Marination Ma Kai

Review by: Jane Stern

Marination is a favorite among Seattleites. Starting as a food truck, this wildly popular place now has five locations in and around the city. Of all, my favorite is Marination Ma Kai in funky West Seattle.

What is so wonderful about this location is, well, its location. It is on the water; and from the benches outside or the deck where you can eat and drink, you have a spectacular view of the Seattle skyline.

Like the other incarnations of Marination, Ma Kai focuses on the weirdly wonderful and seriously Seattle hybrid of Hawaiian food and Korean food. I would also add to this mix a dose of Southwestern cooking, as much of the offerings are in a taco or a quesadilla.

What sort of “Hawaiian” fare can you get? Try Mac and Spam Salad. For a Korean-Southwestern marriage, how about a Kim chi Quesadilla? I had both of these items and washed them down with a cold can of Hawaiian Punch, a beverage I have not enjoyed since sleepaway camp.

My favorite item on the menu is the Panko Crusted Pork Katsu cutlet– a wide thick hunk of fried pigmeat slathered with Marination’s own hot damn “Bulldog Sauce.” That is a super-spiced tongetsu sauce that always is served with this dish.

Everything on the menu (even the Spam) is vigorously spiced and colorfully presented. The fish and chips comes with Ponzu sauce; Korean Tacos (my faves are the Kalbi Beef and the Miso Ginger Chicken) are served under a rainbow of red and green coleslaw and slathered with Marination’s own Nunya sauce. For dessert, make sure you get Coconut Ice cream. Take it to the outdoor bench and take a snapshot of the Seattle skyline.

This outstanding Roadfood eatery is fun, casual, and offers a true sense of being in the Pacific Northwest. The menu is not huge; everything I have ordered has been very good.

What To Eat

Korean Tacos

Pork Cutlet Sandwich

Spicy Pork Torta

Kahlua Pork Slider

Kahlua Pork Tortilla


Marination Ma Kai Recipes


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