Seattle, WA – Local 360

Restaurant: Local 360
Cuisine: American/Eclectic/Pacific Northwest/Southwestern
Last visited: August 20, 2011
Location: Seattle, WA (Belltown/Downtown)
Address: 2234 1st Ave
Price Range: $20-30

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5-5 (based on items I tried)
Service: 4.5
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • Local favourite
  • Local & Sustainable
  • All ingredients sourced within 360 miles
  • Certified Organic
  • Seasonal menus
  • Reasonably priced
  • Great for sharing
  • Casual, but modern atmosphere
  • Wine/Cocktail bar
  • Daily breakfast 9am – 12pm
  • Daily lunch 12pm-5pm
  • Sun-Thurs dinner 5pm-10pm
  • Fri-Sat dinner 5pm-11pm

**Recommendations: Peach Salad, Specials, Fried Chicken, PB&J Bon Bons

Vancouver, I’m sorry, but I cheated on you… and it tasted really good. It was August! And I was traveling! So I had to! The word around town was that it was good, and I can’t even say I wasn’t thinking, because it was intentional. I just couldn’t resist the temptation, but I think you too will approve. However I think you’ll be happy to know that it did make my knees weak, but not in the way you can make my knees weak… a lot of it was deep fried, so don’t be too jealous, or does that just make you more jealous?

Yes, it’s that time of the season when everything is ripe for picking, but this time I picked another neighbourhood. You always encouraged me to dine local and to support our local farmers and producers, but on this occasion I supported them South of the border, in downtown Seattle.

We’re not the only ones producing sweet orchard fruit, golden corn kernels that pop in your mouth, and sustainable meats, so it’s only natural for me to explore my other options. And speaking of natural, I couldn’t have gone more natural then with Local 360. The late summer months is especially the time to be choosing these types of restaurants.

Local 360 Cafe & Bar even reminded me of so many restaurants in Vancouver, BC except more Southwestern in its offerings. It’s farm to table through and through and I guess you could call it a local favourite too. The relaxed and casual atmosphere was similar to something I would find in Gastown as well, except much more spacious with 2 level seating, a bar and a patio. It also reminded me of my recent visit to Tasty n Sons in Portland, Oregon.

The concept is simple and commendable. Eat local and sustainable. 90% of the ingredients are sourced within 360 miles of Seattle and the remaining 10% of ingredients, that can’t be found locally, are still from the closest Certified Organic resources. This “farm to table” concept isn’t really anything new, but it was nice to explore and experience the idea of “local” outside of my hometown.

Due to climate and various producers in general, even the same raw ingredients will taste differently depending on where they’re from and how they’re treated. Of course when in the hands of a chef it’s a whole new ball game, but every dish should always start with good quality ingredients, and Local 360 is full of them.

It’s open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, but the dinner menu was more creative than the others. I came for dinner and the menu featured small and large plates with a significant amount of vegetarian friendly items. However the non-vegetarian items just embraced meat to the full degree featuring butcher quality meats and a few exotic game options. The only thing missing was really just seafood, except for one dish featuring mussels, however since the menus are seasonal it may have been a one time thing.

I guess some may consider it another round of “gourmet comfort food” or Southwestern classics with a modern twist, but I would give it more credit than that. The food didn’t seem trendy, but creative, well thought out and executed with style. The dinner menu was based on familiar dishes, but the inspiration came from the ingredients which easily led the way. I would certainly come back to try more things and even check out their brunch and lunch menu, which sounded a bit more traditional and simple, but still eclectic.

I have to add a random note (it’s a pet peeve)… but just because food is local, it doesn’t mean it’s always healthy. Sure it may be organic, hormone free and grown with TLC, but what the chef does with it can be more unhealthy than a genetically modified product.

