Let’s say you have a friend who constantly refers to herself as a “creative,” and she invites you to a hip art gallery for a show. You reluctantly agree, but it better be worth it, because you could have planted it on the couch and re-watched Stranger Things for the sixth time and had a bottle of wine for dinner. But then you show up and there’s an open kitchen cooking incredibly good Korean food amidst the quirky paintings and pretty people. Suddenly, that weird clairvoyant girl with the Eggos can wait. Welcome to Revel.
Revel gets plenty of attention, and at first we thought maybe it was because Fremont isn’t exactly the most celebrated restaurant neighborhood of Seattle, and it’s nice to have something different around. But Revel is so much more than that. It has all of the hopped-up energy of a party at an acquaintance’s girlfriend’s brother’s artist loft, but with people who know exactly what they’re doing in the kitchen.
Revel serves creative spins on Korean food (sometimes with a Spanish or Indian dish thrown into the mix) that is equal parts interesting and approachable.There could be a short rib daikon rice bowl, potatas bravas dumplings, and a green curry with paneer on the same table (and it all actually works together, unlike the time you played takeout roulette with your crew). You can kick it here for a casual first date, or a weeknight group dinner, or a solo meal, which makes Revel one of our favorite situational chameleons.
Plus, just like your hypothetical artsy friend, Revel is really cool. The warehouse/studio vibes are excellent, and when it’s warm the patio involves a firepit, string lights, and a special grill menu. Or sit at the bar and you’ll get box seats for watching the cooks in action as they flip your kimchi pancakes and finish your plates like garnish wizards. True to its name, revel is a place where you’ll pretty much always be down to party.
At the start of the meal you’ll get a little caddy with four sauces: a quite spicy fish sauce, a chili sauce with a kick similar to sriracha, a ginger soy sauce, and a fermented bean paste. They’ll come into play later. Use them well.
A solid starter of vegetables to kick things off: Celery, Asian pear, purple potato, greens, and a spicy peanut vinaigrette. If we didn’t eat it, we wouldn’t be upset about it. Your need to order this depends on whether the idea of a bougie potato salad appeals to you.
This thing is great. One order could be split between a few people, and you probably won’t need any sauces since it contains just enough salt to massacre a couple of slugs (which is perfect). Regardless, this is the Korean version of the best latke ever. Except it’s definitely not kosher, so don’t tell your bubbie.
Behold: the dumplings you’ll want to forfeit your lease to live inside of. There’s a braised beef situation on the inside, a perfectly crunchy seared dough, and a pile of pickled shallot and scallion on top. Get a bite with everything and it’ll dull the sadness that comes with the reality that you couldn’t logistically get your IKEA Hasselvika bed frame inside a dumpling anyway, which is a shame since you spent 36 hours building it (and you still did it wrong).
This entree is a choose-your-own-adventure. There are homemade green noodles, nettle, braised radish, and insanely tender chicken in a tasty broth. The flavors are pretty neutral by themselves, so go nuts with the four different sauces.
“Motherload” is a wild understatement here. Miso caramel brownie tart, pretzel crust, toasted marshmallow, gochujang ganache, and fried chocolate. It’s sweet, salty, and spicy, and you get to watch the cooks flare up the marshmallow with a blowtorch. If it wasn’t already clear - you need this.