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[SEA] Dinner near Microsoft?

  • j
  • John Aug 9, 2004 05:56 PM

Last time I was in the area I hit quite a few places in Seattle proper, this time I'd like to see what the "Eastside" has to offer.

Heading out to Microsoft in the near future, staying relatively close to Microsoft.

Any suggestions for places not to miss?

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  1. Cafe Juanita

    Link: http://www.cafejuanita.com

    Image: http://www.cafejuanita.com/images/log...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Chris

      Looks decent, any specific item just superb?

      1. re: John
        s
        Seattle Todd

        This is your best bet by far near MSFT.

        I haven't really had a bad course there.

        Appetizer:
        Off the current menu, this item doesn't rotate, try the foie gras. One of the better preparations in Seattle IMO.

        Soup/Salad:
        I really dig all of these. Their homemade soup illustrates why ALL of us chowhounds should judiciously make our own homemade stocks.

        Entrees:
        Their rabbit may be the best in Seattle.
        The branzino/black sea bass, depending on the special that day, is always very fresh and exceptional.

        You shouldn't be able to go wrong there in my experience, though.

        Todd

        1. re: Seattle Todd

          "This" is your best bet?

          Can you be a tad more specific?

          1. re: Robert
            n
            not-the-bad-steve

            Follow the thread back toward its root--they're discussing Cafe Juanita.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      2. re: Chris

        cafe juanita is NOT near Microsoft!! on any given weekday night it could take 30-45 minutes(on a good night)to travel from one to the other. you need to focus more on the redmond/crossroads/overlake area.
        my suggestion would be Firenze in the outer edge of crossroads mall. very good italian, maybe the best on the eastside.

        1. re: bighound

          Which isn't really saying much! I do like Firenze, but like most suburbs, the Eastside is largely a culinary wasteland. Lots of bad chains and fast food.

          There is a good taco place (Tacqueria el Gallo) in downtown redmond, and a some decent Indian (Udupi Palace and Mayuri come to mind), but other than that...Seastar in downtown Bellevue is very good, but not exactly close to MS. You might as well just finish going over the bridge if you're going to go that far.

          A lot of people rave about Barking Frog in Woodinville, but honestly I've never had anything there worth making the trip. It's fine, but not particularly thrilling.

          1. re: bighound

            No traffic it's about 20 minutes. Mapquest states it is 18. You're right that it's not super close but I would think a Chowhound would travel another 10 minutes each way to have really good grub.

            Maybe I'm jaded by driving 45 minutes or more but I'd consider that an 'appropriate' distance for noteworthy food compared to what else the Eastside has to offer. Generally mediocre or hit and miss.

        2. Also in Crossroads Mall (on the side close to the movie theater) is the Udupi Palace. Great Indian food.

          ElizabethC

          5 Replies
          1. re: ElizabethC

            I second the suggestion for Udupi Palace. Depending on where you are coming from, though, you might have one at home. There are several in California, and they seem to be going nationwide. The one in Bellevue absolutely does not taste like "chain food."

            There are two great Asian restaurants near Microsoft: Malay Satay Hut and Sichuanese Cuisine, both on NE 24. I think the food at both of these places is among the best in the Seattle area.

            1. re: Steve C

              Big thumbs down on Sichuanese Cuisine. It used to be a truly stellar Chinese, the place I would travel an hour for, but now it is rather awful. It's gone from an 8 to a 2 in my opinion. I had truly beef horrid chow mein and sesame chicken there 2 weeks ago. I share an office with a coworker from China and he won't eat there.

              1. re: fooey

                I agree that they(Sichuanese Cuisine) don't do Cantonese well, but I dont think they've fallen off. Stick to the things that they do well - Hot Pots, Dry Cooked String Beans, Kung Pao Fish.

                Kiku-Sushi is a homey, unassuming spot that is no secret from Microsofties. Good sushi and very good izakaya.

                1. re: kirkj

                  Thanks, Kirk, will try that. Coworkers says the Sichuanese returned to China in December '07 and it was bought by Koreans, so...not really what's going on. Even the traditional Chinese menu items are different. I'm probably being a bit nostalgic. I remember when there was nothing I could order that wasn't great, including the best General Tso's this side Vancouver.

