A Diner for Hipsters: Lost Lake Cafe

Allison Austin Scheff  |   September 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Patty melt with onion rings and a yummy old fashioned at Lost Lake Cafe on Capitol Hill

Owners Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse, two Seattle nightlife titans (Lajeunesse is co-owner of Neumos and the Capitol Hill Block Party; Meinert’s management company oversees bands such as Blue Scholars and Hey Marseilles), did a bang-up job turning the notorious former locale of Basic Plumbing (a seedy men’s club of a sort) into a 24-hour half-bar/half-greasy spoon. The place has old-diner-by-the-lake appeal: Wood paneling alternates with stone; there are deep, comfy booths with extra-large tables (for that side of pancakes) and barstools in tufted burnt sienna pleather; and there’s even a rainbow trout mounted on one wall. It’s your Hamm’s-guzzling uncle’s dream joint. Except: You’ve got about a 50-50 chance of ordering something good—the carnitas skillet ($11), say, spicy as you’d want it to be and with poached eggs done just right—or something really disappointing, like a burnt pork chop ($12.50) with gluey-runny mashed potatoes. You’ll order a great (and cheap!) old fashioned ($6.50) and be grooving on your patty melt ($9.50), but then you’ll taste the spaghetti (dressed in overly acidic tomato sauce) and the meatballs (too much filler; $11) and you’re back to square one. Then again, these problems are magnified at 7 p.m. At 4 a.m., who’s complaining? Open 24 hours every day. Capitol Hill, 1505 10th Ave.; 206.323.5678; lostlakecafe.com

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