Inland Pacific Kitchen opened their doors a couple of weeks ago, and let me just tell you that Spokane has been starving for a place like this. Chef Jeremy raised the culinary scene about 3 bars with this creation. You might recognize his name or his meticulous craft from his restaurant Sante, located downtown, which he started with his wife. Now that he has created a staff and restaurant that can maintain itself, he decided to move on and start another restaurant, which brings us to Inland Pacific Kitchen.
At Inland Pacific Kitchen, each menu is designed to tell a story. The dishes are served as “small plates” and they are meant to be shared. Each one is about 8-10 bites each. We spent about 3 hours eating our dinner and we were so comfortable the whole time. This is one of the lovely benefits to Inland Pacific Kitchen. They have the best chairs around. There will be no hurry turning tables and you will never feel like you are being rushed out of your seat. Chef Jeremy is passionate about sharing time with loved ones over food and creating memories around the dinner table.
The timing with their dish service was impeccable. As soon as we would finish one and have time to process what we had just eaten and chat, the next dish was presented in front of us. An awesome feature at Inland Pacific Kitchen are the table lamps they have at the front of the bar. This allows you to be able to see your dish and appreciate the craftsmanship that went into its creation. In addition to being able to see your dish in a dim restaurant, you get to watch the chefs at work the entire time you are eating. Their kitchen is in the middle of the restaurant. This added so much to the overall ambiance to the restaurant. It also keeps them accountable in the kitchen as they have to keep everything immaculate and professional.
The Inception Menu is split up into four categories: Plants, Water, Land/Air, and Sweets. Obviously we tried multiple options from each category. Full bellies, happy hearts, no shame.
Our meal began with a special amuse bouche, aka a bite-sized hour d’oeuvre, which was a delicate fried sun choke with elements that were pureed, pickled, peeled, deep fried and topped with leek ash. At Inland Pacific Kitchen, everything on your plate is there for a reason and it is all meant to be consumed. My goal was to get a little bit of each item with each bite. It takes a little longer to eat, but it makes the experience so much more rewarding.
We were then served warm sourdough bread, fresh from Common Crumb bakery with organic, non GMO butter topped with smoked salt. Chef Jeremy feels a moral obligation to source food locally and serve non-GMO, organic ingredients grown and produced in the state of Washington. He gets all of his beef and pork from local farms in hopes to help reduce global warming associated with production.
Next, we were served a feta cheese salad which was all sorts of creamy, crunchy, sweet, and loaded with feta. It is served with prosciutto, e.v. olive oil, pink pepper, orange and chili oil. Quickly after eating this fresh salad, we tried the cauliflower and chocolate. I was especially intrigued by this dish when we first looked over the menu. It is seasoned with cumin and cinnamon on top of paprika aioli, greens and safflower. The flavor was mind blowing. Who thinks to pair cauliflower and chocolate? Chef Jeremy does, that’s who.
This next dish required some courage from the both of us. Elk tartare. The elk is mixed with mustard and ketchup and topped with an egg yolk, caraway and potato crisp. I was timid so I let Dan try the first bite. He loved it so I went in and was pleasantly surprised. He ate almost the whole thing, this dish is not for the faint of heart, but trying something new is good for us!
Talk about an impressive resume, Chef Jeremy has seen and cooked it all! He spent some time away from the Pacific Northwest perfecting his craft and learning from some of the best. He has been working 25 years in the Industry in mostly authentic style restaurants. Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and Greek. Jeremy attended culinary school at “Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School” with a specific desire to learn french techniques.
After that, he moved to New York and worked at a two Michelin star restaurant called Cafe Grey. This opportunity served to solidify his career as he gained great exposure and knowledge. Here, he learned the importance of attention to detail, organization, cleanliness, awareness of his peers and so much more than just cooking.
It’s refreshing to see him respect his staff so highly and give them room to grow and shine in their own way. You don’t see this very often in the restaurant industry.
We are big sashimi lovers so when we were served the Salmon beat cured dish, we were excited! It was served with fennel, coriander froth, and absinthe basil seeds. This dish has bold flavor.
The Prawn & Pineapple was jaw-dropping beautiful, and we ate every last bite. It comes stacked high with edamame, sweet soy reduction, spicy prawn sauce, rice paper. This one is a must-try!
The next two dishes were my favorites. By this point I was so extremely full, but could have still eaten these entire bowls. First was the Peanut Miso Ramen which had a perfect peanut hint that was strong but not overpowering. The noodles were soft and chewy complete with an egg and. He calls his Ramen broth his “most memorable sauce”. It is built and added to for weeks. That’s how you get that bold brother flavor. They also make their “lemon grass coriander” broth which was salty and bold with possibly the tastiest tofu I have ever eaten. I would come back just for these two dishes. Best Ramen you can find in Spokane, without a doubt.
By this point, they could tell we were getting full but wanted us to try a couple more dishes. Man, I hate this job… JOKES! So, they gave us a nice palette cleanser which was a tiny shot of carrot coriander soup, with just the right amount of kick to get us ready for our next dish: Sow of Tamworth. This was a braised pork dish with smoked parsnip and potato, rosemary, and pearl onions. This plating was gorgeous. They have some really unique plates and pottery that compliment each dish.
You can’t enjoy the menu fully without trying one (or both) of Inland Pacific Kitchen’s dessert creations. We tried a s’mores dish and the brownie with smoked vanilla gelato, burnt merengue, pine nut crumb. Y’all know I love s’mores and this one had a nice kick topped with leek ash.
Each menu at Inland Pacific Kitchen lasts about 6-10 weeks, and it will be completely changing in February. Chef Jeremy has plans for a special Japanese style menu in March and he bounced around some exciting ideas for future menu concepts. Let’s just say i’m intrigued by a menu centered around “land of mist and frogs”.
Don’t forget to check out their new Whiskey Den, Hogwash, next door. It has a very cozy, warm vibe with nice couches and burger dishes. Don’t forget to tell them we sent you!
Keep eating, Spokane.
Inland Pacific Kitchen (310 W Pacific Ave, Spokane, WA 99201)