Last week, CHS marked the return of the Loxsmith Saturday bagel popups to E Olive Way’s Montana bar — and we couldn’t help but note the empty walk-up counter next door.
The space left empty by the February exit of Tortas Condesa can’t be a new home for Loxsmith, though. With Monica Dimas now graduated from the walk-up space, the counter will become the launchpad for the next should be famous Seattle food and drink concept to put the popular walk-up to work.
Yalla, grown by chef Taylor Cheney into a popular and long-running Arabic cuisine pop-up, will settle into the E Olive Way counter space next to Montana later this month.
Seattle Met reports:
Cheney, a Seattle Met’s Next Hot Chef of 2014, has designed a daily rotating menu to enchant customers with Arabic flavors and prime their stomachs for a night of drinking—this is Capitol Hill, after all. Wrap options include combinations of rich labneh with bright, herby za’atar or spinach doused in olive oil with citrusy sumac and caramelized onion. For carnivores, there’s traditionally prepared meats, like hawashi, flavorful Egyptian-style lamb or beef grilled in oil, and musakhan, a traditional Palestinian dish of chicken cooked with sumac-melted onions.
Yalla is built around wraps made with saj bread.
“I came up with this concept for the space because it is so small and you have to be a little creative,” Cheney tells CHS. “A saj is a small round hot iron that you can cook Arabic flatbreads on that doesn’t require a wood fired oven per se, you can use similar toppings as you would on the traditional (manaeesh) like zaatar, labneh, Ackawi cheese and so on, meat etc.”
Cheney says you can also expect hot and cold mezzes “that will pair deliciously with the sandwiches.”
“It’s all great drinking food,” she writes. “I love that you can get a Moscow mule with these at Montana because that ginger flavor of the ginger beer pairs really well with this cuisine. I am stoked!”
Cheney tells CHS she’s also going to have a great commute. She lives in the neighborhood and and feels fortunate to become part of the area’s nightlife scene.
“This spot is particularly a great way for someone to be able to test out a concept that they are interested in growing in the future,” Cheney says. “For now, Yalla has humble aspirations of providing the neighborhood with traditionally made delicious Arabic food but in the future I would be interested in growing it… for now though I will be at the walkup.”
For Dimas, meanwhile, the shuffling and focusing around Westman’s Bagels, Sunset Fried Chicken, and Lil Neon Tacos continues with its Neon Taco counter in Nacho Borracho also shuttering. There’s no word yet on what might replace it inside the Broadway bar.
Yalla is set to open at 1510 E Olive Way later this month. You can learn more from @yallaseattle on Instagram.
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