Marina Park Grill
89 Kirkland Ave
Kirkland WA 98033
A More Sophisticated, Swanky, Grown Up Kirkland
By: Steve G
Kirkland sure has grown up from its humble beginnings. People have been flocking to the area as a recreational spots since the 1920s. In the past, for as little as 10 cents a day (the price of a cup of coffee.. joke intended) people could swim in Lake Washington and have picnics in the park. During the 80s and 90s it became a hotspot for the 20-25 age range. Now, Kirkland is beginning a new transformation, transitioning from the singles nightlife into more upscale swanky businesses. The inclusive of such places as the 21 Central Steakhouse and its new machination, Marina Park Grill, are indicators that Kirkland is taking the next big step.
Formerly known as DaVinci's serving pizza and pasta to the Shark Club crowd, Marina Park Grill has totally changed the look of its predecessor. No longer is pizza being served up; in its place is plush seating and upmarket seafood. As you walk into Marina Park Grill, you would never think it was ever a pizzeria. The entire interior is carpeted and the walls are lined with large windows that overlook the water that are great for a sunny day.
The lunch and dinner menus are very similar except for a few extra items offered for dinner. The prices are also higher for dinner, but the portions are larger in case you were hesitant on this place out during the night. For the most part, the food as a whole was of great quality and Marina Park Grill is not timid about proclaiming that they serve some of the freshest seafood in Kirkland. This is a bold statement with Anthony's Homeport and Fish Cafe a stones throw away, but with a menu that is always serving King Salmon, Tiger Prawns, and Scallops with a choice of five different sauces, you have to give them some credit just in terms of variety.
The service was pretty on the spot, being very attentive but not too intrusive. We also asked the staff about lunchtime favorites and they directed us to some of the burgers and pasta dishes which turned out to be decent.
The Jambalaya ($13.50) was a generous mixture of shrimp, fish, and ground chorizo sausage. Those with a weaker constitution might be wary of ordering it, as it is not shy on the spiciness and rich flavor. The ground chorizo was very delicious in the dish, but compared with other Jambalayas we've had it seemed more watery than stewy.
The Tijuana Burger ($10.25) was not that impressive, although it was recommended by the staff. Topped with avocado, it tasted like a standard burger with the normal fixings. The size of the burger was pretty big, but the patty seemed a little generic. The burger also came with the choice of seasoned fries, mashed potatoes or salad. We went with the seasoned fries, which we recommend. Smaller than steak fries, they were cut very thin, but the seasoning was great.
Overall, Marina Park Grill is one of the new first steps in bringing a more modern feel to the Kirkland area. The view is great and the staff has a really laid back personality. It's a great place to grab some food on a sunny afternoon and bask in the sun. If the current redevelopment trend continues, it will be interesting to see how the area will change in the next few years.
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