Sunday, December 16, 2007


Well, the end of the year is almost here, which means that it's time for bloggers everywhere to put together their "Best of" lists. Everyone loves being a critic, and nothing is more satisfying for bloggers than to dish out their opinions on unsuspecting readers; it makes us feel smart and important. In keeping with that grand tradition, I am presenting you with my annual list of the best (and worst) restaurants of 2007. Obviously, I can't include all of my favorite restaurants, so I am limiting it to the places in Seattle that I tried for the first time in the past year. Also, keep in mind that most of these are not new restaurants, but they're new to me, and that's what counts.

Best (in no particular order):
Monsoon- Very nice Asian restaurant on Capitol Hill. A little pricey, but worth it. Everything was delicious, and the scallops were the best I've ever had.
Fu Man Dumpling House- About a quarter of the price of Monsoon, but equally satisfying. The green onion pancake was awesome: layers of soft dough, pan-fried to perfection. Actual Asian people eat here, unlike Monsoon.
La Spiga- Very large, industrial-looking space, but comfortable and stylish. I had some kind of gooey pasta dish with cheese and ground a really good version of Hamburger Helper, if you can imagine that.
Wing Dome- I avoided this place for so long due to a particularly bad chicken wing experience (not at the WingDome) many years ago, but this place has fantastic wings. The least-gay restaurant in Seattle.
Ohana- Hawaiian/Japanese restaurant in Belltown. I had a bento box with some of the best beef teriyaki I've ever tasted. Lots of tacky Polynesian decor inside, if you like that sort of thing.

Kona Kitchen- Terrible Hawaiian food, sort of like the opposite of Ohana. The Kalua pork was soggy and salty, and everthing else tasted like it came out of a can. The place looked sad and run-down. Owned by a former child actor, which probably explains a lot.
Kalia- I went here because it's owned by the brother-in-law of one of my co-workers, and it's in my neighborhood. Indian food is usually fairly dependable, but not this place; everything was awful.

So there you have it...the best and worst of Seattle. Feel free to send me any tips on your fave/least-fave eating establishments. Bon appetit!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Heart Katamari

Hey! It's me again. I'm sure you've all been wondering what Mr. Concord has been up to recently. Well, the Christmas season has kept me pretty busy. You know the familiar drill: dressing up in Victorian clothes, making homemade candy canes, poring over the L.L. Bean holiday catalog. But this year I've started a new tradition: playing video games. I'm not much of a gamer, but I was recently introduced to the charms of the Xbox, Wii, and Playstation. Take it from me, you don't have to be a greasy-haired teenager with poor social skills to enjoy the sublime pleasures of Halo 3 and Super Mario Galaxy. These are time-wasters of the highest order.

Of all the games I've tried, by far the most bizarre is a Japanese game called Katamari. The object of the game is to maneuver a sticky ball around and roll over as many objects as possible, causing them to get stuck to the ball. Gradually, as you roll over more and more objects (starting with small things like sushi but eventually moving up to entire houses), the ball increases in size. The winner is, to paraphrase an old AC/DC song, the one with the biggest ball of all. This all may sound rather silly and childish, but what puts the game over the top is the surreal humor that permeates the whole production. It's one of those things that probably makes complete sense to the Japanese but comes off as completely fucked-up to everyone else. In other words, it's total genius. Check out this clip of the intro.

That's all for now, kids. Stay warm and be good, okay? Santa is watching you.