So we went walking around looking for a place to eat. I got into a ridiculous mode that I enter when I am especially hungry that makes me want to keep going and see "what else" is out there in restaurant world. After a lot of walking around, and a pitstop at the Dry Soda tasting room, we came across TIG Asian Tapas Bar.
The menu pasted in the window at TIG devoted a large section to describing the (high) quality of their tofu, and we decided immediately to go in. It felt a little bit fancy, and had some cool details inside included: bathrooms with one way glass separating them from the rest of the restaurant and waterfall sinks with joystick triggers. But it couldn't get too fancy with windows and doors facing an often unappetizing street scene in Pioneer Square, and the prices were surprisingly reasonable. The menu was broken into sections based upon price, starting at $2, and ranging to $12.
We'd assumed tapas portions, and ordered 2 items a piece. First to come was a big bowl of bibim noodles. They were cold, skinny noodles in a spicy red sauce with bits of cabbage and other veggies. They tasted truly vegetarian.
Next came the Tofu with kimchee. It was another cold, surprisingly large portion of sliced soft tofu covered in kimchee and spicy red vinegary sauce. The kimchee exploded in a sour almost citrusy burst with every bite, and was quite delicious. Unfortunately, the occasional piece had a pretty seriously fishy flavour, and I became weary and stopped eating it.
Next we ate bean curd paste soup, which was essentially a spicy, hearty miso broth with hot cubes of soft tofu, potato chunks, cabbage, and other vegetables. It also tasted vegetarian.
And last came the almost comically huge plate of kimchee pancakes. As with all of the portions so far, it wildly exceeded our expectations. It was pretty tasty too... kimchee bound by some sort of bready binder and deep fried. It came with a soy dipping sauce. It is hard to go wrong with these particular ingredients, especially deep fried. I did taste some of the fishy flavour in the kimchee though, and ate more sparingly once I detected that.
I didn't have the chance to talk to our waiter about what was truly vegetarian, as he was entirely unfamiliar with the menu and disinterested in checking with anybody who knew. For example:
Me: What is a "tig burrito"?
Him: I don't know
But it was a fun evening, and I enjoyed getting to partake in a little vegetarian Korean food, even if it wasn't completely smooth sailing. My friend had some familiarity with authentic Korean cooking, and his impression was that it wasn't exactly authentic here, but the portions were impressive and it was good enough.
Thanks K for the pictures!
TIG Asian Tapas Bar614 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104