Tom Douglas is at it again

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Jenise » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:36 am

Tom is widely considered the inventor of asian fusion in America for his iconic Wild Ginger restaurant in Seattle. But he has a lot of other interests, and it looks like all his talents have come to roost under one roof.

http://seattlemag.com/tanakasan-assembly-juice-and-coffee-new-details-tom-douglas-assembly-hall-via6
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 25795
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Mark Willstatter » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Jenise, I know Tom Douglas is associated with a fair-sized list of restaurants in the Seattle area but I wasn't aware Wild Ginger is on the list until now. I thought the founders of Wild Ginger still owned the place. I guess Tom Douglas must have been involved in the early days?
Mark Willstatter
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:20 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Hoke » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:02 pm

I'm with Mark----I was living in Seattle when Wild Ginger was started, by two other guys primarily. It was on Western Street originally, just down from Pike's.

Tom made his first big splash with the Black Dahlia. Duly deserved. Later came Etta's Place and others.
User avatar
Hoke
Achieving Wine Immortality
 
Posts: 10102
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:24 am

Jeepers, you guys are right! What a mistake, but it's a mistake I've been living with since forever. Bob and I used to be such fans, we'd fly down from Anchorage for medical services not available up north and go straight to Wild Ginger from the airport. We'd often do all seafood and enjoy it with a riesling, say, and then go back the following day for a bunch of curries and a bottle of zinfandel, like Rafanelli, that I'd never see in Alaska. That was at the original location. I had no idea at the time who owned it. But around the time the Dahlia Lounge opened, I thought I learned that Wild Ginger was also his and nothing, until now, refuted it. Thanks. :oops:

Here's a list of his current restaurants, from Wikipedia:

Dahlia Lounge
Etta's Seafood
Lola
Palace Kitchen
Seatown Seabar and Rotisserie
Serious Pie Virginia (Heart of downtown Seattle)
Serious Pie Westlake (South Lake Union)
Dahlia Workshop
Cuoco (Northern Italian Style restaurant)
Brave Horse Tavern (21 and older)
Tanaka San (Asian Inspired Cuisine
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 25795
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Hoke » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:23 pm

Wild Ginger---the original one---was worthy of all the adulation. The co-owners were fiercely devoted and faithful to their vision, and resisted all blandishments and sales and marketing attempts---everyone wanted to get in that place and get product showcased---to stay true. Awesome food. The equal to the later Slanted Door, or damn near (the original one of that too, I mean.)

Some of their regular dishes from the beginning are still in my list of best food experiences. They had a way with scallops that was truly extraordinary. Envelopes got pushed further later by other restaurants, but the original Wild Ginger was the one that really started it in Seattle and for much of the west coast.

Tom's early empire was in a whole different vein, and Tom's nature led him---drove him, really---to staying constantly busy working on new projects. He needed that constant buzz, I think, like most people need morning French Roast. Black Dahlia was great. Etta's Place, when it first started (named in honor of his daughter), was devoted to simple preps of seafood NW style, and did an excellent job. Palace Kitchen was...interesting...and an elevation, again, of fairly simple food well prepared and presented. But I haven't been in the Seattle scene for so long, I'm not able to keep up with what's going on, so I'm no judge of Tom's current line up of restaurants.

And Jenise, if you want a little bit of that same feeling of the original Wild Ginger, and a blush of the origianl Slanted Door, come to Portland and do Pok-Pok. We can split some Vietnamese chicken wings that may change your life. With some tasty drinking vinegars on the side.
User avatar
Hoke
Achieving Wine Immortality
 
Posts: 10102
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Jenise » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:20 am

I agree re the original Wild Ginger. I don't know that I ever loved a restaurant that much before or have loved any that much since. I never ordered a single dish that wasn't exceptional, and I had a special love going for a stir-fried Dungness (in the shell from the tank on the premesis) in burmese curry sauce (especially with a good Prum Spatlese). Wolfgang Puck's L.A. eatery Indochine was an obvious (and woefully inadequate) attempt to duplicate Wild Ginger's success. The current Wild Ginger, as you seem to agree, bears no resemblance to its parent. I've dined there a few times, and have yet to have any dish I'd deem 'exceptional'. I really only end up there when stuck downtown mid-day, as most of the town's better restaurants are only open for dinner service.

Of Tom's other restaurants, I've not been to the last three (Tankasan opened just a few weeks ago), but have been to all the others and the Palace Kitchen, for me, was easily the best. Had the best hamburger and fries there I've ever had in my life, after a starter of raw oysters and baby peaches pickled with black truffle, and washed it all down with a Vieux Donjon. Where else but the Pacific Northwest can you get a meal like that?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 25795
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Jenise » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:21 am

p.s. I've read about Pok Pok. It's a date!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 25795
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Tom Douglas is at it again

Postby Jon Peterson » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:35 pm

Jenise wrote:I agree re the original Wild Ginger. I don't know that I ever loved a restaurant that much before or have loved any that much since. I never ordered a single dish that wasn't exceptional...


I had the pleasure of going to Wild Ginger several years ago when I was asked to go out to a week long meeting on Court technology. I took a small group in the first part of the week and loved it so much that I went back, alone, and had an incredible meal! The staff must have thought I was a food critic having been there once with several folks then back by myself; fabulous food, great service and ambiance.
User avatar
Jon Peterson
The Court Winer
 
Posts: 2933
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: The Blue Crab State


Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 4 guests

cron