What is DIS?

Who doesn’t love a good pop up? DIS is the creative concept of Chef David Valencia, Bri Valencia, and Kieran McMeekin. They’re exploring the flavors of the Pacific Northwest with the influence of Mexico. Last week, I was invited to Taco Independence Day, a 6-course taco tasting hosted by DIS at addo: incubator: ballard.

Chef David Valencia

As someone who loves to interact with businesses, the stories and passion that drives people fascinates me. Menus that give me a glimpse into the hearts of the creator are powerful. The personal stories that give rise to innovative combinations and flavors grab my attention. The menu was thoughtful and well executed. You’ll see what I mean when I highlight the food below.

Sous Chef Kieran McMeekin

Laughing and joking with Chef David while he prepared dishes reminded me of how food should be. All of us gathered around, watching food being made, sipping drinks, catching up, making new friends and overall, enjoying the experience of being together. I’m grateful to follow my passion and be part of a vibrant food community made up of folks like @vanessaxcamille @nelson_eats @emeraldcityeater @lyfeofjess. Catching up with friends and making new ones while enjoying great food – that’s what it’s all about.

Local artist Dozfy was in the house and did a live giveaway with Conner Cayson, a.k.a. Find Me in Seattle. Dozfy is perhaps best known for his menu art but he does so much more! My treasured piece is a cutting board that I got at an event at The Butcher’s Table this summer. If you don’t know him, follow him on Instagram and introduce yourself when you see him. Now on to the food!

Present Tense Farm taco

Present Tense Farm Taco

Chef David took a walk down memory lane, reminiscing about Present Tense Farms, one of the first farms he met. This taco was composed entirely of ingredients from that farm. The base is an arugula tortilla, topped with sweet pepper aioli, adobo eggplant, onion, tomato, fennel, and umbellifers. The texture of the eggplant was sturdy and it held up to the other ingredients well.


Washington Crab & Chorizo Taco

Washington Crab & Chorizo Taco

Wow! Just wow! This taco blew me away! It all began with a ground corn tortilla. Next came the sweet Dungeness crab meat and savory chorizo. Pulling it all together was hibiscus marinated cucumber, pickled daikon, and watercress. On paper, those ingredients could easily work against each other. The execution was a perfectly composed dish! I wanted more!!!

Taco Negro – The Emo Kid Taco


Taco Negro – The Emo Kid Taco

Chef David told the story of how much he loves to wear black, which is part of the concept behind this taco. A charcoal tortilla is topped with poached potato, sesame seed and urfa aioli, and a bit of nutritional yeast. I love potatoes in tacos!

Spring Rain Farm Rabbit Taco

Spring Rain Farm Rabbit Taco

This crunchy taco was delightful! The Spring Rain Farm rabbit was braised in red wine and served with pomegranate seeds, pickled onions and slaw. I’m a rabbit lover but it needs to be handled with care. It was a win in this dish – cooked just right!

Piña Open Face Empanada

Piña Open Face Empanada

The crust was sturdy and buttery. It was the right texture to handle the pineapple compote with delicate orange whipped cream. I wasn’t sure I’d make it though this one. I was getting full and although I typically don’t like cooked pineapple, I ate this entire dish! Bri Valencia nailed it on this one!

Choco Taco

Chocolate Taco

I admit it. I love choco tacos and I buy them from convenience stores. Don’t judge me! This is so extra compared to that concept! A peanut tuile shell houses a spoonful of chocolate mousse with hibiscus reduced plums. So sweet! So delish!

Closing Time

The night ended with a playful card trick from Chef Kieran. The entire night was magical so I wasn’t surprised by the magic trick (although I’m pretty sure Dozfy was in on it). We moved to another room where we sat in a circle, drank Mexican hot chocolate and ate churros. It was the perfect way to end the night! Many thanks to Chef David, Bri, Kieran, Bill and to addo for hosting! Follow @disrestaurant on Instagram or check out the addoseattle website to register for dinner service on October 1st and October 15th!

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