Female readers, have you been to the Olympus Spa? It’s right here in our community at 3815 196th St. S.W., Suite 160, Lynnwood. No need to drive to Tacoma or board a jet for Seoul. Please check it out. Just go!
Spoiler alert, if you’ve not been to a Korean spa: No clothes are worn inside, as in you’ll be naked. I joke, kind of. Robes and hairnets are worn in public areas like the lounge where one waits for massage treatments and, of course, in the restaurant too. However, in the soaking pools and wet saunas, one earns the right to wear their T-shirt, which proclaims: “I Went to the Naked Spa.”
Olympus Spa is a place to abandon self-consciousness and indulge. Be consumed with euphoria as you are scrubbed and massaged. The Body Scrub can be a bit intense; the scrub mitts wielded by the proficient women made my skin feel like a baby’s. Buckets of warm water poured over me from head to toe melted any muscle tensions that lingered after the superb effort of their massage.
Food is central to many of the treatments offered at Olympus Spa. To nourish that layer of dermis, exposed by the aforementioned Body Scrub, one can opt for the Body Moisturizer. Massaged with courses that included olive oil, honey and warm milk, I went to a new, and unknown, level of bliss. My facial was comprised of honey, cream, and an ingredient found in healthy salads; cucumbers.
Here is another foodie facial: Honey and mung bean — guaranteed to soften the skin. There’s more: Herbs are used in the dry and wet saunas too, plus there’s a pool of Mugwort, an excellent herbal bath additive said to relieve tired limbs, rheumatism and gout.
Want some dessert? Try the chocolate body wrap. Did you know that antioxidants in organic cocoa protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells? Antioxidants in cocoa are reported to elevate the endorphin levels and offer great benefits. Did I mention that it’s chocolate? Enough said.
I confess I did sneak a taste on my tongue. I was glad I had this treatment after lunch, when I wasn’t hungry. I wonder if anyone’s been asked to leave for eating their facial.
Speaking of lunch, the very first place I experienced Korean cuisine when I moved to Washington, was at the restaurant in Olympus Spa’s original location in Tacoma. I was hooked. I celebrated when the Olympus Spa opened a second location in Lynnwood. Restaurant and tea room fare is equal to the quality served at the Tacoma location.
The restaurant, an oasis of greenery and quiet, serves hearty Korean cuisine for vegetarians as well as meat lovers, and smoothies and juices, all fresh and delicious. The array of little dishes, filled with bits of Kimchi, fried tofu, veggies and marinated black beans, could spoil one’s appetite for the main course, but it whet my appetite for more. Too bad I can’t take my hubby. He loves Korean food.
I fell in love with Bibimbap. Colorful vegetables topped steamed rice and were crowned with an over easy egg. I loved the hot version and I shamelessly scraped that crispy layer of rice right down to the bottom of my cast iron bowl. Pa Jeon, the delicate vegetable pancake with squid, shrimp and green onions, is another must order. I appreciate that the size is reduced to half of what is offered in other establishments. Although take-home boxes are offered, it’s never as good reheated.
Tea cups are filled with a hot roasted barley tea, and are replenished throughout your meal. Hydration is important when you visit this spa, so drink up. There is a separate tea room where one can experience a full tea ceremony.
Check their site — www.olympusspa.com — to schedule special packages and purchase gift certificates. Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight. Closed: Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas
— By Kathy Passage
A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the food and restaurant scene in South Snohomish County.