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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

Topic: Asian Restaurants

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June 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Eat a fish, save the oceans

PPfinalcoverWorld Oceans Day, June 8, was a reminder to reflect on our relationship to wild fish and the dwindling numbers of many species. Can we stop plundering the oceans and still feed a world population rapidly approaching 9 billion?

In a new book, “The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World,” Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless and co-author Suzannah Evans tackle that big question, outlining the issues and presenting solutions. Sharpless will be in Seattle on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at the Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill for a reading followed by a Q & A session.


The book also addresses the consumer’s dilemma: How can we find and choose responsibly caught seafood? It includes recipes from top chefs, among them Eric Ripert, of New York’s famed seafood restaurant Le Bernardin, and Hajime Sato, the owner of Mashiko, Seattle’s first sustainable sushi bar. Sato will also attend the Elliott Bay Book Company event.


In an interview on KIRO Radio’s “Let’s Eat” that aired June 8, Sato talked about his decision to carry only sustainable seafood at his West Seattle restaurant.


“I’d been teaching on different occasions and in class they began asking where fish come from. I had to study about it.  I found out some were not sustainable. When I started to look into it, I began to feel like a hypocrite.”


Comments | Topics: Andy Sharpless, Asian Restaurants, Hajime Sato

June 4, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Pu Pu Hot Pot: Your ‘best’ worst restaurant names?

“Have you been to my new favorite restaurant?” a friend asked a few years back, pointing to my left as we drove up Greenwood Avenue North. I made one of the fastest U-turns of my life, then pulled into the strip-mall parking lot in front of a Vietnamese pho house. One whose name might make some folks blush.


Pho Kim Vietnamese restaurant. Gone, but not forgotten. photo/Nancy Leson

Pho Kim. Gone, but not forgotten. photo/Nancy Leson


“Dinner?” asked the gentleman behind the counter.  “No, thanks, I just wanted to grab a takeout menu,” I said with feigned innocence (just like when I was a kid calling the corner drugstore to ask, “Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well, let him out!”).

The next day at the office, Nicole Brodeur took one look the Pho Kim menu and cracked, “That’s where all the bitter divorcees have lunch.”

Not anymore. The name — a common one, it turns out — has since changed. And what do you know? My friends and I are not the only ones laughing, as you can see right here:


Comments | Topics: Asian Restaurants, Ben Brusey, pho

December 23, 2011 at 7:08 AM

More kimchee for me: Jeonju B’Bop Fusion Rice Bar

Ask this North End restaurant maven what’s hot, and I’ll tell you: Korean food. Travel Highway 99 from Shoreline through Lynnwood, and you won’t drive two minutes without coming across a Korean restaurant. That said, it’s easy to miss Jeonju B’ Bop Fusion Rice Bar — one of a trio of Korean eateries set back off the highway just north of 188th Street Southwest. But now that I’ve found it, I’m addicted.

Wait! Don’t stop reading because you’re unfamiliar with the cuisine, uncomfortable around kimchee and unsure what to order when much of the menu is in Hangul and much of the staff speak limited English. Consider this a culinary journey-without-a-passport.

Picture steaming bowls of soup with rice cakes and dumplings, fragrant soybean stews and rib-sticking bibimbap. No salt and pepper on the table? Reach instead for the jars of salty fermented shrimp and flaky red chilies. Need a translator? Ask those folks taking chopsticks to pork feet. Now repeat after me: “This is an adventure!”

Stone-pot bibimbap (foreground), with complimentary kimchee on the side. [photo: Nancy Leson]


Comments | More in Restaurants | Topics: Asian Restaurants

August 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Talking tofu in Seattle: trust me, you want some

Let’s talk tofu. I used to wrinkle my nose at the thought of it, just like many of you. “Bland!” I’d cry. “Boring!” I’d insist. “Soybean curd? Forget it!” But that was back before I knew better.

To live in and around Seattle, and to ignore the tantalizing textures and downright deliciosity that is tofu, is a mistake you should not make. Why? Because there’s so much more to tofu than those little white cubes floating in the miso soup served with your sushi combo. And more ways to eat it than you might imagine: fried and chilefied for snacking, knotted into tofu-noodles, softly floating in scintillating stews and ginger-syrup sweetened as a silken dessert.

