Seattle is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems some Seattleites just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their under the radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Manu Alfau opened La Bodega Dominican sandwich shop in Pioneer Square to much fanfare last winter. Dishes from the former Blind Pig Bistro cook -- like his signature puerco asado (roast pork) -- are inspired by his experiences growing up in the Dominican Republic.
La Bodega closes every weekday at 7pm, right at dinner time. After he closes up shop, Alfau strolls over to Tsukushinbo in the International District for an udon dinner.
Now that the weather is colder, you'll probably see me at Tsukushinbo pretty often. I can get a very affordable bowl of tempura udon, which leaves enough to order a few pieces of nigiri and a beer. If I'm alone, it doesn't take as long to get a seat. I pull up at the bar, ask the Sho (the sushi chef) about the specials, and take whatever they recommend.
The clear broth at Tsukushinbo is flavorful, soothing, and sometimes it's exactly what I'm hankering for and it's only a short walk from Bodega. I really enjoy Japanese food. The food is clean and simple, but still robust and flavorful. I'm fascinated by the amount of flavor you get in such clear broths. It's exactly what I want when I'm craving something different.
Tsukushinbo. 515 Main Street S, International District. Facebook page. (206) 467-4004. Mon 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tues - Thurs 12 to 2 and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Fri 12 to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Sat 5:30 to 11 p.m. Sun 5 to 9:30 p.m.