Baekjeong is the big opening in the North End this year — an L.A. Korean barbecue chain that showcases marbled cuts of meat and offal at its 8,000-square-foot restaurant in Alderwood mall. The line will be long for this one.
Baekjeong has been popular with the Asian American community in Southern California, but it blew up after the late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold of the L.A. Times raved about it.
For newcomers, signature dishes include beef brisket and boneless short ribs; for those more adventurous, order the beef tongue and pork jowl. The seafood pancake, corn cheese and soy bean stews are also bestsellers.
Baekjeong runs the same menu at all eight locations in California and New York City, but management said new lunch and bar dishes will be featured at the Lynnwood branch.
Baekjeong can seat at least 220 in its bar and restaurant, but the chain has such a big following that you may have a hard time scoring a table until the buzz dies down.
Other openings in Lynnwood
Bapmukja hawks tteokbokki fried rice cakes, gyoza, short rib kimbap and other Korean street food.
Pho & Chill also does banh mi, the crêpe banh xeo and rice and noodle dishes.
The dessert shop Cafe Tokki serves bingsu, the Korean shaved ice.
Cafe Sabah & Lounge is one of the big openings in the South End, with an extensive Turkish menu including kebabs, doner plates and the cheese and meat flatbread pide. And of course, there’s strong Turkish coffee.
For the lunch rush, Pho Asia Noodle House in downtown offers beef, chicken and vegetarian pho along with rice and vermicelli noodles.
Macadons is a dream land of bright, colorful macarons with riffs such as a “Cap’n Crunch Berry” and cookies and cream, as well as macaron ice cream sandwiches. Macadons plans to add a 24-seat cafe with wine and cider in the coming months. Fans may remember this shop when it was in White Center. The owners have split up, with one moving the shop to downtown Renton and the other staying in White Center to open a dessert shop in October called Puffy Pandy.
Vietnamese gourmet coffee shops, which have been a big hit in Seattle, are popping up around the Sound. The latest: T&D Coffee House, which also sells banh mi and other deli and Asian street food.
Seattle-based Just Poké opens its 22nd location in Des Moines with plans for seven more openings around the Puget Sound region, including in Kent, later this month.
And speaking of Des Moines, our woman-about-town, Jackie Varriano, recently took the 65-passenger catamaran Chilkat Express from Seattle to check out what snacks and sandwiches you can grab near the marina.
Kent gets the soft serve ice cream parlor Cream, which opens at the Marketplace at Lake Meridian.
Federal Way gets a branch of the popular bubble tea chain Happy Lemon.
Auburn gets Lezzet Brunch, which does Turkish breakfast and other Mediterranean morning fare.
Tukwila gets SomiSomi, the California-based chain that specializes in taiyaki and other Korean desserts at Westfield Southcenter mall. (The chain also plans to expand to Bellevue soon.)
Burien gets the Vietnamese-inspired Cajun restaurant The Crawfish Hut. Expect seafood boils and lobster dishes.