I have been dreaming of Revel for a long, long time. I read about it in my usual pre-move restaurant lurk session; I read about it almost every day in my perusing of all things Seattle food while being an intern. Best Restaurant, Best New Restaurant, Best Dish. I wanted it. Dumplings, rice bowls, noodles, savory pancakes, KIMCHI. Yes. I needed it. I finally had it. Genia (my foodie sidekick) very sweetly took me out for a night-before-birthday dinner. (Food is the best gift.) Too scared of the icy hills to drive, we bus-trekked from our respective neighborhoods through the snowy “wonderland” that is slush-and-ice-plagued Seattle all the way to Fremont to get ourselves some Korean fusion.

First off: the corned lamb salad, which I never would have normally ordered (especially when there’s salad nicoise up for grabs…) but I saw about ten go out while I read the menu, and they looked dang good. Leftover steak salad’s swanky cousin. Mizuna, see-through thin radishes, falling-apart-tender salty corned lamb, and really really spicy hot dressing. By really spicy hot I mean straight chopped little green chilies hot. By really hot I mean G had to ask for a glass of milk hot. By really hot I mean my Sriracha-loving self was feeling the burn hot. Hot. (But in a good way.)

Then the shrimp and bacon dumplings, which I had dreamed of most (shrimp dumplings are my number one favorite dim sum item) were sadly the least interesting. Just dumplings. Good, not great, Genia and I decided. But next up the mussel pancake, with fennel and coconut. Sounds funky, was delicious. Salty, crispy, sea-y. With the tangy pickled fennel, yeah.

Then the rice bowl: white rice topped with spicy kimchi-ed daikon, lemony greens, and heaven-sent short ribs. Genia and I agreed white rice is such a simple, delicious treat (since we force ourselves to love brown rice the rest of the time.) The daikon was cruncy, the short ribs were killer, the greens were a welcome change from the fried goodness. Topped with little spoonfuls of all the condiments–ginger soy sauce, spicy fish sauce, chili sauce, red bean paste.

Then, stuffed, we debated dessert, coming to the obvious conclusion: Yes. And soon a sweet little bell jar was in our lives: red velvet cheese cake, made pink and earthy with beets, nestled in a crumbly walnut crust. “Really too full for dessert” thoughts faded away quickly. Sweetness. I am developing a terrible sweet tooth. Last weekend I had a cinnamon roll and a waffle for brunch. I cannot stop buying Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I walk by the Pike Place muffin guy every morning on the way to work and just “have” to buy a muffin. And to top off all this sweetness in my world, Genia gave me a packet of dark chocolate Tim Tams, sweet sweet Aussie gold. And just a little more sweetness, my sweet new roommate Laura baked me a carrot cake birthday cake, topped with almond flowers. Sweetness abounds.

Since Seattle has pretty much stopped functioning with the snow, I was misled by bus schedules and after dinner I found myself waiting for a bus that would never come. So I tromped on home, over the river and through the woods, up a lot of hills and through a lot of slush puddles, thankful for my Idahoan blood. The walk was sweet in its own way–there’s that weird lovely pink snow-glow outside and everyone has their makeshift sleds out, careening down the closed streets. And pretty train track shadows:

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