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.
Branden Karow has learned Ethan Stowell Restaurants from the bottom up. Now the Culinary Director, Karow was previously a line cook at Stowell's now-closed Union, Anchovies & Olives, and How to Cook a Wolf. He worked his way up to chef at Staple & Fancy before a promotion to Culinary Director.
Karow occasionally embarks on a culinary adventure in the International District when he has free time and wants a cheap meal:
My favorite hole-in-the-wall place is Sun-Ya in the ID. I go for the dim sum. It is just as good, if not better, than the other dim sum places and not nearly as busy. They have a ton of offerings, it's dirt cheap, and there's a parking lot!! I call that a win, win!
The live tanks are often full of king crab, lobster, Dungeness crab, and spot prawns. I love getting salt and pepper prawns when they have live ones. They fish them out of the tank, bring the plate of flopping prawns to the table for approval and minutes later return with them cooked to perfection. It doesn't get much better than that! I always get the green beans with garlic, the shrimp and chive dumplings, and that weird thing wrapped in the bean curd. Is it pork? Shrimp? Who knows — but it's delicious!
Sun Ya is the only place in town where a friend and I can get a 10-course meal for under 30 bucks in less than 30 minutes! I love this place!