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Dec 18, 2011 11:37 AM

Above average dining in the general area of Shoreline - Lynnwood?

I have sifted through many threads and have found few restaurants that stand out as better than average or they seem to get very mixed reviews.
We have to be in Lynnwood every day (it seems like for an indefinite period), near 185th and Aurora, and need good restaurants in that area; mostly for lunch. We require wine and beer and would like it to have wi-fi (but wi-fi is not a deal-breaker). We would like to stay within about a five mile radius. For dinner it can be farther out (as we are camping out at the Embassy Suite at I-5 and 44th, in Lynnwood). Last night we drove to Richmond, for disappointing Indian food at Mehfil.

We go to Arnie's, in Edmonds and occasionally the Saffron Grill and Ivar's Salmon House. We eat too many mediocre meals at Robb's 125th Street Grill. We think Las Margaritas is OK, but would like better.

We like all kinds of food. What seems especially missing is Asian and Indian that fits our requirements.
Perhaps we are a bit snobbish about food. Perhaps good food, service and sigh, atmosphere, is an oxymoron for the area.
We know there is good food in Seattle. We have eaten at Maximilien, Cutters Bayhouse, Lark, La Cocina Santiago and others. We just need to avoid the traffic snarls as our lunch schedule is not exactly in our hands.
Please help!

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  1. I've had good food at Full Moon Thai in Richmond Beach. Grinder's for sandwiches, of course. Sorabol (Korean food) on Aurora is good, but I haven't been there for a while and I'm not sure if they're open right now. I think you won't like their atmosphere, but I like Everest Kitchen in Shoreline.

    1. you do have better than average food in a decent drive from 185th and aurora-
      Grinders Sandwiches-mentioned before,great food,closed on Mon.
      Scott's Bar and Grill-on 205th east of aurora IMO heads above Arnie's and Robb's
      Redline Burgers- small place North to 208th on Aurora-I know, no booze but the burgers are best in the area
      Spiros Pizza and Pasta-in the Fred Meyer complex on Aurora-some may find pedestrian but I like all i've eaten here and the folks are very nice
      Hill's-in Richmond Beach-follow 185th west go past Spin Alley on the right-my vote for best in the area
      The Cabin-divey tav with good food-past Hill's to richmond beach rd. go left can't miss

      these next 2 are a bit farther out-
      Maddox Grill-Lynnwood-on aurora/hwy 99 north of 196th on the right-can be very good, usually just good. still better than Arnie's or Robb's
      Fu Man Dumpling House-small place south of you on Greenwood ave. (Google it) very good asian dishes especially all the options for dumplings. Not sure on the wine and beer.
      Good Luck

      8 Replies
      1. re: bighound

        We will definitely check out some of these. Thanks!
        Yesterday we ate lunch at La Casa Azul at 14419 Greenwood Avenue North. This is at the north border of Seattle, just below Shoreline. The food was authentic Mexican and very good. It is a clean, small restaurant that acts more like a big, high-end one. I cannot recommend it enough. However, it is only open for breakfast and lunch on the weekend. There are lots of picture of and by Frida Kahlo.

        1. re: ardelle

          This place has been out of business for over a year.

        2. re: bighound

          Thanks to bighound and "val ann c" for the tip on Scott's Bar and Grill! We were so blown away by lunch that we made reservations for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed it as well.
          While it is big and noisy, the service was top-notch (though they did not crumb the table), and the food was excellent.
          For lunch we had the crab and artichoke appetizer, spicy chili with a Caesar salad and open-faced, chicken, miniature soft tacos. I was surprised by the pulled-meat and spiciness of the chili. Though it had a few beans in it, you wouldn't find any Texan (I know), turning their nose up at it!
          For dinner we had the rare prime rib (with a great, mild, freshly grated horseradish) and fish tacos. Another great meal and excellent service. I/we were able to watch the kitchen and waitstaff during our meal and it was amazing, well-choreographed mayhem for two hours of being packed with customers.

