Photo of La Medusa in Seattle, WA, US
Photo of La Medusa in Seattle, WA, US
Photo of La Medusa in Seattle, WA, US
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La Medusa

Italian Restaurant

La Medusa14.5
pasta • brussel sprouts • puttanesca • columbia city

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La Medusa has 21 Tips

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  • Photo of Eater
    4 years ago
    La Medusa offers a frequently changing market-driven menu of Sicilian fare that would be a gem in any neighborhood.
  • Photo of C S
    5 months ago
    La Medusa offers up delicious Italian food with local flare and local sources. The food was great and the service was very good. Do not be fooled by the low key, non fancy decor, the food was excellent with many locally sourced items and organic ingredients. The simple blackboard menu lists the tasty fare of the day. We ordered the squid ink spaghetti puttanesca and the pork sausage sauce on rigatoni (pastas are made in house), also a cheese and fig appetizer, and an arancini croquette. We got dessert: in house hand made vanilla ice cream with a fig sauce. Our dinner for two ran around 90 (with tip and no drinks- worth every penny!) Everything was just delicious - totally perfect.
  • Photo of UnhappyCamperSeattle
    Some of the worst service ever, Truly awful. And our server had the gall to charge us 20% for service even after admitting our dinner was bad. Food was undercooked and not fixed when we asked for it to be cooked as ordered. We waited over 30 minutes for an under cooked steak to be properly cooked to medium rare. When we sent the steak back our server brought out the rest of the plate and suggested we eat it while we waited for the steak. After 30 minutes the steak still never arrived. We could see into the kitchen where the chefs were spending all night on their phones, not paying attention to cooking. Crazy bad experience. Never going back.
  • Photo of TrvlAdvntr
    6 months ago
    La Medusa is an excellent Italian restaurant focusing on Sicilian cuisine. The menu changes frequently and is posted on a chalk board. At a recent dinner, I had spaghetti and meatballs and my companion had campanelle with asparagus and pine nuts. The red sauce on the spaghetti had a heavy dose of garlic, but was otherwise very tasty. The campanelle was flavorful, but lacked something to tie the flavors together. The wine list has a good sample of the usual Italian wines on a short list.
  • Photo of Jennifer S
    8 months ago
    This area is charming & we enjoyed eating lunch at a different restaurant earlier in the week. We specifically came back to eat dinner at La Mesusa. We weren't starving so we split the order of bread & pasta marinara & added meatballs for the hubby. My hubby ate 1 ball & said it didn't really taste good & stopped there. I ate half of the pasta & no meat. He got so sick that we had to cancel our whale watching tour off the San Juans because he wasn't able to fly the next day. This was the sole purpose of our trip so BEWARE of the meat it may make you sick.
  • Photo of rugglesruggiero
    9 months ago
    My latest visit to La Medusa was as good as my first. This little restaurant in the Columbia City area is always crowded with fabulous Italian food. Diners should be aware that it is noisy and tables are close together - but you never feel like you're having dinner with the adjoining table. On our last visit we had their tomato and garlic soup which was amazingly tasty, spaghetti with meatballs and rigatoni and cannoli. The Columbia City bakery olive bread was to die for. All of it was really delicious. Service was friendly and attentive.
  • Photo of PoinTeR2014
    a year ago
    We've come here a number of times and have had amazing meals each time. The food, from the starters, to fresh pastas, to mains have all been great. We've tended to split a few small plates, and then either share or order individually pastas / mains to each person's preference. The pasta tastes as fresh as it is... One small negative. I'd probably stick with wine next time as opposed to the cocktail. I think they left my Manhattan on ice a little too long in prep, so I found myself wanting a bit more strength.
  • Photo of Pat G
    a year ago
    My husband and I selected La Medusa, which we had had difficulty getting in for dinner, for our anniversary. Though we were really looking forward to the dinner, we were underwhelmed. Yes, the food was ok but overpriced. We were hoping for more than pasta dishes I can make at home. It was home cooking style Sicilian with lots of vegetable choices; only a seafood soup and steak were options with meat/fish other than spaghetti with meatballs. Wine was $11 a glass for a skimpy pour.
