After following the rumors for months, I somehow missed posting anything about Salted Sea’s official opening day.
Walking by a few times, the place has been consistently busy since Wednesday. Reviews on Yelp are starting to trickle in and so far, so good.
Salted Sea launched this week in Columbia City, the historic neighborhood south of Seattle that’s getting hipper by the moment. There has been a lot of recent additions, including this upscale restaurant with a menu that’s laser-focused on fish. From butter-poached prawns and whole roasted trout, the lineup is totally seafood-centric, except for the mustard-crusted lamb chops. Here are a few standouts, which are also discounted during happy hour, which runs from 3 to 6 PM daily.
Nestled on crushed ice toward the back of the open, airy dining room, the opened-to-order bivalves are finished in imaginative toppers like a tart rhubarb migonette and tarragon pickled mustard seeds. Oyster selections will shift regularly, but the opening options included superstar choices such as Shigoku, Virginicas, Kusshi and Mintner Sweet Select.
Plump and meaty, these shellfish don’t disappear when simmered in spicy green coconut curry. The crispy shallots on top are brilliant.
This Asian staple doesn’t show up nearly enough around Seattle, but maybe this stellar version will start a trend. The ginger and garlic-seasoned shrimp spread is smeared on sliced baguette from Columbia City Bakery and sauteed in butter.
This itty-bitty sandwich (pictured in the main image) has a whole lot going on in between the toasted buns. Beyond the cooked-right chunk of fish, there’s also candied bacon, a tomato-red onion jam and tender spinach leaves. We’re hooked.