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Reel Au Ra
Reel Au Ra, the long-running and celebrated Filipino and American landmark restaurant in Alki Beach, is celebrating its 36th anniversary. The restaurant, which opened in 1981 and has been called one of the best seafood restaurants in the state, is known for its delicious steamed Manila clams and ceviche.
This Sunday, Reel Au Ra will celebrate the 36th anniversary of their family-owned restaurant on Alki Beach.
The business was started by Bobby Moquino, who emigrated from the Philippines in 1975, a time when many of his family members were also moving to the United States.
"I remember that the dishes that I liked back then, now I make them," he said. "I started just by myself."
Moquino started working at his father's restaurant, Tampico, and learned to cook seafood from his mother and from his grandmother.
In 1981, he decided to open his own restaurant on Alki Beach. He rented the space for $14,000, which he said was a lot of money at the time.
"He was very good at everything, but he was not very good at business," said Moquino's brother, Robert. "He was very poor.
"He ran a very good business. He never ran a bad business, but the business was a little slow."
While the restaurant has closed several times over the years, it was always able to pick itself up and carry on, Moquino said.
It was during that time that the restaurant was given its name.
"We changed our name to Reel Au Ra. When we opened, it was a kind of rusty corrugated-iron door, and it was a rusty corrugated-iron fence.
"When I came from the Philippines and saw those rusty things, that's what I said. 'Is it a mermaid's tail? Or is it a fairy's tail? Is it a mythical tail?' It was called Reel Au Ra because I always wanted a fender of a truck and a little tail behind it. And, therefore, we have this good name."
The restaurant, which is a block away from W 0b46394aab