... Is one badass tavern in South Lake Union

Though most classic American kitchens invariably contain Chardonnay-slugging mothers silently weeping about their sons' failures to make the JV lacrosse team even though they paid for two separate camps, Cal's Classic American Kitchen is no place for tears. The bi-level, 200-seat, mid-century industrial space serves inventive takes on pub food and is outfitted with sweet features like a steel communal table fitted with self-service taps

Eats mean snacks (housemade cheese puffs w/ bacon powder & beer cheese sauce), mains (cast-iron skillet-cooked short ribs braised in red wine & served w/ market vegetables), and sides like classic mac & cheese, though according to the menu you can "make it dirty" or "add pig", two things that N.W.A. might point out also make for excellent rap songs. Midday munching calls for soups, sandwiches, and their signature hand-formed, CA-certified, ground chuck burger to which you can add things like grilled onions, bacon, or eggs, which tend to make everything except the second season of True Blood way better

Behind the bar they've got a sweet range of cocktails that're heavy on molecular gastronomy, the dessert menu's stocked with things like a Twinkie pudding/yellow cake orange creamsicle topped with housemade sorbet, and, in two weeks, there'll be brunch, which means chicken & waffles w/ smoked maple syrup, and other tasty items to enjoy while reLAXing.