Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ama Ama = Yummy Yummy

Ama Ama is yummy yummy! It's an example of what chefs in the Pacific North West do best, seafood served succulent and fresh.

Although I had been meaning to go here for ages as I am a huge oyster lover, we ended up at Ama Ama randomly on a wet cold Sunday evening. The menu looked good with everything except a couple of things under 20 dollars and lots of small plates under 11.

Now I tend to worry about food quality when going to places that are trendy or have a theme because often they focus so much on the atmosphere, that the food is not given the same attention.

Ama Ama is that happy mix of style and substance. In appearance it's a visual love letter to European mid century modern. My wife remarked that it reminded her of her childhood vacations in the early 70's at ski lodges in the French Alps while I was delighted that they were playing my favorite Alfred Hitchcock/Cary Grant movie on the stylized wall of three display screens behind the long smart looking bar.

Our server was friendly without being pushy or annoying. We decided to order lots of little plates and skip the entrees as there were so many lovely seafood dishes.

We started with Mojo shrimp salad which had four perfectly grilled and seasoned prawns on a bed of frisee and watercress with citrus fruits. the bitterness of the frisee was a nice compliment to the spicy of the shrimp and the salad was crisp and tasty.

We then had the salt cod cakes which are made in-house and was served with a sweet coconut curry sauce and tomato cardamom sauce. The sauces and the use of lots of cod and not loads of fillers made these rise about most seafood cakes.

Next was a chef's selection of oysters. There were three kinds, all local and all exceedingly good. They were better than ones I've had at far more expensive places in the US. I could have had another dozen....but more food was to come.

Next was the Penn cove mussels. The rich broth with it's roasted tomatillo was as big a hit as the mussels and it was my wife's favorite meal. It came with frites and we got some horseradish aoli to go with them instead of horrid katsup.

The final dish served was a cold tofu dish with two pieces of firm tofu with a sweet pineapple tobiko relish. My wife who does not like sweet dishes for the most part disliked it but I found it to be a really interesting dish. It was almost like a seafood cheese cake in taste and texture with the tofu acting as a creamy base for the saltiness of the tobiko to mix with the sweet pineapple.

The bill with sparkling water and one soda came to around 57 dollars before tax and tip. I've had similar meals in London and San Francisco that would be between 75-100 dollars and this was totally worth it.

I really liked the food and the relaxed atmosphere and we plan to make the long trek to west Seattle to come back here on a regular basis.

Ama Ama
4752 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116