Great chefs are making their mark all over the greater Seattle dining scene right now. Thanks to an ever-growing list of must-try places, my personal restaurant list continues to grow. It’s recently gotten to the point where my Yelp bookmarks are almost too intimidating to look at anymore (seriously, it’s kind of embarrassing).
This all leaves me with a bit of decision-making paralysis. How does an indecisive person decide where to dine next with so many enticing options?
Luckily, I had a bit of help this time. Thanks to stumbling upon Heather Christo’s inspirational website and food blog, I came across one of her posts about what to eat and do when you visit Seattle. As I read through her recommendations, I noticed some of them were on my list! I narrowed it down, bit the bullet, and made three reservations for Labor Day weekend. Joule was our Sunday dinner date, and it was a meal my husband and I won’t forget anytime soon.
The restaurant is located in a fun, shared space sitting next door to Renee Erickson’s, The Whale Wins. As cute and inviting as The Whale Wins looked, we were there for the Korean-fusion dining experience that Joule is so well known for. The restaurant was dreamed up by husband and wife chef duo, Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, who are the creators of Relay Restaurant Group. If you find yourself wanting more after experiencing Joule, the couple offers three restaurants in Seattle and one in Portland, for their loyal followers. And I’m just warning you now, it’s going to happen because their food is THAT good.
We were fortunate enough to get a table on the patio and enjoy the warm summer weather, which for me included a nice view of the restaurant and kitchen. It’s always a treat to see chefs working in the kitchen where the magic happens. The interior is clean and modern with a bit of an industrial feel. It was the perfect compliment to the food served at Joule – unexpected dishes bursting with flavor, umami, and that oh-so-addictive spicy/sweet Korean flavor combo.
We started out ordering drinks – one cocktail and two of their non-alcoholic options. The beverage menu offered unique selections made with exotic ingredients, like Thai chile. Thanks to my Yelp research earlier that day, I had already decided on ordering the spicy rice cakes as an appetizer (OMG I could eat this a lot, like multiple times a week). My husband went for the octopus dish, and we both ordered steak for dinner. Did I forget to mention that Joule is technically a Korean steakhouse? Yes, they specialize in beef and they deliver on superb preparation and flavors.
For the main course, I ordered “that” short rib steak, kalbi, kimchi. My husband went for the grass fed ribeye, beef belly la lot, spicy peanut oil. My meal choice is one of Joule’s signature dishes, so I had to try it. My husband went for the grass fed beef option and he said it was exceptionally prepared. Both of us kept looking at each other with these wide eyes, saying how great everything tasted with our mouths full of steak. It was something like, “Wow, this is amazing. Seriously, one of the best meals I’ve had. So glad we came here. The flavors are incredible. I definitely couldn’t make this at home if I tried.”
After thoroughly enjoying ALL of the food on our plates, we were both happily stuffed. The flavors were such a perfect mix of salty, spicy and sweet, which made the prospect of not ordering dessert fairly easy. If it wasn’t for me trying to eat less sugar and desserts, I would have DEFINITELY tried something from the dessert menu…I’m looking at you mango upside down cake with tamarind caramel 😉 Yes, I had to peek at the menu and torment myself further! This just means we’ll be back for round two in the not-so-distant future.
If you’re in the mood for a casual, unique, and utterly satisfying dining experience in a lively neighborhood with lots of great people watching, head over to Joule in Wallingford. I promise you will be snapping beautiful food photos and sipping on a tasty cocktail with a smile on your face.
Go ahead, try something new!