  • Photo of Jess R
    a year ago
    Make a reservation in advance as this is a delightfully small place. The greens are probably my favorite starter-seemingly so simple, but so packed with intricate flavor. Any of the pastas I've had I would order many times over. Friendly and appropriately attentive service. Love that I can walk here for a special dinner out!
  • Photo of jay s
    2 years ago
    It had been several years since my last visit to La Medusa. When it first opened 20+ years ago, I lived in Columbia City - which was a sleepy inner city neighborhood trying to find its footing. I was very grateful La Medusa came to our neighborhood with its refined take on Sicilian cuisine. Flash forward and Columbia City is Hot with charming shops, restaurants and attractions up and down. La Medusa is now a cornerstone of the area and the food still rocks. This is a neighborhood restaurant, it's very low key in atmosphere - but that belies the quality of the food. Our table of four started with gorgeous Arancini laced with saffron & stuffed with bits of mozzarella, Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts (addictive) and Sauteed Greens in the most aromatic broth. You could easily make a meal of these gorgeous small plates. The menu offers a nice variety of more common dishes and unusual ones. I had Short Rib on Parsnip Puree topped with a smattering of greens. It was very rich and delicious, the parsnip puree was rather sweet but I enjoyed it. Other table mates had pastas, one had a "basic" Spaghetti and Meatballs, another had Squid Ink Pasta Puttanesca. My cousin had a lovely Cavatelli with Pork. He's Italian American - spent much time in Italy - and he found it soul satisfying, reminding him of family food. Cocktail choices are limited but well done here. My Manhattan with rye was delicious and reminded me of a Sazerac. My husband had a Manhattan with Bulleit - and we enjoyed the contrasts between the two. Breads are supplied by neighbor Columbia City Bakery - delicious. Desserts and espresso are on par. I had a delicious, light panna cotta with kumquats that was a perfect ending to the meal. To give an idea of price: Our meal, all the above mentioned food plus about 6 cocktails was around $250 before tip. Entrees average $20-25. I am a diner lover, a cheap meal enthusiast, when I eat at better establishments I am very particular - La Medusa's food is worth the splurge.
  • Photo of seattlesuzanna
    2 years ago
    Went here with a group of friends, it's a little neighborhood spot, a little romantic in feel. Very small, I recommend reservations. The menu changes and is on a chalk board. We shared several starters and all of them were phenomenal. Honestly I wish I just made a meal of starters. We did the beet salad and roasted brussel sprouts and they were both amazing. Really great flavors and interesting garnishes. The brussel sprouts had a root vegetable puree that was to die for and toasted pine nuts. I had the lamb ragu pasta as an entree. The lamb was tasty but the greens in it had a bitter taste that detracted from the flavor of the dish and the overall taste was a bit saltier than I like. Although I am quite sensitive to salt. However my three friends all had pasta dishes as well and they all complained of some saltiness though two of them liked how salty it was. It's a leisurely pace, so don't come if you are in a hurry. We were headed to the movies after and there's no way we could have gotten a third course in in the 90 minutes we were there.
  • Photo of Macabebe
    2 years ago
    Both the food and atmosphere in this little neighbourhood restaurant is great. The menu is on the wall and it seems anything from "grandma" is golden.
  • Photo of BizTravelerSeattleWA
    We are becoming frequent patrons of this wonderful restaurant. The service by Donna and the other staff is most excellent. Last evening they offered their delightful Suppa de Pesce, which was generous enough to share, as are all of their dishes. Between two hungry adults, three dishes were more than enough. We always have a great wine, too, due to Donna's recommendations. Bravissimo!
  • Photo of alex b
    2 years ago
    A modest location on a busy street, without own parking. The menu chalked on a blackboard, unavailable on the web, apparently owing to frequent changes. The dishes mostly differ from the standard “Italian” menu, which makes a visit here more interesting. The dishes are complex, frequently prepared according to “grandma’s” recipes. There are no other amenities, and the prices are typical of the “Italian” persuasion of restaurants, i.e. on the high side. Why that should be so is a mystery to me, when those of Chinese or Thai, etc., restaurants tend to be half or less, and the diner there is typically greeted with a complimentary tea or welcoming dish. I wonder and ponder, but an explanation eludes me.