On the table:
**Peach Salad 5.5/6

  • Bacon, goat cheese, bourbon mustard vinaigrette $10
  • This was the healthiest my meal got.
  • I don’t order salads often, but this one sounded amazing and different.
  • It was a sweet and savoury salad and the peach and bacon combination reminded me of the classic apple and pork pairing.
  • I’m a fan of bacon and fruits and if you like this you should try my recipe for Maple Bourbon Apple Pie with a Bacon Pecan Crust.

  • It was house made, salty, crispy, yet jerky like bacon bits with juicy chunks of sweet peaches, and creamy fluffy goat’s cheese that wasn’t too pungent or gamey.
  • I couldn’t taste any apparent Bourbon or even much mustard in the vinaigrette, but it tasted like a citrus lemon olive oil and parsley dressing, but with more complexity.
  • The sweetness was natural from the peaches and the cheese was the creamy aspect that balanced the acidity from the dressing.
  • It was light, yet substantial and full of bright summery flavours and incredibly fresh ingredients.
  • It was the perfect salad and the only thing I wanted was some crunchy spiced pecans.

**Pork Cheek Hash (Special of the day) – 5.5/6

  • Pork cheek, sweet corn, chanterelles on toasted brioche $12
  • I loved all these ingredients and to see them come together for dinner was something I was all over.
  • The portion wasn’t big or very tiny, but the flavours were satisfying.
  • The whole fried egg thing for dinner is just becoming more and more popular, hence my “Tribute to the Egg Yolk Series”.

  • It was full of textures and the runny yolk from the fried egg just melted over the hash acting as a natural sauce that absorbed right into the crispy buttery brioche.
  • The brioche was crustless and it wasn’t obvious that it was a brioche, so I would have liked it cut a bit thicker.
  • It was tender melt in your mouth pieces of pork cheek that almost seemed like brisket meets Spam.
  • It actually reminded me of roast beef or corned beef and I’m used to pork cheek with more resistance, but this was still good!
  • The pork cheek was almost sweet and syrupy and coated with a salty soy sauce-like glaze with pan au jus and natural juices from the mushrooms.
  • The flavours reminded me of French onion soup with a bit of red wine reduction and it was a very buttery dish, but perhaps a bit salty at times.
  • The juicy mushrooms and crunchy fresh corn kernels were a fantastic touch to the “eggs and toast” and the absence of potato wasn’t missed one bit.

**Fried Chicken 6/6

  • A chicken roulade with bacon mousse over cheesy grits & braised collard greens, topped with a sunny-up egg $18
  • This is the must order item and the house favourite! This puts at A+ on gourmet comfort food with a twist!
  • As if Pine State Biscuits in Portland didn’t give me enough fried chicken already, I had to order it in Seattle too!
  • It’s not big, but it’s rich. It’s enough for a normal appetite.
  • This was a gourmet Southern style fried chicken plate, and again the fried egg was a great touch and ode to breakfast for dinner. (It actually reminded me of my Pork Cutlet from Tasty n Sons in Portland, OR too.)
  • The cheesy grits were rich, creamy and indulgent and it tasted like jalapeno cheddar cheese poppers melted into grits.
  • When I ate the grits together with the Panko crusted chicken, it really reminded me of jalapeno cheddar cheese poppers.
  • It was almost a bit Tex-Mex in style and the grits were made with I think mayo, pimento cheese, cheddar cheese and maybe even some goat’s cheese. There was a slight spice and heat, but it wasn’t spicy.
  • The egg yolk melted right into the grits and made it even more buttery.
  • The braised collard greens were the perfect side because they were very tangy and sharp with apple cider vinegar and I desperately needed them to cut the richness of the cheesy grits and fried chicken.
  • The only thing missing was a bit of sweetness. A touch of honey, diced apples, or raisins in the collard greens would have been fantastic! Or even just sweet corn or red bell peppers in the grits.

