All That Cheese

We always knew foodies and music geeks were cut from the same cloth, and now we have proof. The crew at the 5 Spot must be pretty familiar with the Beastie Boys' recent album To the Five Boroughs—or at least tracks like "Shazam," wherein rapper MCA states his order, and a little more: "I'd like a lettuce, tomato, and Muenster on rye/All this cheese is gonna make me cry/ Gorgonzola, provolone/Don't get me started on this microphone." When a posse of six showed up at Chow Food's Queen Anne outpost after their show at KeyArena on Sunday, Sept. 19, and gave the hostess their name, they were quickly escorted to a table in the semiprivate back room where they were promptly served a cheese plate, courtesy of the in-the-know staff. Presumably, all that cheese—provolone, feta, blue, and white cheddar—didn't actually make anybody cry. A Century of Sushi Though Seattle is often looked upon by East Coasters as a young, brash city—a rowdy, experimental teenager to New York and Boston's genteel adults—our 150-year-old outpost has created many an enduring institution. Take Maneki Restaurant, for example. Housed in a building that was constructed at the turn of the 20th century by recently immigrated Japanese carpenters, Chinatown mainstay Maneki has been serving sushi, fried oysters, gyoza, and all manner of squid at its current location since 1946, and in general for about 100 years. On Sunday, Oct. 3, at 5:30 p.m., owner Jeanne Nakayama—whose husband, Kozo, bought and remodeled the restaurant a decade ago—is hosting a centennial celebration for regulars and various pillars of the local Japanese community. "If you consider yourself a regular, come by!" says Nakayama; if you do, expect a blessing led by a reverend from the Seattle Buddhist Church and plenty of Japanese finger food to munch. While you're there, you might overhear stories about celebrities who've dropped in over the years: Takeo Miki washed dishes at Maneki before going on to become prime minister of Japan, and various prominent Japanese athletes, musicians, and military heroes have eaten at the restaurant. Spanning a century during which Japanese cuisine in America went from obscurity to phenomenon status, Maneki has been crucial in popularizing sea urchin in Seattle and remains a cornerstone of local Asian culture. For the Health of It Dine, drink, dress in pink, and think (about breast cancer) during the first two weeks of October at Lombardi's. Owner Diane Symms, a breast cancer survivor, wants to help others fight the disease by launching a new hormone-free menu during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a way to thank the staff at Northwest Hospital's Seattle Breast Cancer Center, Symms will donate $3 from each sale of pan-seared organic chicken with pomegranate demi-glace. She'll also donate $1 from each sale of a glass of 2002 Montevina Nebbiolo rosa wine, and $5 from each bottle sold. And in case you're nuts about the chicken, recipe cards will be available for a minimum donation of $2. Stop in, enjoy the hormone-free food, and support a good cause. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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