Trying to find Impressive Asian Restaurant in Seattle
So I'm a native Seattleite whose gone and moved herself to Manhattan. I'm bringing the NY boyfriend back and I want to show him that Seattle food can be just as good as NY. He's big on Asian food, and my parents are paying...so does anyone know of a great Asian restaurant that promises to impress a Manhattanite?
These are not guaranteed to impress a Manhanttanite, but they're among the best that we have (in no particular order, and some of these are actually out in the burbs):
dim sum at Top Gun in Factoria
noodles at Mike's Noodles
Or blindfold them and drive them up to Vancouver. :-)
I would have to agree on Green Leaf or Tamarind Tree although the parking for Tamarind Tree is sometimes horrible. The people that brought you Tamarind Tree have a new place called "Long" it's on 3rd avenue downtown. They have a jellyfish tank in their bar which is fun to look at too and have DJ's spinning downtempo music on the weekends.
Is the bar really that high? I've always read, and my own visits have backed this up, that the good Chinese food is out in Flushing, that most Chinese in Manhattan is pretty mediocre. I think Bamboo Garden in Bellevue (Szechuan) is better than the couple Szechuan places that Manhattan foodies do like. And no one would say NYC is known for good Vietnamese, which we have. HungWeilLo's list is great, btw, but there is quite a variety there--do you know what kind of Asian you want?
I agree with C319 that Sichuan and Vietnamese are some of Manhattan's weak links (and there aren't that many). I also found the NYC dim sum on balance not to exceed Seattle's: while there may have been greater variety at certain houses, the quality of the ingredients are generally worse, especially the seafood. I can't say that I've had dim sum out in Flushing yet, which is truly stepping into another world. I also think that dollar-for-dollar sushi in Seattle is of higher quality, though there are no rarefied, ultra-expensive places like Masa, etc.
HWL's list is some fine scholarship. I'd add Yea's Wok as another Taiwanese alternative, and perhaps also Vieng Thong or Thai Palms for some Lao, which I don't know of having a presence in NYC. Not asian, but Seattle's East African food is relatively strong compared to New York's.
While Yea's Wok is still one of the better places around here, their quality has dropped noticeably in the last few months. Rumors are that one of their chefs/owners ripped off the restaurant (basically stealing from his own brother) and took off to Taiwan.
Fortunately, their issues (at least in the kitchen) seemed to have been resolved as the food was back to being pretty good when I visited 3 weeks ago. Hope it stays that way.
Vieng Thong is nice. Too bad Kirirom (Cambodian) in Lynnwood is now closed.
Are you trying to impress on style or on substance?
That is, does decor and ambiance matter?
Or is this strictly speaking about the food?
I mean, I think Bamboo Garden or Green Leaf or Thai Palms are great from a food perspective, but they're not going to impress based on the setting.
If you're looking for both, I'd say Nishino fits the bill the best.
Wild Ginger's a step down in terms of food, but it's impressive enough and the setting will be good. (tourists always seem happy with it, right?)
Factoring in aesthetics, Facing East, Tamardind Tree, Long Provincial, Monsoon East and Chiso/Kappo have all the bases covered.
Yoshi--you don't like the Bamboo Jungle in the dining room at BG? I think Kauffmann described it best:
"Zhong's decor—a grid of dark wood tables set among vermilion and gold walls, in a forest of plastic green bamboo—reminded me of the rebel camp in House of Flying Daggers."
Another route is to go fusion. For that, you might consider Dahlia lounge. It's a Northwesty Asian-fusion menu. I've had their version of "peking style duck" and it's great. A friend recently told me that they have jook (congee) on their brunch menu with pork belly. YUM.