          Management (if you're listening): If you mention that you are a "first-timer" at Scott's you are offered the crab and artichoke appetizer for $8 rather than $14. It is a bargain, either way; it's delicious. However, we were led to believe that it was an amuse bouche... a gift. It was brought to us and placed in front of us without prior discussion or request. There was something said about "since we were first-time customers" here's this if you want it. We reacted with gosh, gee thanks, etc. IF there was anything mentioned about it costing anything, we both missed it! This was a big surprise when I later went over the bill to do this write-up.
          We spent $80 plus gratuity for lunch and then $101 plus gratuity for dinner. Pretty good deal considering what we had and how good it was.
          Sorry about the images! We dug into our food before we thought to photograph it :(

          1. re: ardelle

            Things and management must have changed quite a bit. I went there about 5-6 years ago and could have sworn they were just another Shari's.

            1. re: HungWeiLo

              Sorry, I don't know Shari's so I can't compare. Let's just say that we have now eaten at Scott's four times and they are consistently good. Not always great, but way above average. Service is always professional. It is better than most meals we have had at the Embassy Suite's, McCarthy's Bar and Grill. It has a good selection of draft beers and scotches. Wine selection by the glass is very adequate and the bottle selection is certainly not chain restaurant-like.
              The prime rib was very good. I enjoyed the chicken alfredo-like dish. Burgers have been good. I thought the Spicy Thai chicken sandwich was not spicy and a let-down for not tasting like anything Thai. Still, it was a good sandwich. Fries are always very good and on the larger size so the insides are moist and tender.
              We liked it enough that we bought ourselves a $100 gift certificate (so we got a $20 bonus card for free...) and they GAVE us $40 of gift certificates on one visit!

              Scott's Bar & Grill
              8115 Lake Ballinger Way, Edmonds, WA 98026

              1. re: ardelle

                I think Shari's is kind of a countrified Denny's. Not exactly a screaming recommendation. Homestyle and known for pie.
                I'm afraid comparing something to a restaurant at an Embassy Suite is a pretty low bar for most posters. But sometimes, close counts for something.

                I've heard decent things about Scott's for years - just no reason to be in the area since I did. Glad it fits your needs.

                1. re: tsquare

                  Ouch, but generally true of hotel restaurants. Sometimes I get back from my medical duty at 7:30 and just don't feel like going out. You can find decent items on their menu and generally they cook it like you want it. I've had great rare skirt steak in a salad one night and tough medium rare the next time. Certainly inconsistency is the rule.

                  1. re: tsquare

                    OTOH, Nell's last night was fabulous and a real treat to find. I had hanger steak and hubby had the Chef's tasting menu and shared. The scallop, the tenderloin..., my hanger steak; everything was perfect and creatively seasoned. I particularly liked the palm heart and small chunks of lime and fennel with the scallop.
                    Andrew went out of his way to please hubby with the wines by the glass; offering a number of tastes and a free glass of white when he did not care for the pinot noir.

                    Nell's Restaurant
                    6804 E Green Lake Way North, Seattle, WA 98115

          2. Szechwan 99 - complete dive but it's the best and most authentic Chinese in that area. Although depending on your familiarity it may be difficult to find the good stuff in a sea of Panda Express-y options. Any of their spicy tofu dishes (with fish or beef) are excellent. Dumplings there are great too.

            Along with Sorabol, Ka Won is probably the best Korean in Lynnwood. Service is subpar (think 2 waitresses for 50 diners) but the food is superb.

            Also try the Korean fried chicken at Chicky Pub inside Paldo World.

            Clay Pit in Mill Creek is in the best Indian place in the Seattle area outside of Redmond - just skip the buffet and go for dinner only as it's much better. Also in Mill Creek Town Center is Blazing Onion which makes a worthwhile burger with lots of choices (buffalo, bison, lamb, etc.)

            Pasteur in Everett (a bit more north) is pretty excellent Vietnamese that actually serves more than just the usual pho and bun dishes and pretty much the only one worth going to in the north end.

            In Edmonds, there's Cafe de Paris. Not top end by any means, but pretty adequate and laid back.

            6 Replies
            1. re: HungWeiLo

              What happened with Paldo World? Weren't they closing it or something? I'd like to get back to Chicky Pub, but am unwilling to head to Lynnwood without some sense that they will be there.

