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Dec 19, 2011 10:16 PM

Dining in the ID on Christmas eve

Have heard many ID restaurants are hopping on Xmas eve. Any suggestions for a place that is not a hole in the wall, and has decent service and food?

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  1. I suppose that depends on how you define 'hole in the wall'? I think the food and service are great at Sichuanese Cuisine, we tend to do the set menus at Ho Ho for Xmas, and it's always great, but either of those could be defined as hole in the walls. Probably the nicest places in the area would be 7 Stars Pepper or Shanghai Garden, neither of which are that nice, and the food isn't quite as good. If Henry's Taiwan Plus is open, it's a little less hole-in-the-wall-y than the others?

    2 Replies
    1. re: dagoose

      I was using 'hole in the wall' to describe a very casual place that may not be set up to easily accommodate English speakers. I will be with a couple unadventurous eaters and I myself don't have much experience with the ID. Also need to deal with eaters who won't eat meat or shellfish.

      1. re: Bethwick

        The ID, as intimidating as it may seem, is not so authentic as to be difficult for english speakers. Unlike places in NY, LA or BC, I've never found a place that doesn't have excellent english and a full English menu. That said, not eating meat or shellfish makes it difficult, because most of these places mainly deal in that. Certainly most if not all will speak plenty of English to direct you to what few vegetarian dishes they have. I would say Shanghai Garden might be your best bet--they have excellent tofu (bean curd) dishes, and quite good noodles.

    2. Bethwick, In every city there are just one or two restaurants that become an institution. They seem to survive even if they don't serve the best food or adapt to new trends. In many ways, these places are an anomaly that cannot be easily explained. In Seattle, one of those places is Tai Tung--the oldest Chinese restaurant in Seattle. I doubt it has ever been redecorated since it opened in the 1930's. The wait staff have all outlived Kim Jong Il and are impervious to outside influences. You cannot go to Tai Tung if you are seeking the best Chinese food in Seattle because it's not. You go to Tai Tung simply because IT IS Tai Tung. There is a certain satisfaction when you are seated on the plastic covered chairs and the worn linoleum tables with the cheap wood paneling and given a menu that hasn't changed since Roosevelt was president. If Christmas is all about family and tradition consider the fact that few restaurants in Seattle survive long enough to know what tradition is. Tai Tung, on the other hand, exemplifies it. Have a Merry Christmas.

      1. I apologize for not looking closer and taking names, but there are some new places that might be of interest - though I don't have any idea what the food is like, the buildings look very nice. One is across from the crawfish restaurant and the other...maybe just north of there a couple of blocks? Take yer chances.

        Purple Dot might be an interesting idea - they have chicken in cream sauce over noodles for your non-adventurous eaters. I think Shanghai Garden, while a bit seafood oriented and with some unusual items on display, is a really safe bet. Even my 92 year old Dad likes their food and he doesn't like much. They usually decorate for the holidays too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tsquare

          The new one across the street from Crawfish King is Happy Times Bistro. Big Hong Kong cafe style menu, like Purple Dot.

        2. I wouldn't consider Shanghai Garden "seafood oriented". I think it's your best bet since you have people who won't eat meat or seafood. They have a vegetarian menu. Try the mu shu (they have vegetarian, but if your guests eat chicken, you could try that as well) and the hand shaven noodles and/or any of the stir fries that might appeal to your guests. The waitresses all speak English in varying degrees and will wrap the mu shu filling in the pancakes for you, which is always a crowd pleaser.