March 21

Gold Standard

A new bar and sidekick eatery are turning heads in SLU with Latin flavors.

Another lunch option has graced the streets of South Lake Union—Oro Kitchen quietly opened its doors a block west of Westlake at 227 Ninth Avenue North in late February. Does the neighborhood really need another lunch spot? According to Manu Alfau, the man behind Oro Kitchen and popular Manu’s Tacos and Manu’s Bodega, yes.

Alfau says the tiny spot has been quite busy serving the neighborhood’s office warriors for weekday lunch, with a bulk of the business being takeout orders of Latin American bowls and salads filled with Argentine grilled churrasco steak, chorizo sausage, Gold Nugs (yes, that’s right, chicken nuggets—these are fried chicken thigh pieces that are oh so juicy and covered with something called “crack sauce”), or grilled vegetables. Additional menu items include grab-and-go orders of Spanish omelets, Oro salad, ceviche, and a selection of Latin sodas.

While Alfau’s menus are enough to generate plenty of interest in an already buzzy food neighborhood, the addition of Gold Bar, a sibling watering hole to Oro Kitchen that opened a month earlier in the adjacent space, could up SLU’s after-hours cachet. Gold Bar oozes Mid-Century Modern charm with its dark interiors and gold-plated details and is sure to be a hit with evening cocktail seekers. The dual spaces are an industry collaboration between restaurant pros Alfau and Laara Garcia (Anchovies and Olives, Zig Zag, Lecosho, and more) and Zach Huntting and Shena Bannick of Crown Social, a social media company.

Gold Bar is taking advantage of the sunshine’s early spring presence—a selection of vibrantly colored boozy slushies are on offer along with a number of intriguing, Latin-flavor forward cocktails like the Oaxacan highball made with mescal, guava soda, and lime. Gold Bar’s bites include more Latin flavors from Alfau, like empanadas or tacos filled with fried oysters, carnitas, or, as Alfau recommends, the “ridiculous vegan taco with charred eggplant, crimini mushrooms, and fresh Peruvian slaw.” The menu reads a bit snacky, but Alfau maintains that its set up so diners can easily cobble together a filling dinner here.

Alfau has found that Gold Bar and Oro Kitchen are ideal for hosting events. He recently put on a pop-up of sorts with 35 guests featuring passed appetizers and a seated dinner to celebrate a friend leaving town, and plans to do similar culinary events and dinners in the future. The team has also had a number of inquiries for private events, and they are eager to accommodate those requests.

Oro Kitchen is open Monday through Friday, 11am­–3pm and Gold Bar is open Tuesday through Saturday, 4–11pm. Watch for happy hour from 4­–6pm. Both spots are located at 227 Ninth Avenue North in South Lake Union.

Story by Ethan Chung and Photographs by Suzi Pratt

20 million gallons

of water from Lake Union used to level Denny Hill