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  • Experience the New Japanese Meat House Kokkaku 10.04.17

    You may recognize the names Julie Shizukuishi and Rudy Velasquez; the two Seattle restaurant veterans that have worked behind the scenes at some of Seattle’s most established eateries. But now, the power duo has teamed up to open a Japanese-inspired meat house in Wallingford called Kokkaku. Kokkaku is Japanese for the skeleton that supports the body and its organs; the name hints at the whole-animal use at the restaurant and philosophy of “no waste,” where only the kokkaku remains after butchery. The two stealthily opened the neighborhood restaurant and have been pleasing guests ever since.

     

     

    Executive Chef Velasquez, a French-trained chef, is best known from the kitchens of Miller’s Guild, Le Grande Bistro Americain and Brunswick and Hunt. Shizukuishi, a.k.a. Boss Lady (okami in Japanese), worked as the general manager for Miller’s Guild, and has also managed local favorites Flying Fish and Campagne. She is also known as the infamous Sake Diva, having hosted many sake events in the area. The two met at Flying Fish and became fast friends. As their friendship blossomed, so did the concept for Kokkaku. In an effort to continue flushing out the idea, Shizukuishi started bringing Velasquez different types of foods, asking him to cook it, and he took an interest in the Japanese style of cooking, its approach and philosophy.

     

     

    “My friendship with Julie turned into an entirely new way of cooking for me,” Velasquez said, adding that he’s roamed far from his French training to house-make items such as tofu, tonkatsu, dashi, and more. “Japanese cooking is very rule-specific; I take some liberties, so Japanese-inspired cuisine is more accurate to describe what I’m doing at Kokkaku.”

     

     

    The 46-seat Wallingford Restaurant is truly a carnivore’s dream. The menu consists of mainly beef and pork butchery for now, but is likely to include beast butchery (wild game) in the future. Standouts include the Lan Roc Pork Cutlet Tonkatsu, Miso Braised Painted Hills Beef Rib Bone, Koji Pork and Kokkaku Style Fried Chicken (half or whole). Kokkaku is also innovating the tasting flight, by offering a unique steak by-the-ounce program, which allows customers to order beef flights, or just a taste of a given steak, including the much-coveted Wagyu. The entire menu is served family-style, reinforcing the Japanese custom of dining.

     

     

    With a wide range of cooking techniques, including hot pot and a dedication to using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients; Kokkaku is turning out delicious dishes, where the bold flavors of the ingredients, especially the meats, shine through. Here is a sample of their small plate offerings, some with unconventional twists:

     

    Cherry Kimchi, made with ancho chile

     

    Tableside Duck Fat Brioche

     

    Chicken Liver Mousse

     

    Mishima Reserve Wagyu Beef Tartare

     

    Braised Daikon Radish

     

    Ox Tail Potato Salad

     

     

    And for dessert, there’s Semifreddo Tofu Cheesecake and Bone Marrow Custard; delicious!

     

    And of course, Shizukusihi has taken charge of the restaurants sake collection, hand selecting each imported sake herself. Besides sake, Kokkaku also offers a range of cocktails, beers on tap and wine.

     

    Kokkaku is now open Wednesday through Monday, from 5p.m. to 10p.m. Grab your reservations online
    and enjoy the new Japanese-inspired meat house!

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  • Miller’s Guild in this month’s Food & Wine 02.04.14

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    This month’s Food & Wine is all about steakhouses – the meat-driven concepts that notable chefs are reinventing across the country! From big wines to bold cocktails, thoughtful side dishes and beef cuts that are raising eyebrows, Seattle’s own Miller’s Guild from Chef Jason Wilson graces the pages of the national magazine. Take a peek at this slideshow to see the 9 best new steakhouses in the country

    Vegetarians will settle into the pages nicely too, with recipes that shine a light on vegetable dishes, something often considered an afterthought from steakhouses of the past. Chef Jason gives us proof with his Grilled Radishes with Rosemary Brown Butter recipe.

    With Coon Striped Prawns, Quail, Lamb, and more on the menu, Miller’s Guild is more then a steakhouse – it’s a place for all to enjoy with the wood-fired cooking at dinner and weekend brunch (coming soon to weekday breakfast and lunch).

    Pick up your Food & Wine issue on newsstands now!

     

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