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Capitol Hill's Boom Noodle looks like your college cafeteria as styled by Benetton, with viper-green walls, bare lights, and long brown tables. As its decor suggests, the Japanese restaurant, which is owned by the same people who run Blue C Sushi, takes a deliberately fickle approach to authenticity. Whether floated in a beet broth, stir-fried with beef and chiles, or served as an ultra-traditional ramen, the noodles are often pleasant but not compelling. What's great are the small plates, which reference Western creativity even as they pay homage to Eastern tradition: prawns coated in fine layers of philo dough, panko-coated potato croquettes doused heavily with curry; meltingly tender salmon tataki with a tart ponzu sauce, and über-classic thin-skinned pork gyoza. The bar area is spacious and airy, and the happy hour here goes from a generous 3-7pm everyday. The appetizer items go nicely with your standard sake, Sapporo, or one of Boom's specialty cocktails. Most of the offerings are refreshing and pretty basic; the classics with an "Asian" twist—the cranberry-kazi is just a cosmo with ginger vodka, the shiso mojito is just that—a mojito with some shiso leaf crushed in.
This is honestly the best food I've had in seattle so far. I don't have a bad thing to say about it. Atmosphere is trendy but relaxed, waitstaff is skilled, knowledgeable AND friendly. I have never gotten attitude here. All servers and bussers are exceedingly nice, welcoming and genuine. They seem happy to be doing their jobs and seem to take pride in making sure your dining experience is perfect. Every time I go to boom noodle I am impressed, they bend over backward to make you feel at home, cheerfully accommodate special requests, and never rush you or over-involve themselves in your meal. I went here on my birthday, and they waitress didn't bat an eyelash when I asked for pork with a dish that only listed chicken and beef as options. "Of course, it's your birthday!" was her response. And I ended up with the most delicious and perfectly cooked pork medallions on top of my wasabi soba I asked her to tell the chef that it was the best pork "in the entire world" which I don't feel is an overstatement. To top it off, the prices are shockingly reasonable. I doubt there is another restaurant in seattle where you can get such high quality food and snot-free service at this price. I don't know how they do it, but they do everything well. Did I mention the original specialty cocktails are pitch perfect? I didn't say much about the food, but you really can't go wrong. I haven't tried anything here that's disappointed me, but let me tell you, you have not lived until you've tried the okonomiyaki (on the small plates menu) it is a "savory braised pork and cabbage pancake with shoestring vegetables, serrano peppers, aioli, tonkatsu sauce." It might be my favorite dish of all time...seriously, try it.
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