Who says tofu is boring? Not me! And you won’t either, if you try this hotpot at Seattle’s Northwest Tofu, chockfull of treasures including tofu noodles and 5-spice tofu.


Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News | Topics: Asian Restaurants

March 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Banh mi unwrapped, Vietnamese sandwiches we love

Last month, when The New York Times took readers on a cross-country tour of banh mi stops — most notably to one of the leading centers of Vietnamese sandwich culture: Seattle — national debate ensued. Rabble roused, folks weighed in on the sandwich that gives a good name to the words “fast food” and commonly costs less than a Big Mac.

What constitutes a proper banh mi? Baguette crisp enough to drop a flurry of crumbs on your shirt, with an interior soft enough to embrace the proffered protein, for one thing. Mayo and freshly pickled do chua (carrot and daikon), plus slivered cucumber, cilantro and hot chilies for another.

Rising to the bait, I responded in a blog post, giving the big-thumbs up to my banh mi “best” — Yeh Yeh’s in Lynnwood, where I regularly have a tough time choosing between the tenderly rendered grilled pork or chicken overstuffed (or perfectly stuffed if you ask me) with do chua. Readers gave a shout-out to their local favorites.

Raves came in for Q Bakery on South Graham Street, noting their house-baked bread, and for the “fantastic foot-long banh mi” at nearby Tammy’s Bakery. And I’m forever in debt to those who directed me to the Rainier Valley shopping center where Tony’s Bakery & Deli sits in the shadow of Viet Wah.

Jacklyn Tran, showing us what’s in store at Tony’s Bakery & Deli, named for her brother Tony: banh mi, and then some. [Seattle Times Ellen Banner]


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

February 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Best banh mi? You be the judge

Tongues have been wagging about Vietnamese sandwiches after New York Times writer Jordan Michelman took up the subject this week, agreeing to disagree on who makes the best banh mi in America. “The Pacific Northwest’s Vietnamese community is thriving, and consequentially, Seattle has dozens of excellent banh mi options,” writes Michelman. “The consensus pick…


Comments | More in | Topics: Asian Restaurants

January 18, 2011 at 6:45 PM

It’s a small(er) Pal-Do World after all

The fall closure of Pal-Do World in Lynnwood may not be news to you, but it certainly was to the young couple who drove up to the place early this month, took a look at the note on the door and headed right back to their car mumbling #@$%! in Korean. Indeed, I felt their pain. But rather than sit quiet with those feelings, as I did, I should have said, “Hey, wait a minute! Get back here! The food court is still open for business!” Which is why those front doors were unlocked.

The shelves at Pal-Do World in Lynnwood are barren, but there’s still action inside for the hungry.

Had they stepped inside they’d have found Diana and Andrew Choi ready to hook them up with a warming cauldron of soondubu (among other deliciousities) at their popular cafe, Cho Dang Tofu. What’s more, the Choi family is still serving their famous KFC (that’s Korean fried chicken), prepared next door at their adjacent kiosk, Chicky Pub.


Comments | More in Shopping | Topics: Asian Restaurants

January 14, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Time for some traditional Korean beef soup

It’s January. The week’s slush has dissipated. The forecast says rain, rain, and more rain. The day defines gloomy. Sounds like a recipe for traditional Korean beef soup! Sure, I could run out to the store to buy some oxtails, marrow bones and beef knuckle and get to work making stock for homemade sul lung tang, but why bother when I can leave the hard part up to the professionals?

I got my sul lung tang-fix here at 22929 Highway 99 in Edmonds. You’ll find this strip mall due south of 99 Ranch Market, in an area that’s become a heavenly haven for Korean-food fanatics like me.

The Korean transliteration of this soup shop is Chun Tung Sul Lung Tang or Jeon Tong Sul Lung Tang — depending on which Korean translator I’m talking to. I’m told the Chun/Jeon Tong/Tang means “traditional” and the Sul Lung Tang translates as “beef stock soup.” But seeing as my A-B-C’s don’t include Hangeul, I’ll stick with what I know:


Comments | More in | Topics: Asian Restaurants