              1. re: GreenYoshi

                I have friends that visited Chicky Pub recently (it closed for a while due to remodeling), so I think you're safe. If the tofu restaurant adjacent to CP is still there, I'd recommend that too. But I don't know if they have the beer/wine that the OP wants.

                And OP, you're not being snobby--you're just stuck in a pretty blah suburb. But as you can see there are at least some good ethnic choices here and there. I thought Edmonds had more to choose from--hopefully someone will respond with something there! (Does anyone know if T&T Seafood is still good?)

                1. re: christy319

                  What about Chanterelle or Claire's Pantry in Edmond?

                  1. re: ardelle

                    I live in Edmonds. Chanterelle is okay. Better for breakfast/lunch. For dinner, I really like Demetri's (right by ferry entrance) or ePulo Bistro. I'd stay away from Cafe de Paris, as it's an extremely pedestrian version of French.

                    1. re: GourmetLight

                      I second Gourmet on Chanterelle and Cafe de Paris. Last 2 times, I went to Chanterelle, about 1` year ago, about 1 year apart, first, the chicken breast was dry. The next time, the salmon filet was dry.
                      I wen to Cafe de Paris and ordered escargots. 6 escargot appeared on a plate naked, rolling around in some butter. A large group of local senior citizens were there and seemed to be enjoying what I think was the nightly special, but I have not idea what it was.
                      I really do miss Olives.

                2. re: GreenYoshi

                  Paldo World has reopened as... I think...KT Mart (?). The building has always remained open and the restaurants and the various other shops remained open. I was there, maybe a month ago, and i think Chicky Pub was closed. I did not notice if the chicken was still on the Tofu House menu.

              2. I'm actually not a big fan of Grinders, but just down the way there's Taqueria El Sabor with I . And across from there, there's a pretty good Filipino restaurant and Old Village Korean (which has one of the only charcoal Korean BBQ pits that I know of)

                Further north in Lynnwood, banh mi at a little shop called Yeh Yeh's is good stuff.

                The San Fernando Peruvian chicken place used be up there, but from the looks of it, it seems like they closed that one when they opened the one by Dearborn in Seattle.

                11 Replies
                1. re: GreenYoshi

                  I like grinders (at least the sandwich I had, the "ciabatta." I also like the Korean places mentioned above, and I think also the Korean tofu place BCD (but not as much as Seoul Hot Pot in Redmond). Kaya in Shoreline is another KBBQ place that has good meat by local standards but is horribly understaffed. I am not a fan of Szechwan 99 as compared to the Sichuan places in Bellevue, but that's based on on visit only to 99.

                  In general, I think these areas are stronger for the Korean and other modestly priced eateries than fancier, contintental "New American or Bistros.

                  1. re: GreenYoshi

                    For those interested - Yeh Yeh now has a new place next to Cafe Ori in Bellevue. Not sure if it's open yet, but lights are on.

                    1. re: GreenYoshi

                      San Fernando's Peruvian chicken is still open in Lynnwood. Just drove past and saw the Open light yesterday.

                      1. re: GourmetLight

                        I had some cau cau there a month or two ago.

                        1. re: paulj

                          I had some ca ca there today for lunch. Dry, tasteless meat for chicharones and dry, tasteless chicken in the Arroz Con Pollo. The rice in this dish was pretty good, but had no heat. It was supposed to have hot peppers in it. I saw a little pepper skin.
                          I paid almost $20 for these two minimalist dishes and a Sprite. I had to go back and ask for the Sprite they forgot to give me. Never mind the minimalist hole-in-the-wall nature of the place and food and wrappers on the floor. Where I sat, my foot was sliding on the floor. I don't think there was a clean table in the place.
                          I will not return.

                          Pollos A La Brasa San Fernando
                          20815 67th Ave W Ste 208, Lynnwood, WA 98036

                          1. re: ardelle

                            We ate at San Fernando once. It was two years ago. We didn't like it enough to go back.
                            San Fernando is very close to Redline Burger. No ambience -- it's a small chilly room with a TV. But the burgers are really good and the people are nice. My favorite burger in the region.

