The second Soul restaurant opened Monday across the street from Tacoma Community College. The opening brings a much-needed style of cuisine to that end of Tacoma.
Called Soul University Place, after the town that’s just across the intersection, the restaurant is a companion to the two-year-old soul food/Latin hybrid restaurant in Tacoma’s Proctor neighborhood.
While Soul in Proctor features a menu of American soul classics, such as fried chicken and fried okra, it also includes a heavy dose of Latin. Dishes from Peru, Puerto Rico and Cuba are listed on the menu.
“We’ll focus more on the soul food side,” said Talya Miller, Soul University Place co-owner, in October. She’ll run the restaurant with Soul co-owners Natural Allah and Jennifer Zaskorski, who will continue to oversee their Proctor Soul. Miller will head the new Soul location.
The restaurant was expecting to serve a limited menu in its opening weeks, but intends to be open daily serving lunch and dinner.
Miller will act as one chef at the restaurant. Her adult children — daughter LaShon Lewis and son Scott Humphrey — also work at the restaurant. Oneal Gamble is the head cook in the kitchen.
The 77-seat restaurant has opened in a space formerly home to I Love Bento, a sushi and Japanese-Korean restaurant. The chef of that restaurant has since moved to Sushi Ari in Puyallup.
The restaurant will bring a unique cuisine to a part of Tacoma that lacks anything of its kind (the closest soul food or Southern restaurants are in Proctor or the Sixth Avenue neighborhoods).
The restaurant also is opening in a strip mall already home to two excellent restaurants. Neighboring restaurants include Taqueria El Sabor, one of the best taquerias in Tacoma outside of the 72nd Street East neighborhood, and Kim Anh, an excellent quick-service Vietnamese restaurant.
University Place: 1620 S. Mildred St., Tacoma; 253-565-7685; facebook.com/souluniversityplace.
Proctor: 2717 N. Proctor St., Tacoma; 253-761-7685, facebook.com/TacomaSoul.