September 5, 2008

Copacetic at Copacabana

Copa%20patio-1.JPG Paella%20at%20lunch.JPG

Copacabana, in the Pike Place Market, is touted as Seattle's only Bolivian restaurant. It's named for the town on Lake Titicaca, but that's beside the point. The llama on its menu, beside the point as well. The food here has become deracinated, its South American roots withered. What made the Copa distinctive 20 years ago, the assertive flavors of its sopa de camarones, for example, have gone wan: a pale tomato broth, tasteless bay shrimp fleshed out (as it were) with canned carrots and peas. (Legend has it that Omar Vizquel wanted to buy the recipe before he was traded to Cleveland 15 years ago; he wouldn't bother today.) The salteña (meat pie) lacks punch and vigor. The vaunted paella, at $16, contains precisely two each prawns, mussels and clams along with one chicken drumstick. But, surprise! There's some decent pork buried below the mound of saffron rice.

No, tourists don't flock to the Copa for its food but for the incomparable setting. For decades, it had the only deck with a view at the Market (now there are several), and it's still the most spectacular. Surrounded by colorful potted plants, you're one flight above Pike Place, with the Public Market sign, Elliott Bay and the Olympics in the background.

So do go for cocktails (pisco sours or caipirinhas) and sit on the patio at sunset. There's no better view in Seattle.

PS: You want to know more about the term copacetic? Creole? Italian? African? Native American? Not even David Mamet knows for sure Go here and read your fill.

Copacabana, 1520 Pike Place, 206-622-6359 Copacabana on Urbanspoon

Posted by Ronald Holden at September 5, 2008 9:00 AM | TrackBack

Recent Entries

TIK logo.gif
The International Kitchen
Cooking school vacations in Italy, France & Spain.


The International Vineyard, a new way to learn about wine in France, Italy and Spain: three-night programs for wine lovers in less-traveled regions.

The International Kitchen, the leading source for culinary vacations in France and Italy.

French Word-A-Day, fascinating lessons about language and daily life in Provence

Belltown Messenger, chronicle of a Seattle neighborhood's denizens, derelicts, clubs, bars & eateries. Restaurant reviews by Cornichon.

Small Screen Network, where food & drink celebrities like Robert Hess have recorded terrific videos.

French Chef Sally is my friend Sally McArthur, who hosts luxurious, week-long cooking classes at the Chateau du Riveau in the Loire Valley.

Local Wine, the worlds leading Food and Wine tasting calendar. Spirits and Beer events as well. Post your own event or sign up to be notified when new events are po sted to your own area.

VinoLover, Seattle wine promoter David LeClaire's bulletin board of tastings, dinners and special events.

Wine Educator Dieter Schafer maintains a full schedule of Seattle-area tastings and seminars for amateur wine drinkers and professional alike.

Nat Decants, a free wine e-newsletter from Natalie MacLean, recently named the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia. Wine picks, articles and humor; no ads.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35
More blogs about food wine travel.
Who links to me?
var HOST = ''; // Copyright (c) 1996-1997 Athenia Associates. // // License is granted if and only if this entire // copyright notice is included. By Tomer Shiran. function setCookie (name, value, expires, path, domain, secure) { var curCookie = name + "=" + escape(value) + ((expires) ? "; expires=" + expires.toGMTString() : "") + ((path) ? "; path=" + path : "") + ((domain) ? "; domain=" + domain : "") + ((secure) ? "; secure" : ""); document.cookie = curCookie; } function getCookie (name) { var prefix = name + '='; var c = document.cookie; var nullstring = ''; var cookieStartIndex = c.indexOf(prefix); if (cookieStartIndex == -1) return nullstring; var cookieEndIndex = c.indexOf(";", cookieStartIndex + prefix.length); if (cookieEndIndex == -1) cookieEndIndex = c.length; return unescape(c.substring(cookieStartIndex + prefix.length, cookieEndIndex)); } function deleteCookie (name, path, domain) { if (getCookie(name)) document.cookie = name + "=" + ((path) ? "; path=" + path : "") + ((domain) ? "; domain=" + domain : "") + "; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-70 00:00:01 GMT"; } function fixDate (date) { var base = new Date(0); var skew = base.getTime(); if (skew > 0) date.setTime(date.getTime() - skew); } function rememberMe (f) { var now = new Date(); fixDate(now); now.setTime(now.getTime() + 365 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000); setCookie('mtcmtauth',, now, '', HOST, ''); setCookie('mtcmtmail',, now, '', HOST, ''); setCookie('mtcmthome', f.url.value, now, '', HOST, ''); } function forgetMe (f) { deleteCookie('mtcmtmail', '', HOST); deleteCookie('mtcmthome', '', HOST); deleteCookie('mtcmtauth', '', HOST); = ''; = ''; f.url.value = ''; } //-->
Post a comment

Remember personal info?