Photo by Patrick Robinson
Marination Ma Kai at Seacrest Park, is finally open after a lengthy delay. Expect to see the lights on from 6am to 11pm most days and nights. From left: Kamala Saxton, Robin Schumacher, and Jen Doak. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE

SLIDESHOW- UPDATE: Marination Ma Kai open and happy

Update for Oct. 4
After what seemed to many in West Seattle like a never ending wait, Marination Ma Kai opened at Seacrest Park on Harbor Ave. With an expanded menu of 28 new items have been added to what they have offered previously from their mobile operation, they are not quite there yet. "We've opened but we're a little short on B.T.U.'s" said one of the owners Kamala Saxton, referring to some minor equipment issues that have yet to be resolved.

For now they are operating with a more limited menu including Tacos, Sliders, Kimchi Fried Rice and Quesadillas. The bar is open during this soft open phase.

"We're just really excited to get it opened up and we've been anticipating it for a couple of months, we fell behind a little bit but now we're here, said another owner Robin Schumacher, "West Seattle has been some of our most loyal customers so that's why we chose it."

They will be open every day from this point forward, early at 6am and late to 11pm.

If you have not tried the food from the truck, for breakfast or lunch you can expect "Loco Moco" which they describe as a Hawaiian Classic. A ground beef patty served on white rice, with a kalua pork gravy and two fried eggs. If you were worried about the loss of fish and chips, they're back.

You'll also find Shave Ice and a full bar too.

But the Marination team is also happy to deliver large orders for meetings or events. Email them at for the details.

The restaurant's proximity to the water taxi of course means that it is a natural rest stop and shelter. "As we were opening up and during the build out a lot of people were coming up and asking about it," said Schumacher. So on those cold and rainy days that are part of Seattle's DNA they, "welcome people to come in. We encourage it."

Update for Oct. 3The folks at Marination Ma Kai have announced their official opening date ... tomorrow morning, Oct. 4.

It has been a long road, full of bureaucratic snags putting several month delays on the big day.

Here is their announcement, via Facebook:

Alki, we're Crazy for You. Let us Justify our Love.

We've been working really hard on opening ma kai, keep getting Hung Up on this or that. Just Like a Prayer, you know we'll take you there as soon as the doors are unlocked. The view... Celebrate! The view is a Thief of Hearts. The Puget Sound is Like a Virgin whether or not the sky is True Blue. West Seattle is La Isla Bonita inside and out (yes, we know she's not an island. It's metaphorical. Papa Don't Preach.) We CAN'T WAIT to see all of our usual suspects, and meet some brand new Beautiful Strangers! We're counting on you, Lucky Star, this process has been Borderline unbearable.

...Aaaand if you made it this far, you can count yourself among the first to know that MARINATION MA KAI OPENS ON THURSDAYYYYYY!!! (If we can Keep it Together. If we Live to Tell.)

We're so excited. We're Burning Up. ♥


Update for Sept. 24
According to Marination's Twitter feed, a problem with the gas line at Marination Ma Kai (at the Seacrest Boathouse on Alki) will delay their opening until early October.

In the meantime, check out their progress - from beer selection to construction - at the Marination Ma Kai Tumblr page.


Original post on July 18

Marination Ma Kai (on Alki) settles on a name, still aiming for late summer opening

Daily availability of Kalua pulled pork, sexy tofu, pickled jalapeños, Nunya Sauce and a slew (or is it slaw?) of other bold Hawaiian-Korean flavors is making headway, according to a blog dedicated to Marination’s progress in opening a brick and mortar restaurant at the Seacrest Boathouse on Alki.

They have also settled on the name “Marination Ma Kai” for the Alki spot. Ma Kai is Hawaiian for, “Of, toward, or near the sea.”

Traditionally, Marination’s fare has only been available on Saturdays in West Seattle when their food truck rolls in and parks in front of Han’s VW Repair on 35th Ave S.W.

Six months ago, they won the bid to take over the Seacrest Boathouse at 1660 Harbor Ave S.W. after Alki Crab & Fish Co.’s contract ran out.

They were expected to open much earlier, but delays with Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development have pushed the project back significantly.

Here is the latest from Marination’s Ma Kai blog:

“Due to unusual circumstances way beyond our control, we are very sad to report the earliest we may be able to share the sunshine and aloha with our West Seattle friends, fans, and family is late-summer. End of August, maybe early September.

We are bummed to have to post this terrible news.

But! We are so in love with Seacrest and the incredible good times to come, we know every hoop, thorn, and fire we deal with will all be worth it!

HANG IN THERE, ALKI! We’ll all be sitting on the patio soon enjoying beer/grub/wine/coffee/aloha and it’ll be so great that we’ll collectively forget this snafu ever bothered any of us.”

Keep an eye on their blog for more updates in the coming months.

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