Downtown Puyallup has seen impressive restaurant movement since 2011 - and now another opening has arrived.
Salsa 7 has opened in the former home of Sam's Taqueria. The restaurant is billed by owner Ramesh Kumar as a modern Mexican restaurant.
Kumar is the owner of Karma Indian Cuisine and Lounge, a popular South Hill destination for its cocktails and menu of Indian standards married with modern presentations (the restaurant previously was called Sumay). Expect a similar delivery at Salsa 7, said Kumar, when I interviewed him by phone a few months ago. He described the menu as classic Mexican with modern touches. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily. Find the restaurant at 506 N. Meridian, Puyallup.
South Sound diners should take note of the transformation in downtown Puyallup - which has been evolving since 2011's opening of Crockett's Public House and TK Irish Pub (read a review of Crockett's here and a review of TK here).
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Bourbon Street Bar and Grill opened in December, bringing Cajun cuisine back to a region that's been missing bayou dining for several years. The bar landscape in and around downtown Puyallup also has changed, with newcomers Puyallup River Alehouse and The Forum opening in 2013.
In recent months, British Bites and Cosmopolitan Teas also have opened.
Puyallup long has been home to great dining finds. Toscanos Cafe and Wine Bar and HG Bistro, both on East Main, are favorites. Read this review of Toscanos and this story about HG Bistro's breakfasts. Charlie's has proven itself a solid choice for American classics. Pie in downtown Puyallup is always a treat - try it at Don's Drive-In and at Cattin's next to the fairgrounds.
If we're talking downtown Puyallup dining, then mention must be made of an eatery that doesn't get a lot of buzz, but should. Kanpai is a classic Japanese sushi restaurant with a dining room that isn't especially fancy. The restaurant's sushi chef has a deft hand with fish.