  • Photo of WSS64
    2 years ago
    A quaint and cozy restaurant outskirts of Seattle offering super fresh and delicious dishes with locally sourced ingredients. Pretty much everything we ordered was excellent and the service was attentive and friendly. What a delight of a restaurant!! Definitely will go back next time in Seattle!!
  • Photo of TheBlitz
    2 years ago
    I wish I had the food vocabulary to do justice to this place. The menu is on a blackboard, and the wait staff patiently answers any question as you try to sort through the 1/10th of it you don't understand but adore learning about. The bread is fresh from the bakery two doors away. We had the grilled broccoli and cauliflower with a sauce I can't even begin to describe though I'm pretty sure it's the best veggie sauce I had ever. My wife had a pasta dish with tons of subtle flavors. My tuna was prepared perfectly, with a nice sear on the outside and lovely texture within. It was on a bed of exotic salad greens and with an egg with a nice liquid yolk. They forgot the cherry tomatoes and brought them out midway; I had not even noticed, and rather appreciated that this was the honest thing to do. Wine is expensive by the glass, but hey, it's Seattle. It can be very, very cramped. This was my second visit. We lucked out and got a window table, and had the ideal dining experience. I wish you the same! The people watching is glorious; the neighborhood is as diverse as one can imagine. The other time I was here, it was with three noisy people, and it all kind of blended in. The dining room is a bit of a chance for quiet couples. Well worth it, though, IMHO.
  • Photo of GeoffRandal
    2 years ago
    Turning up without a booking we snared a bar-style seat at the entrance to La Medusa. There was not much space, though we had a good view of other customers coming and going, plus evening pedestrians in a very diverse part of Seattle. The food was excellent: flavour full, well conceived and well presented, with generous portions. The service backed it up well.
  • Photo of Art C
    2 years ago
    An escapee from San Diego, I enjoyed an extraordinary, multi-sensory experience at La Medusa. Street parking was easy among its surrounding tree-lined avenues. The eatery’s unassuming frontage folds neatly into the early 20th-century appearance of its historically preserved neighborhood. From the number of personal greetings by the host, I gathered half the clientele were repeat business if not old friends. The cheery wait-persons knew how the day’s cuisine was prepared— the menu white-chalked on an overhead blackboard-- and gave helpful suggestions for both wine and food. I was surprised how scrumptious squid spaghetti tasted; when whetted by white Italian wine the meal was positively boffo. Following flan, I found the amount of the bill the only modest feature of what must surely be one of America’s premier Sicilian restaurants.
  • Photo of gogirls555
    2 years ago
    Three of us went for dinner and WOW was it yummy. I had the set meal they have on Wednesdays. Very fresh pasta. Wonderful fresh desert. My friend had tuna - perfectly prepared. Other friend had steak ... it was a little chewy . . . TOO chewy for the price! Overall though, a great spot, great food, great use of local ingredients. Highly recommended.
  • Photo of bhm_831
    3 years ago
    I have been to La Medusa 3 or 4 times over the last several years and it is wonderful. This is a small, intimate yet casual place. It has a chalkboard menu because their offerings vary according to what's available. Their hallmark is serving fresh Italian/Mediterranean fare that is creatively prepared. Service is pitch perfect. The wait staff are professionals yet friendly and outgoing. This place is such a pleasure and a treasure. I envy those who live near by.
  • Photo of Vinturi
    3 years ago
    Whenever we visit Seattle dining at La Medusa is a must. Their menu is a mixture of Italian and Mediterranean. The staff is friendly and even though we don't get to Seattle often, we are treated like regulars. The kitchen is willing to work around the diner's palate so if you like the way a particular entree sounds except for an ingredient or two, they will come up with something similar that will please your palate and it will be extremely delicious. The restaurant is small so reservations are definitely advised. Their corkage fee is $24 so we don't bring a bottle of wine with us - we just order our cocktails and wine there.

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