                            1. re: ardelle

                              I tried the South Seattle location once and found it very salty and humorless. Not returning. Sorry I did not speak up sooner - seems like a lot of people like the place. Not me.

                              1. re: tsquare

                                I, too, am sorry I didn't speak up sooner about San Fernando. I didn't want to say something negative based on one visit 2 years ago.

                                1. re: val ann c

                                  I suspect most of their business is take out chicken.

                              2. re: ardelle

                                I've actually had some good meals at the Lynnwood location. Their papa rellenos, tamales, pork chops and beef dinner were good. However, their chicken is just average.

                                Also, I would not rate this place as an "Above average dining" place.

                          2. re: GreenYoshi

                            I think San Fernando is still open.

                          3. I live in the area, and I'm from NYC metro. Here's my 2 cents on places that have already been mentioned:

                            * Redline Burger. I love this place. Great burgers and hand-cut fries. The food tastes better if you eat there. Takeout gets soggy. Like many Seattle area food joints, their seating area is cold on a cold day.
                            * Taqueria El Sabor. Our favorite nearby Mexican. We like: tacos, chicken soup, posole, enchiladas verdes. I don't like their red sauces nor their guacamole.
                            * Pasteur Noodle in Everett. Very good pho. We drive past all the other pho places to eat here.
                            * Hills in Richmond Beach. Very nice comfortable bistro. The food is good, but I'm not sure it deserves the high praise. Still worth a try.
                            * Scott's Bar & Grill - We love Scott's. It's so pleasant and comfortable. Good quality, very consistent food. Great service.
                            * The Cabin in Richmond Beach. The food is just Ok. This place is worth a visit for the quirkiness and the interesting residential neighborhood. It's a real local bar!
                            * Full Moon Thai - I've been a couple times. The food is mediocre. I hate to say it because they are nice people.
                            * Spiro's pizza. If you are accustomed to New Haven pizza, do not go here. Spiros pizza is sad and their other food is just ok.

                            Some of my favorites:

                            * Gabriel's Fire in Mountlake Terrace. He has a big menu, but I only like a few items. The ribs, brisket, and pulled pork are very good. They are done Texas-style with a dry rub and don't need sauce. Sides are just ok. Focus on the meat. The seating area is comfortable, also with a bar and TV.
                            * Tacos Guaymas y Mas (3805 196th St SW Lynnwood, next to convention center) There are several places with this name. This particular location is my favorite. They make a very nice tortilla soup. Their other food is good and consistent. The seating area is spacious with lots of daylight. Parking is easiest if you drive around behind the convention center.
                            * Kebab Caravan in Edmonds. I haven't been here for quite awhile. I really loved the food! Sweet little romantic place with lovely service. (Does anyone have a recent experience at Kebab Caravan?)
                            * Sushi Moto in Edmonds. Best sushi in this area.

                            Yum Yum Thai is a new place in Shoreline. I haven't tried it yet.

                            It sounds like you require ambiance. You might consider some of the places along Greenwood Ave and Phinny Ave in Seattle. It's not too far a drive and you get a higher food/ambience quality ratio. Parking is not too difficult. There are several nice bistros. I've enjoyed Carmelitas and Bicks. There are many others. Search yelp for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods.

                            If you are craving Indian, consider driving to the Redmond/Bellevue area. Chowhound and yelp have lots of reviews.


                            25 Replies
                            1. re: val ann c

                              I do require ambiance at a certain level. I don't like dives or places that smell funky. I require wine with my meal. I don't mind small or quirky. Neither of us like "loud".
                              My hubby is the food expert (and does 98% of the cooking at home). He used to be on Chowhound. He will eat anywhere and try anything... a true Chowhound Jim Leff would be proud of! So he may try some of these places and will probably try and coax me to go to some of them if he likes them.
                              Today, because of a medical appointment at a Swedish Hospital facility in "Ballard" (Seattle), we went to Ray's Boathouse; actually, the upstairs "Ray's Cafe". This was a fantastic meal and a great experience.
                              Thank you all for the input and we will report back; and don't stop making suggestions!

