Bang Bang Kitchen: Three Times the Charm for a Successful Sister Duo

by Rosalind Brazel 

With the success under their belt of Café Pettirosso and Bang Bang Café, the sister team of Miki and Yuki Sodos have launched into a new venture in South Seattle. Bang Bang Kitchen on 4219 S Othello, offers a menu similar to Bang Bang Café, but the stepped-up kitchen design has helped them expand the menu considerably.

“We have a hood in the kitchen so we have huevos rancheros, sunny side up eggs and we have a full brunch,” says co-owner Miki Sodos. “We can do anything we want.”

Commercial kitchen vent hoods effectively manage the flow of grease and expel odor and air contaminants from the air. The expanded menu at Bang Bang Kitchen includes a few dishes you might not normally see at a restaurant that serves Mexican-style food. The Sodos call it New Mexican with a nod toward the sisters’ roots.

“We are from Albuquerque and we thought we should just do what we know,” says Miki Sodos,

The basis of New Mexican cuisine comes from red and green hatch chiles which are a breed of the Anaheim pepper, for chili aficionados. The refined menu has evidence of the pepper and the unique feel of New Mexico including the red chile chili which is made with ground beef, red chile, onion, cheddar cheese, and sour cream and it’s served with cornbread. The hatch chile burger is made with a Painted Hills ground beef patty topped with roasted hatch chile, grilled onion, and sharp cheddar cheese on a potato bun.

The New Mexico Frito Pie is an elegant twist on a popular midwestern dish that includes chili, cheese, and corn chips. Tomatoes and a sour cream ribbon on top help balance the dish that is served on a perfectly torn Fritos bag, of course. Other favorites include the staples of tacos, enchiladas and burritos with a Bang Bang twist. A few options for non-red meat eaters are the impossible burger and the roast half chicken. Light and airy sopapillas are deep fried to perfection and covered with honey. Bang Bang Kitchen is a great place to try something new and interesting.

You might not know it from their success, but these sisters come from a different side of the food business. Yuki Sodos comes from the coffee world and Miki from bartending. Both women have front-of-the-house experience which is evident in the welcoming atmosphere at all three of their establishments. When the opportunity to jump into the food world presented itself, the sisters went for it with gusto.

“At Bang Bang Café, I learned to cook there and I developed all the recipes. I had some chef friends come help me and I just learned real fast,” said Miki Sodos. “It was a lot of cleaning and a lot of work but for someone who comes from a pretty modest upbringing to get this opportunity just for a lot of sweat equity, we thought we’d try it.”

Their second New Mexican-food restaurant was another opportunity they couldn’t pass up after thoughts of expanding and available real estate came together in the space on Othello.

“It’s been a hard year but I think the neighborhood is responding well,” said Miki Sodos.

A surprise chef shuffle landed Chris Leeking at the helm of Bang Bang Kitchen. They started with a soft launch to get their sea legs. Now, the restaurant is open for dinner nightly from 4 – 9 p.m. and has a New Mexican-themed brunch Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Miki Sodos says no new ventures are on the docket right now. The sisters want to settle in and build on what they have.

Authors note: Although the margaritas are delicious and made of hand pressed juiced, they are heavily loaded with ice and failed to pack a punch on the night of my visit.

Rosalind Brazel is a self-professed food snob. She has been food obsessed since childhood and enjoys dining out as much as she does creating meals of her own. She was recently featured as a Cook-to-Follow in Allrecipes magazine and served as judge on the cooking show Dinner Spinner. She calls South Seattle home.

Featured image: Rosalind Brazel