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Saturday, March 19, 2005

New neighbor

The restaurant at NE 24th and Fremont that used to be the Dining Room (and before that, the east side branch of Marco's) is open again. This time it's called Aja, subtitled Pacific Kitchen, and it opened on Tuesday.

With a name like that, I was expecting a Thai fusion kind of thing, but a quick spin by there on a family walk this afternoon gave us a gander at a much different menu posted in the doorway. Burgers, salads, and fairly traditional-looking entrees like meatloaf and salmon were prevalent, with only a few interesting Korean dishes listed (including several pork items).

It looks like they're going to try to go for three meals a day -- this in a gruelling business, and a location whose only commercial success over the last three decades was the original Nature's food store. Meanwhile, our friends at Perry's, kitty-corner across the intersection, continue to plug along, unfazed by the false starts and stops.

We still miss the grocery store, but we welcome the newcomers and hope they can make it.

Comments (6)

Actually, that was the second Nature's location. The original was on SW Corbett near John's Landing.

Are you sure the Corbett Nature's was the original? My memory is the same as Jack's. I would love to know for sure which came first. The original name was Nature's Food and Tool. It took over the spot that was once Pixie Foods, the best store for candy in the Alameda Neighborhood. I believe Nature's moved in no later than 1985, but could have been as early as 1980.

I thought I recognized you walking around the area with family in tow.

That sure is a tough corner for a restaurant. It doesn't seem like businesses do very well in that area, the rent must be pretty high in that building. I know that is why the market across the street got out of there. My wife and I sure miss the Dining Room as the breakfast there was pretty good and so close... We've lived in the hood for a couple of years and recently rediscovered Perry’s and were surprised at how good it was. That said, I'm sure Perry's mortgage was paid off long ago. We’ve also been doing Guinness and burgers at County Cork more than we should…

I'm almost certain that Nature's Fremont opened after 1980 and during or before 1985. I was only 12 in 1980, though, so while I'm certain of the order of the first three stores, I'm a bit shaky on the dates.

If you're puzzled about why a 12-year-old would remember the various openings of a grocery chain, I'll just say that I had insider information. :-)

A coworker of mine just told me about this place, and it turns out that his brother is the the head chef and (part?) owner. David Moss was also the executive chef at the Bandon Dunes Resort, and is now the executive chef at the World Trade Center here in town.

It sounds like a place worth checking out, and it's always nice to help a friend get something off the ground. :^)

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