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Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Restaurant

Pacific Grill

A fixture in downtown Tacoma, Pacific Grill’s menu offers top-notch cuisine. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Pacific Grill is one of Tacoma's stand-out culinary gems - a hub that combines a revamped urban space, the arts, romantic atmosphere and (most importantly) delicious food. Diners at the Pacific Grill, which is located in the historic Waddell Building, are surrounded by exposed brick and just the right amount of industrial chic, as well as silk-and-resin seaform artwork by Ayala Serfaty. The result? A nifty spot to hang out with friends and not too shabby for a date, either.

Chef and owner Gordon Naccarato calls his food "fun dining" rather than fine dining and aims to include a bit of everything.

"The menu is the best one I have ever written," he said. "It has a lot of share items, lots of vegan and vegetable choices, and just a lot of variety - from cheap street tacos to filet mignon. You can have an inexpensive night out or a spendy celebration all in the same place. The food is modern American, but also playful. Our Hawk Wings with Beast-mode sauce being just one example."

What put Pacific Grill on the map?

"I think we were an innovator," Naccarato said. "We were high-end but casual and fun. Unpretentious. I always wanted it to be Tacoma's living room - where we gather to celebrate occasions whether it is a birthday or just getting together with friends. I love looking around the room and seeing local politicians and friends and also seeing lots of young people learning about good food and wine."

Pacific Grill serves up lunch, dinner and a happy hour that, hands down, is one of the best in the region with a tasty array of food items at 50 percent off (including the aforementioned Hawk Wings) and drink specials.

The dessert selection is also worth saving room for. Choices include olive oil cake with apricots, cherries and almond gelato and caramel mousse cheesecake ... just try to turn that down.

Coming up, watch for four new restaurant projects in the area headed up by Naccarato, who also owns Smoke + Cedar.

PACIFIC GRILL, 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.3535,

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