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November 6, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Wild Ginger? I’ll say. Fancy/hole-in-the-wall: you say?

From the initial comments on my overview of the new Wild Ginger and its Seattle counterpart today, I can see they’re coming out of the woodwork already. Nah, not the attractive hostesses, the servers pointing out the signature dishes that helped put the Ginger atop Zagat’s “Most Popular” index for 20 years, nor the sommeliers here to assist with a wide world of grape juice. I’m talking about the readers who need to note you’ll find “better,” more “authentic” and far less fussy Asian food — priced for a bargain feeding frenzy — at restaurants in the ID and Little Saigon, in the strip malls of Redmond, Lynnwood and Federal Way and at the take-out counters of our super Asian supermarkets. To them I say, “Oh, cry me a river!” — of this:

Malaysian laksa: my go-to dish at Wild Ginger.

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

Yes, there are many, many reasons to frequent Greater Seattle’s lesser-sung Asian food haunts. And I do, all the time, as you know if you spend much time here at All You Can Eat. Places like these:

Don’t miss the dumplings at Sichuanese Cuisine in Little Saigon.

Winter woes? Ditch ’em with spicy Korean beef soup at Kaya in Shoreline.

I’m addicted to these marinated bamboo shoots at Green Village in the ID.

Bet you can’t eat just one, at Tsukushinbo in old Japantown.

$1.79 for banh mi? Sure, if you go to Viet-Wah in South Seattle.

The truck stops here: tempting takeout from Kaosamai Thai’s mobile unit.

But as much as I love hanging in haunts like Chili’s Deli and Pal-Do World, where I can delight in the wonders of masala dosa or Korean fried chicken with colorful panchan . . .

This marvelous Masala dosa at Chili’s on University Way costs about $6, soup included.

Korea’s No. 1 fried chicken — with side dishes at Cho Dang Tofu at Pal-Do World in Lynnwood.

. . . there remains in my heart a place at the table — or better yet, as I said today, at the satay bar — for my longtime love, Wild Ginger, now with a new, industrial-goes-elegant outpost in Bellevue.

The dual-level dining room and (momentarily quiet) satay bar at Wild Ginger at the Bravern.

[Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz]

Let’s face it: Not everybody loves a hole-in-the-wall “ethnic” cafe or a pig’s ear salad. Which, to my thinking, is their loss and my gain.

Pig ears? I can’t hearrrrrrrr you! Yes, PIG EARS — at Szechuan 99 in Lynnwood.

Now fess up, what’s your favorite place for Asian eats, times two: “fancy”-ish and “hole-in-the-wall”?

Comments | More in Restaurants | Topics: Nancy's Restaurant Roundups

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