  • Now for the fried chicken!
  • The fried chicken was not a typical fried chicken.
  • It was executed as a roulade wrapped around bacon mousse and lightly breaded and fried in a crispy Panko batter.
  • The chicken was perfectly cooked and incredibly moist, juicy and almost soft.
  • For fried chicken it was actually quite light and not greasy or even as heavy as it sounds. Everything else made it heavy though.
  • The creamy centre of bacon mousse lightened the fried chicken even more and it gave it a nice textural contrast, but it wasn’t as fluffy or moussey as I had expected.
  • The bacon mousse was more sponge like and soft and similar to a lighter and more airy ham.
  • The mousse was infused with thyme or rosemary and it carried an herby scent that complemented the chicken well and made it more unique and dynamic.
  • The dish had a great savoury and tangy balance, and again the only thing missing was a sweetness.
  • I would no doubt order this again and highly recommend it as a must try.

**PB&J Bon Bons4/6

  • $4
  • This is one of their signature items, so it’s worth a try, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
  • They’re offered as a starter for $7 and they’re a bit bigger.
  • I recommend ordering them from the dessert menu, like I did, because you wouldn’t want these bigger, or really to start with.
  • This dessert has “Made for peanut butter lovers” all over it.
  • Calling them “bon bons” made it sound a bit more exciting than it actually was, but basically it was deep fried peanut butter balls.
  • They’re served warm and they’re incredibly rich and indulgent and one was more than enough.
  • As soon as I bit into the rather thick and crunchy Panko batter crust out oozed a thick, creamy, warm, smooth and salty semi-melted peanut butter.

  • It was filled with a lot of peanut butter and it all just coated the roof of your mouth, throat and teeth and it was super hard to swallow and even chew. (I know this all sounds kind of bad, but don’t think like that).
  • I just wish the peanut butter was more fluid and thinned out a bit.
  • The only sweet factor was the jam aspect which was a layer of freshly pureed local apricots under the peanut butter balls.
  • The apricot puree was stringy and bursting with fresh apricot flavour and it seemed naturally sweet and it helped contrast the salty peanut butter.
  • After biting into half of one I understood why it was served with a mini glass of milk. I was in desperate need of it!
  • I think it could have been homogenized milk, and it wasn’t ice cold. Ice cold skim milk would be better because it was so rich already.
  • You needed something to wash down the peanut butter which was coating everything in my mouth like glue, and the milk was the perfect solution!
  • These were very good, but I feel like they could have done so much more with them.
  • Follow Me Foodie Tasty Twist: These are actually super easy to make. Freeze balls of peanut butter, then coat them with a flour or panko batter and refreeze them. Deep fry them until golden brown before serving. My twist would be to dip them in a crushed peanut crumb batter and mix the peanut butter with fresh berry ice cream before freezing.

Apple Fritters3.5/6

  • With bacon-caramel, Parfait vanilla bean ice cream $9
  • As if I didn’t have enough deep fried goodness already. But I couldn’t resist the bacon in a dessert, especially when I just blogged about it here.
  • This would have been a 3/6, but because home made ice cream makes everything better, it was a 3.5/6. I love ice cream and any dessert with a hot and cold contrast.
  • The creamy ice cream is home made and it was bursting with vanilla bean seeds too, so I did like that.

  • These apple fritters seem to be missing apples and it was too sweet for me.
  • The fritters were almost like cakey mini donuts soaked in syrup and aggressively battered and fried until crunchy.
  • The inside did melt in my mouth and it was super creamy and soft since it was soaked with caramel, but also way too sweet.
  • I actually couldn’t taste the bacon or any smokiness or saltiness from the caramel or anywhere for that matter.
  • I didn’t know where the bacon was because the dark brown bits, that I had assumed was bacon, just tasted like extra fried batter.
  • It was topped with pieces of rock sugar which gave an added crunch and I really wish that was the crispy bacon instead. The dessert really didn’t need anymore sugar.
  • Overall I was hoping for more of an apple and bacon aspect.
  • Follow Me Foodie Tasty Twist: I’m biased, but if you like this idea, you should see my recipe for my Maple Bourbon Apple Pie with a Bacon and Pecan Crust.


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