Maria's tortillas, Brian's recipes, so many delicious beverages and the perfect pre-movie snacks!
Cantina Leña is a bright new spot in the downtown Seattle dining scene. Flavors of Yucatan cuisine inspired the concise and vibrant menu which features smoked meats, charred veggies and zesty ceviche. We hope you develop an addiction to the crunchy pork carnitas nachos or the torta with smoked meat & pickled pineapple. At lunch time there is quick tempo counter & bar service and in the evening a full service bar and dining room.
Inspired By Mexico
The rustic cooking of Mexico is an influence on the Cantina Leña menu but our chefs have definitely added their own flair and great Northwest ingredients. Our masa is ground in house by volcanic stones to produce toothsome tortillas.
Two must try dishes are Brian’s longaniza sausage and a crunchy new take on olive oil pinto beans. Our bar manager Renee, has some tasty concoctions waiting for you , great tequila, slushies and modern takes on horchata.
Cantina Leña is located at the corner of 5th and Lenora on the street level of The Martin residential building. It is a lively space of vibrant colors. tile, wood beams, and industrial infrastructure surrounded by 20 foot tall windows. A big menu board welcomes you and gets your mouth watering. Food is easily prepared for to -go orders , the kitchen line is right behind the counter so you can watch the cooks assemble your delicious meal or settle in to enjoy the cantina vibe.We are happy to be next door neighbors with the fantastically renovated Cinerama and hope you stop in on your way to the movies.
Brian Walczyk is the Chef of Cantina Leña. Remarkably, Cantina Lena is the sixth Tom Douglas Restaurant where Brian has been promoted to the top kitchen position of Chef. Previous to Cantina Lena, Brian has successfully taken the helm as Chef of Lola, Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Brave Horse Tavern and TanakaSan.
Brian started out as a prep cook at the Dahlia Lounge and, ten years later, worked his way up to the top kitchen position of Chef. During his years of cooking on the line at Dahlia, Brian worked and honed his skills under three talented Dahlia Chefs- John Sundstrom (now chef of Lark), Matt Costello (now chef of Inn at Langley), and Mark Fuller (now chef of Ma’ono). Brian believes this gave him an experience similar to working at three different top restaurants, without ever having to leave the Dahlia Lounge.
When Lola opened in 2004, Brian changed positions from Dahlia line cook to Lola Sous Chef, then worked his way up to become Lola’s Chef. In 2007, Brian changed positions again to become Chef of the Dahlia Lounge. In 2009, Brian moved from Dahlia to Palace to become Chef of Palace Kitchen. In 2011, with the opening of new Tom Douglas Restaurants in South Lake Union, Brian became chef of Brave Horse Tavern. In 2013, when TanakaSan opened in the Via 6 apartment complex, Brian took over the Chef spot and is now opening up the company’s latest venture, Cantina Leña.
An ardent Green Bay Packers fan, Brian grew up in Wisconsin and eventually settled in Seattle after an interlude working in Los Angeles. He attended the Art Institute of Seattle for his culinary education, which he graduated from in 1999.
Brian lives in Renton with his beautiful wife, Beatrice, and his baby son, Weston Ray.