When former Canlis head chef Brady Williams opened Tomo in White Center, part of his goal was to create something a bit more chill and approachable than his fine-dining background would suggest. But when Tomo opened in 2021 it was strictly a tasting-menu joint — diners got five courses for $68, a relative bargain, but it’s hard to be a chill neighborhood spot and only do tasting menus.
As of June 7, the James Beard Award–winning chef has changed things up by introducing an a la carte menu, a decision the chef hopes will make Tomo more approachable still. Another sign of that change is that reservations are no longer strictly required, though still encouraged. The sample a la carte menu on the website includes items like asparagus and smoked cod with XO sauce and salt and vinegar fried chicken. The tasting menu is stil available, though now it’s $86, thanks inflation.
“Our intention with Tomo was always to be your favorite restaurant, not just a special occasion restaurant,” Williams said in a press release. “We want to see you all more often and make it easier to experience the new flavors of each season with us.”
Tomo is also continuing its Buds events series, which invites guest chefs from other restaurants for special dinners and other events. On June 21 Andres Giraldo Florez from Oakland’s Snail Bar will be there for a six-course dinner and a wine bar event, and on July 17 Tomo will host Fabian Von Hauske Valtierra and Jeremiah Stone from New York’s Contra. Tickets can be found on Tock.
Elysian Brewery does a music festival now?
Yes! Elysian’s Georgetown taproom is going to be hosting the first-ever “Dust Fest” (a nod to its popular Space Dust IPA) on July 15. The vibe the brewery is shooting for is part summer festival, part state fair, and part beer garden. There will be 45 beers on tap from Elysian and a collection of local breweries, a hot dog eating contest, and music from Devendra Banhart, Chong the Nomad, Sol, and i///u. Tickets to this 21-plus event are $35 (plus fees...) and you get five drink tickets along with admission. And because you can’t drive dusted, designated driver tickets are $5. Tickets and more info here.
Spice Waala does burgers now?
Sort of! This June the Indian street food/soft serve place is doing a series of limited-edition non-beef burgers. If you’re learning about this now you missed out on the first week (sorry) but next Wednesday, June 14, the lamb kebab burger will be offered at both the Capitol Hill and Ballard locations. On June 21 it’ll be a burger version of vada pav, a popular fast food in Mumbai consisting of a fried potato in chickpea flower. On June 28 it’ll be a fish burger.
Hello Em does dumplings now?
Not really! But amusingly-named pop-up Big Dumpling Energy (normally inside Capitol Hill bar Corvus and Co.) is going to be at the Vietnamese coffee shop (part-owned by Yenvy Pham of Pho Bac fame) this Sunday, June 11, from 11:30 a.m. until sellout. BDE will be doing its usual meat dumplings, vegan dumplings, and an at-this-pop-up-only lemongrass beef flavor.