The coconut curry noodles with chicken at uu in Everett is made with sweet potato noodles, carrots, onions, chard, peanuts and cilantro, topped with slices of chicken breast meat. (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

The coconut curry noodles with chicken at uu in Everett is made with sweet potato noodles, carrots, onions, chard, peanuts and cilantro, topped with slices of chicken breast meat. (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

Relax with Korean-inspired comfort food at uu in Everett

The stylish new downtown restaurant is an inviting place to unwind for lunch or dinner.

After trying bibimbap at K Fresh and Korean-style fried chicken at BBQ Chicken — and thoroughly enjoying them both — I laid claim to The Daily Herald’s review of uu. I’m the features editor, so I can do that.

A new Korean-inspired eatery on Wetmore Avenue next to Narrative Coffee, uu offers sandwiches, burgers, leafy green wraps and rice, grain and noodle bowls. There’s also a beer and wine menu. It’s open for lunch and dinner — and will soon serve brunch on the weekend.

The restaurant’s name “uu” (pronounced “you-you”) means “slow,” “leisurely paced,” “peaceful” and “unhurried” in Korean, according to the restaurant’s website.

The owner, who goes by her last name, Kim, encourages us to visit her restaurant when we want to relax. Whether that’s with wine or beer, a bowl of kimchi fried rice or coconut curry noodles, topped with tofu, beef, chicken or pork belly, that’s a little spicy or a lot of spicy, well, that’s up to you.

“The food served at uu is not authentic Korean,” said Kim, adding that her restaurant specializes in comfort foods. “It is a good food that is put together by someone who happened to be Korean-born and who has been exposed to many different flavors of food.”

My Herald colleague Mark Carlson joined me for lunch there this week. We were immediately impressed by the restaurant’s chic look. My guess is Kim was inspired by Narrative Coffee’s modern decor next door. She fell in love with the coffee house’s interior.

“For me, aesthetics count for a lot in restaurants, and uu excels in that area,” Mark said. “It’s an attractive, contemporary space, and the sunlight from a skylight in the center of the space was welcome in midwinter.”

The menu offers about 10 lunch choices — just the right size. Most items are affordable at $10 to $14 and the portions are generous. I had a hard time deciding between the the coconut curry noodles or the coco sandwich.

I settled on the coconut curry noodles with chicken for $14, made with sweet potato noodles, carrots, onions, chard, peanuts and cilantro, topped with slices of chicken thigh meat. The chicken was tender and juicy, and all the flavors of the housemade curry, crushed peanuts and cilantro, delicious. It reminded me of some of my favorite Thai dishes.

The noodles are traditionally found in a Korean dish called chapchae — which you can also find on the menu — but Kim was inspired to serve them in a new way. This was my first time trying sweet potato noodles, and I confess I’m not a fan. It’s a texture thing. But if you’re sensitive to gluten and miss noodle bowls, this one’s for you.

Mark ordered the kimchi pork burger with house cut potato fries. The burger, also $14, is topped with Napa cabbage, kimchi, scallion, a spicy sauce and kochujang mayo (made from a Korean red pepper paste). It was picture-worthy but, sadly, didn’t hold up well.

The kimchi pork burger with house cut potato fries at uu in Everett is topped with Napa cabbage, kimchi, scallion, a spicy sauce and kochujang mayo (made from a Korean red pepper paste). (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

The kimchi pork burger with house cut potato fries at uu in Everett is topped with Napa cabbage, kimchi, scallion, a spicy sauce and kochujang mayo (made from a Korean red pepper paste). (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

“The pork burger fell apart when I picked it up to take a bite, so a fork was in order,” he said. “The combination of a grilled ground pork patty with a spice I couldn’t identify, large chunks of crunchy cabbage and oozy sauces didn’t work for me. Nor did the accompanying fries, which were limp and overbrowned, perhaps because the cook used the wrong type of spuds, didn’t fry them correctly, or both.”

Mark’s burger arrived a few minutes after my noodle bowl, a sign the kitchen’s still working things out. We hope they do.

On tap they have beer from Georgetown Brewing in Seattle, and a list of wine from Andrew Will Winery on Vashon Island and Damsel Cellars in Woodinville. The house red and white wines are $8 per glass. Since we were on the clock, we couldn’t partake. I ordered a cup of barley tea instead for $1.

I regret to say that Mark and I were in a hurry to get back to the office. We forgot to order the $7 soft tofu pudding for dessert. As relaxing as lunch was, we had a meeting to get to.

I’ll go back to uu for dinner. Next time, I’d like to try the either the coco sandwich ($12) or the kimchi fried rice ($13).

Before uu, Kim ran the very casual lunch-only eatery Sunrice in Seattle for 14 years. Now closed, the basic counter spot served Korean rice bowls, soups and stews. Sunrice also is the name of her wholesale vegetarian meal-producing business, which she’s run for 21 years. The Sno-Isle Food Co-Op in Everett carries Sunrice products. Kim opened uu in January — her first full-scale restaurant.

Kim said her family will be moving from Seattle to Everett soon so she can live and work in the same city. Why Everett?

“My husband and I were looking for a less traffic-congested city to move to,” Kim said. “Everett seemed to be a good choice, and we found the current space where my dream of owning a restaurant could be realized.”

If you go

Uu, 2925 Wetmore Ave., Everett, is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, lunch is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner is 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, noon to 3 p.m. and then 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Call 425-789-1897 or go to www.cafeuu.net for more information.

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