International Distict Can't Miss?
I am slowly working my way around the seattle culinary scene... one of my last stops is the ID. What are the must try food items? What are the must experience restaurant ambiences? What are the top places for say- dim sum, noodles, sushi, speciality ethnic cuisine, etc? Basically if there is an amazing bakery item, tour, lunch spot, specialty sauce, regional invention, etc- I want to know about it :) Thank you in advance for your help with names, locations, and advice!*
Pho Bac, 415 7th Ave S. Get the pho tai chin. Recommend going during the week before the lunch rush.
There are not too many places I like in ID, but here are the standouts (not necessarily ALL outstanding food, but at least they serve special stuff that's at least worth a consideration):
Seven Star Pepper (Jackson and 12th)
Binh Huong (Jackson and 12th, in a strip mall - best non-pho Vietnamese I've had in Seattle)
Mike's Noodle House (4th and Maynard) - go before 11:30am for any chance of seats
Purple Dot Cafe (5th and Maynard) - open until 3am? for late night snacking
663 (6th and Weller?)
Ft. St. George (6th and King) - for when you crave weird Japanese fusion Western food; much better now that they don't allow smoking
tea garden dim sum (ranier and dearborn)
Shanghai garden barley green hand shaved noodles (NW of Uwajymia)
Not really ID, but 12 and Jackson: Sichuanese Cuisine and Malay Satay hut.
Tsukushinbo for Japanese noodles (udon, soba), tempura, and sushi. Some people swear by Maneki, but I've smelled too old frying oil way too many times there--never a problem at Tsukushinbo. Green Leaf for green papaya or green mango salad, banh xeo and good tofu dishes. Canton Wonton House for wonton/sui kau noodle soup. King's Barbecue for Chinese barbecue (take out only). Mon Hei for egg custard tarts. Sea Garden for Chinese fried chicken and clams in black bean sauce and oysters with green onions. Listing these is making me too hungry! Pho Bac at the head of Rainier Ave. South and Jackson for pho (used to be known for a bright pink building--they repainted, alas!) Malay Satay Hut for roti canai (a must!), char kway teow and a variety of other Malaysian/Singaporean dishes.
Samurai's "Tetsu hellfire" has fine flavor and is exhibit one in the case for flavorful heat.
Green Leaf's Bahn Xeo has lovely flavor of coconut milk in the batter.
Lotus root salad, too.
Tamarind tree is an outstandingly stylish house. Check out the cement work at the facade (and thr fountain?) and the lavatories.
The Bon Bon, papaya and mango salads are all good. Don't miss the Tamarind Tree rolls, coconut drink. For a real scene, get the 7 courses of beef.
Went to Fu Lin for a lunch combo, and I didn't see the taiwanese pork chop or anything salt-and-pepper, which I'd been wanting to try. I asked the server for the chop, and also if Fu Lin had any specialties, and she didn't understand or I wasn't be clear. I went with the tonkatsu char siu ramen. The broth was very good, slightly thinner and more funky than Samurai Noodle. Where it fell short of Samurai was the pork slices, which were cold cut thin and nearly raw--not bad just nothing near the super tenderness offered at Samurai.