Hot Dish

Paris, Japan Chez Shea may be having an identity crisis, but trying new things is often worth the risk. At the outset, it wanted to be a Northwest restaurant, but the kitchen's Francophile tendencies earned it a reputation as a French eatery. Then, in March, Koichiro Ikawa and his wife left Tokyo to became the proud owners of the establishment. They latched onto its French identity and fused it with Japanese influences, also adding a new array of seafood to the menu. Now Ikawa is letting diners test-drive Chez Shea's new cuisine with a $65 tasting menu that includes Malpeque oysters with ginger, crab salad with chile vinaigrette (yes, Latin America's in the mix, too), wild Oregon troll salmon, and loin of lamb. Sworn to be Wild A groundbreaking study published in the Jan. 9 issue of Science magazine found that not all salmon is the healthy wonder food it's widely considered to be. After testing 700 wild and farmed salmon from eight major production regions, the researchers found that because of their high-fat diet, farm-raised salmon contains 10 times more toxins (including PCBs and dioxins) than wild varieties. The study also warns that eating more than one serving (8 ounces) of farmed salmon a month increases cancer, neurological, and immune-system risks. Fortunately, Seattle's premier sushi bars make at least a portion of their rolls with wild salmon. Saito's, Nishino, and Chiso wrap rice and nori around wild sockeye, and Chiso also offers wild white king salmon. Meanwhile, Oregon troll-caught salmon is the standard wild option at Mashiko. Shiro's offers both wild and farmed varieties, and all the restaurants use farm-raised salmon in some of their rolls. Dylan and Grillin' No, Seattle's Jim Page is not that guy who used to be in Led Zeppelin, but we bet he gets that a lot. The local street singer has, however, been likened on more than one occasion to folk-rock legend Bob Dylan. With a simple protest song, Page convinced the City Council in 1974 to repeal the requirement that street musicians must obtain a permit to perform; this week, he debuts material off his new album, Seattle Songs, at Fremont's Swingside Café (4212 Fremont Ave N., 206-633-4057). The show, which takes place on Sunday, Aug. 15, is the musical dessert course following a 5 p.m. barbecue hosted by Swingside chef Brad Inserra. For a mere $10, you can grub 'n' groove at a small outdoor amphitheater behind the cafe. But does the new Page album evoke Dylan's influential rasp and radicalism? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the BBQ smoke. Moo-Letdown? Cows produce the cheese that adorns our tuna melts, the ice cream we enjoy on summer afternoons, and the milk that dampens our cereal. Now, thanks to the marketing maestros at Dairy Queen International, our bovine friends have one more gift to give us: the gift of free coffee-flavored frozen beverages. To promote their new "MooLatté" drink, the company is offering a free serving of the stuff to every man, woman, and child who approaches a Dairy Queen franchise from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 24, with a cow in tow. But has the company planned a suitable reward for the cows? According to DQ Director of Communications Dean Peters, "If the owners would like to share the MooLatté with the cow, that's certainly up to them. But we've made no provisions for the cow." A simple case of corporate belt tightening, or a sinister example of structural speciesism? Interested Seattleites should rustle up a bovine sidekick and head to the White Center DQ (10256 16th Ave. S.W.) or any of nine other area locations. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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