                  1. re: fooey

                    I didn't know about the ownership change. I haven't been there this year. I wonder if the Seattle branch is affected? Let us know the scoop when you find out.

          2. In that area, I can't really think of a can't miss type place...But there are a couple Korean restaurants that aren't bad:

            Seoul Hot Pot
            http://www.seoulhotpot.com/

            Blue Ginger
            http://www.bluegingerbellevue.com/

            One of my favorite Thai places is somewhat nearby as well:

            Thai Kitchen
            http://www.thethaikitchen.com/

            But if you're looking for really great Thai, you should drop into Bellevue and try

            Chantanee Thai Restaurant:
            http://www.chantanee.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: soypower

              Thank you, thank you, thank you for recommending Thai Kitchen. For the first time in a long time, I can say I enjoyed great Thai food. This is a Thai restaurant that takes pride in its cooking: fresh spring rolls that looked like art, perfectly balanced yellow curry, etc.

              1. re: fooey

                they really do well don't they? my favorites there are the thai style bbq pork, green papaya salad, bangkok chicken and sticky rice...yum.

            2. Bis On Main in downtown Bellevue - nary a bad meal to be found - always excellent - more likely to run into MSFT executives here (i didn't say Steve Balmer) than any other place on the eastside, unless of coure your Bill Gates (Burgermaster)www.bisonmain.com

              Very interesting, southern Indian food very close to MSFT = Spice Route.
              Mentioned by Tom Douglas on 710 radio show - it is very good and unique
              www.spiceroutecuisine.com

              Cafe Juanita - worth the travel

              1. Pomegranate is in Redmond and is excellent. I'd say that's your best bet near Microsoft :) Weird location, but nice ambiance once you're inside. The chow is a terrific experience on its own.

                www.lisaduparcatering.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: ethereal

                  2nd for this one. Though it is very close, traffic can hamper getting there. Well o be honest, traffic can be a hamper to getting anywhere around MSFT.

                2. I agree with all the suggestions given, and would like to add Matt's at Redmond Town Center. Their menu is what I would call 'Seattle-style American', so burgers and steaks, but lots of seafood too. They do a pretty good grilled oyster.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: rocket_girl

                    I think Coho Cafe is a better representative of this fare. It's in downtown Redmond (also one in Issaquah): http://www.cohocafe.com/.

                    I had the Reuben at Matt's and it was tasty, but nothing to go out of your way for. It feels like one of those slightly upscale polished chain restaurants. No life to it, but the food is OK and prices won't break the bank.

                    1. re: fooey

                      Coho are a sad spinoff of the Arnie's chain, without the quality food. I wouldn't recommend them. Very Red Lobster-ish, but with better ambience.

                      1. re: jerryjones

                        I disagree - I think Coho has great food and ambience. I've talked to a lot of peopel about that - great meals had by all at a fare price point in a nice setting. I like it. Great neigborhood spot you can count on.

                        Amazing Redmond is short on those alternatives

                        1. re: jamesbra

                          Agreed and surpised jerry said that about Coho. I've been going there for years and it's always been consistently good. The menu no longer has crab cakes, sadly. They were as good as any I've had. The seafood chowder is a must. They serve well, but I force myself to get dessert, usually the homemade ice cream.

                          If you work at Microsoft and have a Prime Card, you get 1/2 off 1 entree with another. Not sure if it's still in effect, but was just a few months ago.

                          1. re: fooey

                            speaking of which...here is the microsoft prime website for washington:

                            http://www.microsoftprime.com/Home.aspx

                            1. re: soypower

                              I second/third the recommendations for Pomegranate in Redmond and Cafe Juanita in Kirkland.

                              If traffic from Microsoft to Redmond via the 520 is bad, you can always take a "short cut" through Marymoor Park - it'll cost you a buck, but it's worth it to avoid the traffic.

                              IMO Cafe Juanita is well worth the extra distance, though.