Lifted Taco (Woodinville, WA)

After our trip to Rainier we met up with our friend Jules to tour around the area doing some light sightseeing and exploring the area wineries and distilleries. Wanting a light lunch, we were looking for a place that was dog-friendly with outside dining (due to some Covid concerns in our group), and happened across a nice little hidden gem: Lifted Taco.

Located on the ground floor of one of Woodinville’s newer apartment blocks on the west end of the town center, it’s a nice, cozy little taco shop. Let’s get one thing out of the way up front: while Lifted Taco is definitely a “taco shop”, I wouldn’t characterize it as a Mexican restaurant at all. What they’ve done is one of those fusion concepts where they take the basic concept of a taco and do a little bit of playing around with the concept (“lifting” it, in their parlance) with nontraditional ingredients. While they have a handful of tacos that are fairly traditional in nature, most of the menu is definitely fusion in nature; on our visit the options ranged from their version of the classic Korean taco with a bulgogi taco, a deep-fried cheese taco, a falafel taco, and a local wine-braised beef, just for starters.

Lifted Taco has daily specials for tacos and salsas, and we started out our meal with some chips and their daily special pineapple salsa. Too often a pineapple salsa is entirely sweet, but this didn’t seem to have any added sugar in it, making for a surprisingly bold but well-balanced salsa that we both quite enjoyed.

For my tacos, I went for a pair of tacos: a chicken katsu taco and they ribeye taco. The chicken katsu taco was a panko-breaded chicken breast served up with a mixed salad of marinated lettuce and carrots and a bit of katsu sauce, this actually ended up being much actually ended up being much like a riff on the traditional fish taco reinvented with Japanese-inspired ingredients, and it worked out quite well.

The ribeye taco was about as close to a traditional taco as they’ve got, but it was really focused on the ribeye: a big, thin slice of nicely-seasoned and seared ribeye with a bit of fried queso, black beans, avocado puree, and microgreens, this was a very enjoyable bit of steak complemented by some nice flavors in a manner that wasn’t quite Mexican but was very flavorful and enjoyable nonetheless. Indeed, I’d happily get this taco if I ever come back this way.

Overall, I really liked Lifted Taco. While I think if my cravings were dead-set on “Mexican Tacos” I’d end up not being fully satisfied, they really do a great job of taking the basic “fusion taco” concept and working some interesting variations; both of my tacos were inventive, well-executed, and flavorful.

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