                              1. re: val ann c

                                Gabriels Fire - on 244 on the south edge of Mountlake Terrace? I think that building used to be Zen 244, a small Japanese place.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  Gabriels opened in Mountlake Terrace earlier this year. They used to be in north Ballard.

                                  1. re: val ann c

                                    I did not know they closed the Ballard place.
                                    Any idea who might take that space?

                                2. re: val ann c

                                  In the Lynnwood convention center area, I prefer nearby Riconcito to Guaymas y Mas. The setting is more fast-food (Mas used to be some sort of Italian quasi-fast food place), but the offerings are more taqueria (e.g. they have tortas, including an ahogada, and biria). There is also a good carniceria (butcher and Mexican grocery) just up the hill from Mas. Not exactly nice dining, but they do have space to eat Sunday carnitas.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    i used to eat at the el reconcito in bellevue and it was very good. set up like fast food joint. whole deep fried tillapia is good. the lynnwood location is not as good, but i havent tried it for awhile.

                                    1. re: divadmas

                                      My latest meal in that area was a Korean BBQ - quite decent considering that 4 of us ate for under $40. Only item I didn't like much was the chopped intestines.

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          Speaking of Sul Lung Tang - Korean beef soup - has anyone tried it at the 'Original', or at the 'Traditional' on 99 (south of 99Ranch)? Any other places in the area for this soup?

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            is that the place near seattle deli? just got vietnamese sandwiches at deli. tried the korean place nearby once for lunch and was not impressed by the menu. but then i had my first ban chan and was hooked.
                                            saw a new dicks drive in in the area though i havent been to dicks in a long time. love but trying to avoid those greasy burgers and fries. great ice cream shakes, too

                                            1. re: divadmas

                                              I had in mind a small Korean place in the strip mall on the east side of 99, between a Mexican grocery and an Eastern European deli.

                                              There's stuff on the west side by the Seattle Deli that I haven't tried. I occasionally shop the grocery (Boohan), and really should order one of their sweet bean filled 'fish' pancakes. Near the front is a Japanese/Korean restaurant that I haven't been to in years. There's also a standalone Korean restaurant that I haven't tried.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                that would be the Traditional Beef Soup restaurant. it is in that strip mall with the european market and a mexican tienda. i have been told the soup there is better than the Original Sul Lung Tang restaurant that is near the convention center.

                                                the Original Sul Lung Tang was the first one for me, so i like it. and it is very white and creamy imho. but to repeat, my korean friend states the Traditional soup is better. the flavors of the Traditional soup is more beefier and seems a bit more salty. the Tradtional restaurant has a very, very limited menu. the Original restaurant has a much more varied menu, including all you can eat kbbq.
                                                i like both.

                                            2. re: paulj

                                              thought i'd resurrect this...
                                              there is a"new" korean restaurant called New Seoul.
                                              my korean friend discovered this place about 6 months ago and swears this is authentic and great tasting food. this place serves food that is not offered in most of the korean restaurants in this area. i think she goes there once a week now.
                                              i had the sul lung tang and the broth was not as white and creamy and was more like the Traditional Beef Soup sul lung tang, but oh, the flavor! i highly recommend it.

                                              1. re: ritabwh

                                                At the other end of 99 in the county is Dumpling Generation, a NE China noodle and dumpling shop (next to Hosoonyi Korean, south of TJMaxx).

                                                Also in that area Los Amigos taco truck moved from Country Farms to the lot just north of Burlington Outlet.

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  i was so excited that Dumpling Generation finally opened. i've been there 4 times and so far, nothing grabs me. even the dumplings are just ok for me. i'm really disappointed that i don't care for much there. they are really nice people but if there is a "rush" for dining in, take out and bubble tea service can slow down to a crawl since there is usually only one waitress and i think, one cook.

                                                  1. re: ritabwh

                                                    Do you think it's the execution, or the choice of cuisine, NE China?

