Magnolia Dive

The Gim Wah sticks out like Rob McKenna at the Cuff.

If the Gim Wah were located in, say, Greenwood, it would blend in like a Subaru on Ravenna Boulevard. But because the Gim Wah is in the gilded isle (not really, but close enough) of Magnolia, it sticks out like Rob McKenna at the Cuff. The Gim Wah is a dark Chinese dive that serves standard, unspectacular food. And by dark we mean darkā€”the lights are kept dim if they're left on at all, and the lounge's shutters are perpetually shut. Sunny and 80 degrees outside feels exactly like 38 and hailing inside. If nothing else, the Gim Wah won't let its patrons get too high or low on life, unless they avail themselves of the bar's stiffer-than-a-12-year-old-ogling-a-Minka-Kelly-spread-in-Maxim "mixed" drinks. From there, it's anyone's guess. Magnolia may be the Mercer Island of Seattle, but on its northeastern bluff, rising above Fisherman's Terminal, resides a community of apartment dwellers that's more Deadliest Catch than Knots Landing. These folks provide the Gim Wah's sturdiest client base, even though the lounge is located on the other side of the peninsula. The Gim Wah serves Chinese food of the sort your grandparents would appreciate, but it's their BLT that's drawn raves from Bottomfeeder faithful. Having sampled it, we're not entirely certain why. Unless there's concentrated khat in that iceberg lettuce, it's merely a serviceable BLT. But in this neighborhood, merely serviceable stands out.

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