Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hi Life

Some friends and I recently went to eat at Hi Life, a restaurant located in the old Ballard firehouse. The ambiance was neat: spacious and rustic but clean, and it was possible to imagine the building's earlier life. It was a little bit classier than we had expected, but the food looked good and there were plenty of vegetarian options, so we stayed.

The menu changes frequently, and I ordered small items to make a meal. I ordered a slice of beet sweet potato tarte, and a plate of broccolini.

The tarte had some wonderful ingredients, but wasn't the most logical preparation. On top of the crust was a layer of mashed sweet potato, and on top of that were slices of beets. The mashed sweet potato atop the crust provided a confusing texture that made it feel like the crust was uncooked. The slice of tart was sitting in a pool of tasty red pepper aioli and a small pile of dressed mixed greens. All of the flavours were good, and the presentation was pleasing, but the situation with the textures was weird enough that I wouldn't order it again.
The plate of broccolini exceeded my expectations in terms of quantity, and it came (perhaps slightly undercooked for so much broccolini stem) seasoned with one of my favorite ways to season broccoli: garlic and red pepper flakes.

The two others eating vegetarian ordered various ravioli. It appear that the Hi Life has a rotating and changing fleet of vegetarian ravioli. The birthday boy ordered a plate of some sort of cheese ravioli that came covered in a light tomato and pumpkin seed sauce. He had no complaints and was particularly surprised and pleased at the pumpkin seeds.
The other vegetarian ordered the fried goat cheese ravioli. She had no problem eating them, but said that give the particular details ("fried" "goat cheese" "ravioli") she was expecting them to be some level of sublime that they just weren't.
Overall I'd say the Hi Life is a good option for a north end fancyish dinner for a combination of omnivores and vegetarians because everybody will find something interesting and satisfying. I didn't find the food to be stellar enough to want to go back by myself, but it is always good to have an arsenal of places that are reasonable for both types of eaters.

They do have a really good looking Happy Hour (5-6:30, M-F, and 10-close every night) with deals like $3 woodfired pizzas. I would definitely be interested in checking this out, especially because the wood fired pizza oven was underutilized by our group on our particular night, but it looks like the sort of oven that would crank out really good pizza.

Thanks J for the pictures, and Happy Birthday C!

Hi Life
(206) 784-7272
5425 Russell Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Hi-Life on Urbanspoon

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