Restaurant News: Cool cocktail spot in Edmonds, Hawaiian fare in Lynnwood

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Kali Kelnero shaking things up.

As Kali Kelnero put it “we are finally, FINALLY open!“

It’s been a long process for Kris and Kali Kelnero, but the doors are open and people are flocking to Edmonds newest and coolest cocktail lounge. When you drop in for a drink and/or a small plate, even if you choose to sit at the bar, take a quick tour around the place. In addition to the main seating area and bar, you’ll find several small alcoves that provide seating for more a private, perhaps a more intimate gathering.

Everything is now in place. The bar sparkles and countless bottles of spirits stand at attention. The kitchen staff was hopping, bringing out one creative and delicious-looking item after another. Bartenders Kris, Kali and Kate Waldon were all keeping rather busy making and serving drinks-this on a Wednesday night,no less. Apparently Edmonds has already discovered this little gem — good news travels fast.

Kelnero concentrates on three things: well-crafted cocktails, delicious and unique small plates, and a charming and sophisticated atmosphere that includes piano music on selected nights.

Kelnero earns high marks for service and style. In spite of the fact that they’ve only just opened, things seem to be running pretty smoothly — a rare accomplishment for such a new enterprise. A place like this can grow on you.

Kelnero
545 Main St.
Edmonds
3 p.m. to midnight
Tuesday to Sunday

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A little more local aloha — Kona Kitchen opens in Lynnwood

Can’t jump on a plane and enjoy your favorite Spam breakfast on the big island? No worries. Recently added to local destinations that feature Hawaiian fare like L & L Hawaiian B-B-Q (next to the newly-relocated Lynnwood Trader Joe’s) and Bobby’s Hawaiian Style Restaurant in north Lynnwood, is Kona Kitchen.

They’re settling into their new digs at 3805 196th St. S.W. (nestled between Ezell’s Famous Chicken and the Lynnwood Convention Center).

Yuji and Angie Okumoto’s Kona Kitchen, just north of Green Lake, has long been a favorite of the north Seattle crowd.

People seem pretty happy to see another Kona Kitchen up here. The plan was to have a soft opening, but throngs of diners hungry for that aloha spirit and some good, wholesome Hawaiian-style fare had plans of their own. The hostess told me they had been incredibly busy. Still, they’re enjoying getting acclimated to their new space.

Whether you like it or not, the true test of a legit Hawaiian café is the presence of at least one Spam dish and some Portuguese sausage. Kona Kitchen has them both. The French toast is made with Hawaiian sweet bread, and favorite menu items include Kalua Pig and Cabbage, Machika Chicken, and Loco Moco — a dish that combines rice, a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and a rich brown gravy.

Kona Kitchen
3805 196th St. S.W.
Lynnwood

Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Note that Yuji’s Bar & Lounge is open until 2 a.m. for karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays with the kitchen open until midnight.

Spicy Sambal Ahi at Edmonds’ Ono Poke.

Even if we still can’t pronounce it, Hawaiian Poke has officially taken over the West Coast. For some reason I keep hearing Pok – Kay rather than just Pok – Key. It doesn’t really matter I guess. However you pronounce it, no one does it better than Steve Ono and his crew at Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke in Edmonds. If food can be likened to medicine, the Ahi Poke Bowl at Ono Poke is my prescription for a midwinter restorative. I always feel better after devouring one.

Ono Poke
10016 Edmonds Way
Edmonds

Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Spam Musubi, Adobo Tacos, California rolls and a boozy Moscow slushee at Barkada.

You can’t miss the Hawaiian influence at Barkada – which combines some of the best qualities of Hawaiian and Filipino cuisines. Poke, Soba and a wide assortment of sushi and sashimi options are all reminiscent of of island fare I’ve encountered, right down to the little paper bowls they serve it in. They’ve also got the slushee/boozy concoctions that you may (or may not) remember from your visits to the islands.

Barkada
622 5th Ave. S.
Edmonds

Monday-Thursday 4-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 4-11 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

So if you’ve been reminiscing about all the great meals you had the last time you were in Hawaii, or if you just love some good Hawaiian fare, try some of these places out. They’ll help restore your aloha spirit.

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Speaking of spirits, Scratch Distillery is teaming up again with 190 Sunset to offer an amazing dining experience. A five course dinner that promises to pair Scratch’s award- winning spirits with each course throughout the evening. Lobster risotto, braised spare ribs, and Seabass are among the featured items you’ll enjoy. Martinis, Aquavit and peach schnapps are among the potent portables you’ll savor. This memorable occasion is slated for March 13.

For more information and tickets, go to www.facebook.com/events/2244581082260987/?ti=icl

James Spangler By James Spangler

The furthest thing from a finicky eater, James Spangler insisted on trying everything on the table from the earliest age. At 13, he prepared Baked Alaska for an entire classroom and has had an insatiable appetite for good food ever since. On his days off, he’s rather be in the kitchen cooking for the people he loves than doing just about anything. If you catch him reading a book at his bookstore on 4th Avenue in Edmonds, there’s a good chance it’ll  have something to do with food.

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