eastern cuisine, but also drawing from South Asia and the Mediterranean. The Morning Star menu is short and sweet, offering Abdullah’s interpretations of dishes like muesli, quiche, pancakes, shrimp and grits, and the classic American trifecta of sausage, eggs, and hash browns. Thee Combo ($13)—hash browns spiced with oregano and lemon, Tabil (a Tunisian spice mix with coriander and caraway) scrambled eggs, and Merguez sausage—deftly balanced its many strong flavors so they were exciting rather than overwhelming. In Gambas con Polenta ($13), the saucy piri piri prawns sautéed with peppers and onions—bright and piquant—were a wonderful foil to the creamy yellow grits atop which they sat… (click for complete review)

And from The Seattle Weekly:

Tarik Abdullah cannot be stopped! With only two episodes left in Season 3 of ABC’s “The Taste,” he’s still a contender for “America’s Best Undiscovered Cook.” (See Seattle Weekly’s interview with Abdullah here). Last week, Anthony’s Bourdain’s team took its first hit on the Latin-themed episode, but Abdullah was spared, leaving three members. Nigella Lawson’s team has already been completely eliminated and Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson each have two contestants left on their respective teams…

…If you miss him there, you can catch him at his pop-up “Morningstar” brunch series at Isla Del Mojito in Hillman City on Janurary 18th from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. A six-item menu typically features dishes such as Persian spiced french toast deep fried with pineapple compote and jerk spiced beef hash with roasted red peppers, squash and polenta. Entertainment will be provided by Kaffeine.


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