Puget Sound Bite: Pestle Rock

Today's featured restaurant is a Thai spot, specializing in Northern Thai food (meaning you won't find any pad thai on this menu).  Fret not, PR offers many other dishes that will have you forgetting all about your standard Thai order.  Pestle Rock is located on the main drag in Ballard and the space is cozy and intimate.  The best part of Pestle Rock is the spice.  All too often, I am disappointed by restaurants claiming 5-star spice dishes only for them to barely contain a chili pepper.  Pestle Rock doesn't dumb down the spice factor, so if a dish has 3 stars next to it on the menu (that's as high as their scale goes), you'd better believe it will make you reach for your water.  Pestle Rock's prices run higher than your average Thai joint but their effort to use quality meat and seafood pays off.  You can't go wrong with the daily specials- one of my favorites featured Thai eggplant and green peppercorns. Depending on who your server is, you might have difficulty communicating so be sure you clearly order your food.  I recommend saving room for dessert as their sweet pan-fried roti is the perfect way to finish off a spicy meal. 

Pestle Rock is located at 2305 NW Market St. in Seattle
Pestle Rock Isan Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon


Koço Restaurant in Istanbul

After a transatlantic flight, a five hour layover in Paris, and the flight to Istanbul, I arrived in Turkey bleary-eyed but excited.  J. picked me up from the Havatas bus stop in downtown Istanbul and we quickly dropped off my things at her apartment before heading out for a much-needed dinner.  We took the ferry to the "Asian" side and had a lovely meze and seafood spread at Koço on the rooftop terrance.  My favorite appetizer was the eggplant dip- its bright green hue was unlike any other eggplant dip I've had.  Koco specializes in fresh fish and the simply cooked sea bass that we ordered was perfection.

The friendly people at Koço also brought out a plate of fresh fruit to finish off our meal.
Don't leave the restaurant without catching a peak at the 50+ year old Orthodox Greek shrine under the restaurant.  It was hidden corners like this that made me fall in love with the city.

Koço is located in the Moda district of Istanbul: Moda Caddesi No.265, Kadıköy