Saturday, March 25, 2017

Happenin’ Happy Hour: BOKA Restaurant and Bar

Hotel bars often get a bad reputation for dingy lighting, disappointing menus, and dirty deeds best left undone. BOKA Restaurant + Bar however, which is part of Hotel 1000 on the corner of 1st and Madison in Seattle’s downtown core, bucks that trend offering its diners a sophisticated, and yet accessible, happy hour seven days a week.

Mingling infusions made by legendary bartender Mi Suk Ahn. Photo credit: Clane Gessel

Must Have Eats: BOKA’S menu boasts a dizzying collection of old standards (Jalapeño Poppers, $6 and Mac & Cheese, $4) balanced out with more stylish and chic counterparts (think Ahi Tuna Poke, $9 and Krispy Kale, $4), mirroring the variety in clientele which at any moment can range from tuxedos to tattoos and back again. Perhaps the single best standout on the menu is the Vietnamese Style Short Ribs in a Ginger-Star Anise Glaze, topped with Scallions. At $6 a plate for two large and impressively succulent short ribs, when paired with a bottle of SOZO “Balance” (an outstanding Rhone Blend from the Yakima Valley that is dreamily half off on Monday making it an absolute steal at ~$25 per bottle) guests could quickly be enjoying a gourmet dinner, for a fraction of the price.

Vietnamese Style Short Ribs in a Ginger-Star Anise Glaze, topped with Scallions. Photo Credit: Annie Laurie Malarkey

Must Have Drinks: The inspiration behind the drinks at BOKA is bartending legend Mi Suk Ahn, who has had a hand in multiple Seattle restaurant icons including, Alibi Room, Marché, and Brasa, and is particularly focused on creating drinks that enhance, rather than overpower the flavors in the food. Known for her infusions that draw on local and seasonal flavors, such as thyme gin or rosemary scotch, at any time she has multiple barrels mingling and mixing, waiting to enchant guests with worryingly drinkable delights such as The Rum Diary, a hibiscus infused rum, paired with fresh muddled lime, and simple syrup, topped with a splash of soda water ($7 if it’s heralded as the specialty cocktail of the day, $10 otherwise). For those looking for something a little lower octane, better than average house wines are offered at $5 a glass and can be intelligently paired with recommended bites by BOKA’s knowledgeable and genuinely friendly staff.

Happy Times: Daily from 2:30p – 6p and 9:30p to close. “Close” is defined as anywhere between 11:30p and 2a depending on the day of the week.

The Inside Scoop: Happy Hour is available not only in the bar, but at any table in the restaurant during the allotted time. The even better part? They take reservations and pride themselves on “trying to say yes whenever possible”, so sneak out of the office early with 10 of your favorite co-workers and enjoy arriving in style to a table, and a cocktail, prepared just for you.

BOKA Restaurant + Bar | 1010 First Ave, Seattle| (206) 357-9000

About Erina Malarkey

Erina is a born and raised East Coast gal and the author of the popular blog, Shut Up & Cook. Known for capturing the life, trials, tribulations, and adventures of the every woman in the kitchen, she has brought to life the notion of the Attainable Gourmet, through her honest, raw, and unapologetic writing style. A shameless foodie by night and by day, she loves nothing more than an epic meal shared over many hours with good company. When not whipping up culinary delights in her Columbia City kitchen she can be found horseback riding, running with her mastiff or pitbull, or singlehandedly reviving JetBlue stock with her frequent trips back to Boston. Find Erina on Twitter at @ShutUpNCook.
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