November 2016 Bar Bulletin
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November 2016 Bar Bulletin

A 1L’s Guide to Comfort Food


As a new iteration of 1Ls embarks on an adventure of case briefing, outlining and unavoidable feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy, this guide hopes to provide a source of comfort. In times of stress, some seek comfort in loved ones, exercise or rest. Others look to another beau — the ever-
consistent and reliable food.

The key for curing a 1L’s first cold call is the embrace of warm, hearty soup. For this, we ventured to Duke’s Chowder House (7850 Green Lake Drive N.; 283-8422; Located in the Green Lake neighborhood, Duke’s is a great place to grab a beer and a hot meal after exploring the lake. Inside, the restaurant is warm and homey with wooden booths and friendly staff. Outside, the patio offers a calming view of the lake.

Duke’s features a freshly baked sourdough bread bowl and an award-winning New England-style clam chowder. With just a few minutes of the bread bowl and chowder melding into one another, we found ourselves shamelessly ripping up its perimeter with no regrets. For balance, we accompanied the chowder with the “‘Un’ Chopped Seafood Salad,” which greeted us with wild Alaskan scallops and wild Mexican prawns — a tasty and balanced combination.

If you’re looking for something equally warm and toasty, but with a kick, look no farther than Everest Kitchen in Lake Forest Park (7171 Bothell Way NE A-016, Lake Forest Park; 440-0321;, which features delicious Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian fare.

Some of our favorites include the crispy fried samosas, creamy mulligatawny soup and Nepalese goat curry. Less adventurous eaters will appreciate their favorite Indian dishes, like chicken tikka masala, blackened tandoori offerings, and spicy curries. The final selling point is two words: naan bread. While this hidden gem may be out of the way for some, attorneys on the north end should head to Everest Kitchen to satisfy their exotic comfort-food cravings.

Comfort food in law school gets us thinking late night, so we checked out the late-night happy hour (10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.) at Ba Bar(550 12th Ave.; 328-2030; Located across the street from one of Seattle U’s athletic fields and seemingly surrounded by student housing, Ba Bar serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining. It is open until 2 a.m. on weekdays and Sundays, and until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a great option for a late study break.

To honor a student budget, we stuck to the late-night happy hour menu, trying the bah nahm — rice tamales with locally sourced pork wrapped in banana leaves; definite comfort-food material. At the bartender’s suggestion, we tried the chicken wings which were served piping hot and were extremely moist and meaty.

Although not on the late-night happy hour menu, the phö would also qualify for a comfort-food meal, and Ba Bar offers a Hanoi-style phö with a spicier kick. We stuck to the happy hour menu for drinks and had an old fashioned with Rittenhouse and flamed star anise, but if one explores the regular bar menu there are a lot of interesting craft cocktails to explore. One bartender expressed a preference for the “Daybreak Fog,” a gin and orange juice-based mix with Campari and Market Spice Cocchi Torino — we will return to try that one. 

Ba Bar has a fun atmosphere, with Bruce Lee movies running in the bar. But, be warned, Ba Bar does not take reservations and there is often a wait, even for the bar and even late at night. But don’t be dissuaded; the street food goodness is certainly worth the wait.

Upper Fremont is the place for hip diners looking for comfort food. After a long day of studying, a 1L could not object to the fare at Ha! (4256 Fremont Ave. N.; 588-1169; http://ha
). According to its website, Ha! serves “[t]he kind of food that makes you want to un-button your pants and take a nap.” After our Tuesday night dinner, we must agree with that assessment.

Ha!’s menu includes common comfort foods, ranging from tomato soup to nachos to pot pie. We tried the enchilada and mac and cheese. The enchilada featured several sides, including tomato slices, salad, rice and beans. The enchilada was delicious; the rice, unfortunately, was less flavorful. The beans featured the word “Ha!” written with sour cream, which was a fun addition to the meal.

The mac and cheese had a melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that few restaurants can match. It was incredibly cheesy and filling. Ha! serves food, but it is also a bar. Dimmed lights and dark, colorful walls provide a comfortable atmosphere, which pairs well with the comfort food.

Based on a list of daily specials from the website, we look forward to returning on a Sunday for “Southern Fried Sunday,” when Ha! will serve fried chicken, mashed potatoes and a cheddar jalapeno biscuit. While the food at Ha! is perfect after a long day of studying, its options hover slightly over the 1L’s preferred meal price of $7 or less.

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