Saucebox

Saucebox is known round these parts for its consistently good Pan-Asian fusion cuisine, house-infused liquors (a glass-walled display of them can be ogled in the dining room) and stellar happy hour–a heady blend of trendiness, pretty people watching, and impressive food and cocktail values.

Even Dad likes Saucebox, and his idea of trendy Asian-fusion cuisine is Applebee’s Chinese Chicken Salad.

Rummy Pacific Rim Punch, tender smoky grilled squid skewers, big bowls of spicy sesame noodles, creamy hot wasabi avocado burgers and perfectly cooked fries can all be found on the Asian-influenced menu for $5 or less. The dinner menu will set you back a few more yen and I tend to treat Saucebox almost exclusively as a happy hour destination, but it’s worth venturing off the happy hour menu to bite into the tapioca dumplings–chicken, peanuts and cilantro rolled in sticky tapioca and drizzled with garlic oil.

Other standouts on the menu include the spicy dungeness crab cakes with thai red curry and kaffir lime leaves, the roasted Javanese salmon with soy, hot pepper, garlic, lime and palm sugar, and the pupu platter for two–pork sarong, aforementioned tapioca dumplings, sweet potato spring rolls, korean baby back ribs and vegetable sushi roll.

Desserts are generally light and bursting with exotic flavors, try the caramelized banana pot de crème or sorbet made with pineapple-chili syrup and pineapple rum—a sublime finish. Even Dad likes Saucebox, and his idea of trendy Asian-fusion cuisine is Applebee’s Chinese Chicken Salad.

Details

Cuisine: Asian

Executive Chef: Alexander Diestra

Atmosphere: Energized, trendy, artsy, very cool space but somehow never intimidating, my parents love going to Saucebox and they are about as trendy as bowties

Outdoor seating: Yes, tables outside along Broadway seat two comfortably, can seat more if possible, slightly less comfortably, just because of the table’s close proximity to each other

Best Seat: I like to sit outside, at one of the tables lining Broadway. Obviously, this isn’t viable 9 months a year, so I like to sit in the bar in the window if I’m in a friendly mood, or tuck into one of the dark half-booths in the way back of the bar

Noise Level: Low roar inside, light traffic noise outside

Dress Code: Everything from jeans to trendywear

Bathrooms: Through the bar, and turn left down the hallway, towards the dining room. To your right you will see a communal sink and two open doors, airport bathroom style. Ladies, head left at this point. Gentlemen, head right. There are usually fresh lilies around to be smelled. The sink is auto-operated so wave your hands around a bit to make the water flow. Feel free to strike up a scintillating conversation with a cute guy washing his hands next to you.

Parking: Saucebox is located at the base of Broadway, just nearly where it hits Burnside, so parking can be at a premium and is metered. No valet.

Cocktails: Saucebox is known for its cocktail inventiveness, and there's something for everyone on the lengthy list ($7-$15).

Beer: Yes

Wine: Yes

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Vegan Friendly: Yes

Good for the following occasions: Out with Friends, Family Meal, Happy Hour

Group/Private Party Details: Saucebox is large-party friendly, with a beautiful upstairs mezzanine that seats regular sized table and large parties. The entire restaurant can also be commissioned for private events on Sunday and Monday nights. Call or email for more info.

Reservations: Yes, call or go on OpenTable

Take-Out: No