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A Hit and a Miss


Last week a couple friends and I pointed our car southwest and took a little after work excursion to West Seattle.  Our goal was to try a couple of new (to us) restaurants, eating a few light bites at each in sort of a power appraisal night. 
Our first stop of the night (after the Bakery Nouveau incident) was The Bohemian.  It’s located on California but north of the Junction in a quiet neighborhood.  The interior is softly lit, furnishings are a little sparse in a clean sort of way and there’s a soft buzz from those already sitting at tables or at the bar.  We snagged one of the last open tables and settled in to sample. 

The three of us ordered a raclette that served one to two and what they call their "cast-iron trio", warmed olives, nuts and roasted garlic.  When the raclette arrived we were a little surprised at how small it seemed.  Our ideas about that changed as we started spreading the ooey-gooey, cheese-covered, pan-seared mushrooms, sweet corn, bacon & butternut squash on the variety of breads that came along with it.  So utterly rich and decadent that the three of us could not finish that "small" cast-iron pan of wonderful fall flavor.  The accompanying trio of bites was also tasty and fun but I’d probably only order it again if it was the only thing I was ordering or if I was with a large group.  The warmed snacks were good but it just seems better suited to a starter for a larger group or a mid-afternoon snack for two. 
Our next stop was Mission, a supposed tapas restaurant farther north on California and very near the Admiral Theater. 

This place was really welcoming with it’s terracotta walls, little white lights and funky window displays.  We chose a table up on the second level balcony which overlooks the bar on the floor below.  The bar is the central focus of the room with shelves extending up fifteen feet or so, TV screens playing black and white movies with subtitles, and colorful light shades.  The booths on the first floor are cozy and private, the tables on the balcony let you take it all in and spy on the activity below. 
However, the food is pretty mediocre.  Although they call them tapas the menu is really pretty much the same thing you’d find in any run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant.  Now, it is possible that we just happened to pick the three menu items that didn’t do the place justice but my guess is all of the menu is on par with what we had.  None of it was bad and there were interesting twists (fried plantain served with the guacamole) but the taste was very so-so.  The one dish that had anything going for it was the ceviche which seemed very fresh. 
I think the focus here is probably more on the drinking, which we were doing only in a nominal way, than on the food.
The Bohemian is worth making a trip to West Seattle for a tasty dinner with friends.  I’m really interested in trying more of the menu, although it would be hard to go in there and resist the raclette!  
Mission would be a great place to meet for a drink or two and maybe have a plate of nachos to snack on but it wouldn’t be a dinner destination for me.  Maybe a place to stop before or after a movie at the Admiral. 

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