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Mar 4, 2010 08:39 AM

Federal way foodies?

I'm looking for a decent rec for a "cheap" ($10-15 meal?), but good hole in the wall kind of place in Federal way or close. I am in Federal Way once a month for a night (work), and all I really notice are chain's, fast food, or place that could easily be a crap-shoot (could be good, or could be suicide). If you have any rec's in the area...let me know!!

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  1. csils, I just discovered an excellent Korean restaurant that serves a plethora of food. It's West Garden Korean Restaurant, 1706 S. 320th Street # G in FW. It's in the same center as Trade Joe's across from the mall. Also, Grand Peking serves servicable Chinese in the same strip center.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Leper

      Awesome rec's. I just got back from my trip and went to Western Garden. Unfortunately for me I travel alone so the "BBQ" experience was lost. I did however get a bowl of seafood bibimbap that left me full for a few days. It was the type of place where not a single person in there spoke english (patron or worker), so it was wonder I was not warned that whatever i ordered came with 9 (yes nine) side salads. It was 9 little bowls of a variety of salads (Kim Chi, A spicy vinegar cucumber salad, a macoroni salad, a sometype of glass noodle salad etc). I'd say 4 or 5 of them were awesome...a few I had a couple bites and moved on. The sheer volume of food blew my mind though.

      I as well had a large bottle of Hite and was well satisfied. I will be back. I did see the Burger Express too....might need to pay a visit at some point. I did make a quick stop at Mi Chalateca for a few Papusa's before catching my flight. Keep the rec's coming if anyone has more to point out. I am in town once a month and am always looking for great food.

      I did make the mistake of getting food from Mcgrath's (which in turn spurred me to ask for help for CH). I figured "nice looking seafood restaurant....inches away from Seattle...has to be good, right?" eh...wrong! I was less than impressed. Bland crabcakes...super overcooked/dry shrimp and soggy fries : ( I cried myself to sleep that night.

      1. re: csils

        csils, "I cried myself to sleep that night" is a typical Chowhound reaction to the food served at chain restaurants. I hit Grand Peking earlier in the week and it has really gone downhill. I can't recommend it any more. I'm glad you enjoyed West Garden Korean. Personally, when I find a ethnic restaurant where no one is speaking English, I know I'm in the right place.

      2. re: Leper

        Based on these recommendations I went ot Western Garden for lunch Saturday 3/13. As noted, my wife daughter and i were the only non-Korean folks.

        They both had bulgogi and I had kalbi. We didn't do the table grilling, just ordered a la carte. It came with rice (of course) and 11 panchans, ranging from regular cabbage kimchi to kong namul (soybean sprouts) toa kind of sweet seaweed flake thing. Especially good were a radish kimchi and a very roasted eggplant dish.

        I will definitely be going again, I am up there fairly often to shop at H-Mart.

        1. re: anglematic

          One of the Salads (Panchans?) was a white fish (Perhaps squid or calamari) in a delicious sauce. If you or anyone know what the sauce was, I'm dying to know. As well one of my favorite was the Spicy Pickled Cucumber Salad.

      3. Burger Express does a really good, juicy, sloppy, burger. Their milkshakes are great, too.

        Burger Express
        32805 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003

        1. Korean food is the only non-chain, non-fast food thing in Federal Way. Koreans tell me it's the best Korean food on the west coast outside of LA.

          The H-Mart supermarket has a food court inside which is always interesting.

          I've always had a soft spot for Mi Rak. I hear Kokiri is pretty good.

          Cockatoo's serves Korean fried chicken and other assorted Korean dishes in a sports bar-type environment.

          4 Replies
          1. re: HungWeiLo

            I would also recommend Western Garden, and Tobang for competent BBQ, and Cockatoo's for chicken, thought not quite as good as Chicky Pub.

            Here is some further information on K-food in Feddie. Kauffman also liked the restaurant "Garden"--not to be be confused with Western Garden--which features organic, home-grown vegetables in season.

            I'd agree with HWL that the options that are both not Korean and not chain are pretty limited. McGrath's--which may be a chain--is a terrible wannabe Anthony's that is closer to Red Lobster. I recently went to East India Grill, and that proved to be a numbingly gringo-ized Indian that makes an attempt at fusion.

            However, I would recommend the Salvadorean food at Mi Chalateca.

            1. re: equinoise

              There is the Mexican torta place La Barriga Llena on Pacific Highway .


              I enjoy it, the hard part for me is deciding what to get.

              1. re: duvelusa

                I have not had a good torta in years....Labarriga has been added to my list!!

              2. re: equinoise

                The nice thing about Cockatoo is that the spicy sauce is actually spicy (unlike at Chicky Pub - of which I am a fan, don't get me wrong.)

                That, and the enormous, ice-cooled pitchers of Hite. ("hight," not "he-tay") that make me wish I didn't have to drive there.

            2. Great spot a little off the beaten path
              Pac Island Grill
              Back behind Ivar's off of 320th and 20th. Across from the mall.
              Family owned. Big portions of Asian Fusion style food. Reasonably priced.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bigkavika

                I know the spot...I sat in front of it two trips ago and debated going in...ended up with Mcgrath's that night....I clearly made the wrong decision. Will try it next month.

                Also for the many who suggested Korean BBQ...I know little of Korean food and travelling solo makes the full Korean BBQ experience limited (the places I've seen the meal is for 2+ people). Any suggestions on what to order?

              2. Welcome to the culinary wasteland that is Federal Way ;)

                Indochine is my favorite. Pan asian with incredible rice paper rolls. Wish they had a drive-thru for those. On Pac Hwy across from Blockbuster/Barnes & Noble.

                I've heard from several people that the pho place on 312th just east of Pac Hwy is good but I haven't tried it myself.

                If you want seafood again try an appetizer on the deck at Salty's down at Redondo this summer.

                Anybody tried Gino's at the end of 320th and Hoyt Rd. lately? I haven't been there in a couple of years but remember it as being good but not cheap.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cbfw

                  Spending tomorrow afternoon/evening in Federal Way for some antiquing and The Other Guys at the Valley 6 drive-in in Auburn.

                  At this point I'm deciding between Chang Ahn Jung and Western Garden for Korean. Any others I should add to the list? Thanks!

                  Chang Ahn Jung Restaurant
                  33100 Pacific Hwy S Ste 5, Federal Way, WA 98003