Everything about the exterior of Hay J’s is misleading. Right off a freeway exit, it appears to be an unassuming strip mall with your typical dry cleaner, nail salon, shoe repair, conveniently linked to a gas station so you can fill-up on your way out. But, in this case, the fill-up will be your appetite with a delectable smorgasbord of options. Hay J’s: a culinary delight of artfully crafted perfection, Piccolo: wood fired pizza and Butcher Block: a one-stop gourmand’s delight for high quality cuts of beef, seafood, wine, etc.
All three businesses are family owned and operated with staff including kids, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews. An entire multi-generational family of talented, experienced, polite and capable restauranteurs. The moment you walk through the doors at Hay J’s you are instantly transported from a run of the mill gas-station strip mall to a cozy, warm and artfully decorated fine dining establishment. We were warmly greeted and escorted to our table, catching a glimpse of the head chef working his magic in the kitchen.
The lighting is subdued, layout offers privacy for each table, and the walls are covered by large scale, colorful works of art by local artist Edward Gilmore.
We started our dining experience with Ahi tuna tartare and Blackened tips. The tartare was an artfully crated mini tower featuring a base of fresh tomatoes and peppers, with a muffle layer of creamy avocados topped by a thick layer of fresh ahi tuna. These tomatoes really made the dish for me. They were so rich and fresh, like nothing i’ve had before. The Jalapeno wasabi gives this dish a nice kick. The Blackened tips were pan seared and topped with melted Gorgonzola.
Tell them “Spokaneeats” sent you.
Hay J’s Bistro (21706 E Mission Ave, Liberty Lake, WA // 509.926.2310)
On this visit we focused on Hay J’s but will definitely be back to explore and enjoy the incredibly delicious options we spied at Butcher Block and Piccolos – stay tuned for a future posting. At Butcher Block, you can buy to take home OR select cuts to be delicately prepared by Hay J’s talented culinary staff and enjoyed in their restaurant.
I completely agree! Everything at Hay J’s is wonderful. We were shocked the first time we went, especially given the surroundings. But they are simply lovely.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, right?! haha Glad you’re a fan too!
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