Hearty Soups and Spicy Dishes Make for Fall-Worthy Warmers at Plum Alley.

By Yeti Oct 25, 2012
Bone-thawing bowls of intense, steaming ramen do the trick at Salt Lake City’s Plum Alley, a hip joint for savory Southeast Asian food and lively spirits. Guest blogger Pamela Olson investigates.
Hearty Soups and Spicy Dishes Make for Fall-Worthy Warmers at Plum Alley.

•Note, this blog post is written by guest blogger, Pamela Olson, who is a finalist for the Ski Utah Foodie blogger position. Comment, engage and share this post. The Ski Utah Foodie Blogger will be announced here, this upcoming Monday at noon.

In East Asian cultures, the plum carries much symbolism. The first to bloom while the winter air still bites, plum blossoms represent nature’s vigor. In art, the plum is considered one of the “three friends of winter” with pine and bamboo. Today, with the season’s first snow visible on the peaks (watch Powderhound Matt giddily slay new snow at Powder Mountain!), it seemed fitting for winter-loving friends to gather at Plum Alley, a dining hot spot in Salt Lake City.
Plum Alley is modern Asian-fusion, a sensory experience verging on overload.  The setting is vibrant yet coolly-subdued, the ceiling a carpet of glowing lanterns while a painting of a gaping fish covers the roll-up garage wall. Aromas of sesame, rich meats and roasting peppers simmer in the air. Simple crates of chopsticks and sauces as well as the concise menu and snappy service make Plum Alley inviting and accessible.

With seven of us sharing family style, we sampled much of Chef Jamison Frank’s offerings but for me, it all comes down to the P.A. Ramen. The broth is reduced for 20 hours before it’s loaded with pork belly, pulled pork, house-made noodles and poached egg. It’s complex comfort food perfect for an après ski dinner. That said, the delicious starter of zucchini tossed in a chili garlic sauce with mushrooms, crispy shallots and a fried egg was spicy and addicting. The House Noodles were rich with a sesame sauce, balanced with sautéed red peppers and eggplant and topped with cilantro. Rounding it off are house-made ice creams and an admirable selection of whiskeys, including a daily feature.

Local Knowledge:

* It’s popular. Arrive early and expect elbow-to-elbow seating at long tables. Dining next to strangers makes the experience jovial!

* Plum Alley is one of Bon Appetit’s Top 50 New Best New Restaurants.

*Plum Alley is the name of Salt Lake City’s old Chinatown.

Plum Alley

111 E. Broadway