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      i think it is more the NE china cuisine that may not be executed well? i am not very familiar with the various chinese regional cuisines, so it is hard for me to say. there are not many chinese restaurants in the area that i like. szechuan garden is my favorite. i also like wonton noodle house and biang! i do realize that not all chinese cuisine is the highly seasoned and highly spiced as in szechuan or hunan which are my favorites. but i also like some basic cantonese.
                                                      have you been there, paulj? i would be interested in your take on Dumpling Generation. it would help me learn to appreciate the NE Chinese cuisine.

                                                      1. re: ritabwh

                                                        Just once. There were 4 of us, and we ordered as group. I found the cold dishes (colorful salad, pig ears) most interesting.

                                                        I don't recall which hot dishes we had, I think a noodle dish and dumplings.

                                                        I'd like to try a hot pot.

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          i had one of the hot pots. it was merely ok.

                                    2. re: val ann c

                                      Amazing authentic, down and dirty Mexican food in a fast-food like setting. Thanks for the recommendation. Even earlier, perhaps over a year ago a Chowhound recommended the one in Marysville, so since I need to be in Marysville, I went there.
                                      While this is a small chain of nine locations, it is impressive food; at least at this location. I had a chile relleno and the poblano chile had a little fire and great Mexican cheese inside. The chile sauce, served on top, is homemade (!) and tasted heavenly. I had a lingua (tongue), taco. The meat was shredded and came with a little green salsa on top and a double corn tortilla, just as it should be. It was very good. I also got the chicken tamale plate and ate a little of the tamale. It was just right. Beans and rice were good and made just as they should be, which means they are nothing to write home about, but lousy if not cooked right, old, dry or soupy. The restaurant is very open, with huge panes of glass all around. They serve beer, but no wine. I asked about bringing in wine and the manager could not answer me. He said he had to ask the "big man". This place has little ambience. A soccer match was on the TV. Since I ate alone, ambiance was not my first priority. I had several Negra Modellos and left full and happy with a chicken tamale plate to go under my arm. I'm having some of it for breakfast this morning with eggs and salsa. ¡Hurra para un desayuno mexicano

                                      Tacos Guaymas
                                      1400 State Ave, Marysville, WA 98270

                                      1. re: val ann c

                                        We had an OK lunch there. Pretty standard stuff. The restaurant is pretty nicely appointed. Good service. We were the only people there at 2PM.
                                        We has Yellow Curry with prawns. What makes a prawn a prawn and not a shrimp? Sure seemed like average shrimp to me. There was supposed to be tomato in the dish and there was none.
                                        The chicken with vegetables was more Chinese than Thai. It was good, but again nothing special.
                                        May try dinner menu and see if it fares better than the standard discount lunch food. May not...

                                        Full Moon Thai Cuisine
                                        1441 NW Richmond Beach Rd, Shoreline, WA 98177

                                        1. re: ardelle

                                          Our current best local Thai is:
                                          Yum Yum Thai -- a new place on 160th Ave in Shoreline. In the strip mall with 7-11. The food is pretty good, much better than Full Moon Thai. They serve the usual Thai food with fresh ingredients and nice flavor. There are several reviews on yelp.
                                          It's a small place. They serve beer, but no wine.

                                          1. re: ardelle

                                            ardelle, after reading several of your comments, I believe you might like Hill's. It's just down the Hill from Full Moon Thai. A pleasant bistro where they care about wine and cocktails. The food is fresh and good quality. However, I'm not always pleased by the chef's more creative dishes. I tend to stick to standard fare. Their salads are really nice.


                                            If you like to walk after your meal, head south on 20th Avenue to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park. There's a beautiful overlook on the Sound.

                                            Hills' Food Wine Catering
                                            1843 NW 195th St, Shoreline, WA 98177

                                            1. re: val ann c

                                              Thanks for the recommendation of Hill's. They have a decent wine list. Not necessarily all the usual suspects. We had a nice bottle of Santa Ema Carmenere that was only $30. Food was good. I wrote a full review in the restaurant area, but forgot to mention the wine list. It was quite noisy, but calmed down a lot by 8PM. Very good location in Shoreline, but tucked away in a dark corner...

                                              Hills' Food Wine Catering
                                              1843 NW 195th St, Shoreline, WA 98177