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B'ham fam doing SEA for a day - looking for casual ethnic (probably) dinner

Hi all,

I'm hoping to impose on you for a rec. I read this board fairly regularly but in this particular instance not sure what to do. My fam is coming for the day on Sat. We'll catch the Sounders game, do some other fun "city" stuff, and then have dinner before we head back. My husband requested something new. Our typical standbys when we eat here are La Carta, Top Gun, Jade Garden, Tamarind Tree.

I'm looking for something that fits the following description: no farther south than the ID, and not on the east side (heard about the 90 W closures and don't want to be near it). Let's say between Wallingford (Fremont Ballard ok) and the ID. Someplace with delicious food that isn't white linens and crystal glassware bc we'll have been running around in the heat all day, will be dressed down, and will have tired hot kids with us. That's why he initially said someplace ethnic, because if we go PNW or regional american cuisine, AND want the food to be good, we probably have to be dressed better and the kids on their good behavior, which is an unknown at the moment (they're 8 and 12). He suggested Altaye - which we love - Ethiopian - but it isn't new and he wanted new.

I was actually thinking Poppy bc of what I'd read about it before, but I just looked at their site and their menu is maybe a tad more fancy than what our situation calls for.

We have decent Thai at home, and not looking for sushi either. But pretty much any other ethnicity works.

Hoping for some good juju from you. It's our anniversary. Neither of us are big drinkers, so cocktails and wine lists aren't particularly important as a consideration.

Thanks!!

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  1. Sorry if the geography's off but have you been to Savatdee yet? V. tasty Lao food, reasonable, in a nice room with big windows and excellent family service. We've preferred the Lao dishes but the Thai ones we've had in our three recentish visits have been quite serviceable (just a bit sweet for our tastes) which might be perfect for your smalls. We actually had a small with us last visit and she gobbled up the tom ka gai with rice :-).

    1. Pestle Rock in Ballard seems like a good call. Green Leaf's Belltown location was mentioned in another thread and that might work well too. Revel and Joule come to mind as well if you want to go a little more upscale. How about one of the various Japanese spots on 45th in Wallingford.

      If you're willing to expand your choices to some stuff North of the city, Old Village on the way home in Shoreline for charcoal Korean BBQ and Biang up in Edmonds would be solid choices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GreenYoshi

        Thanks - may have to expand as you say. We love korean bbq...

      2. Sichuan Cuisine at 12th and jackson

        1. Pestle Rock: Ballard
          Carta De Oaxaca: Ballard
          Viengthong: Just south of the ID, well worth it. One of my favorite restaurants in the city. It's a Thai Lao place.

          7 Replies
            1. re: grayelf

              So good! I ordered it not knowing what to expect and I loved it. I need to try to recreate it at home. It's a staple item when we go there now. I like it with sticky rice and some of their fermented hot sauce. Still need to hit Savatdee...

            2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

              The OP mentions La Carta de Oaxaca as a place that is already an old standby. In Ballard, for the stated criteria, I would add Senor Moose.

              1. re: Gizmo56

                Whoa, how have I never been there? Menu looks really good. Next time I'm thinking Mexican I'm going to try Senor Moose.

                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                  I'd love to know more about the folks who run Senor Moose (I've read a bit on line but I'm still curious/nosy). We really enjoyed our snack there and would deffo return to try more.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    A friend of mine works there...the owner lives half the year in Mexico. I can ask her more questions if you have specific ones?

                    1. re: dagoose

                      I thought the staff interaction was really cool, and everyone on the day we were there was super-bilingual, which is a trifle unusual (IME at least) when I've had great Mexican food State-side. Also loved that they seemed to have a serious and interesting cocktail program going on which I didn't dare sample given the heat wave. Just seemed like a unique place all around, and I'd love to know how it came together. Nosy like I said, and entirely irrelevant to the food :-).

            3. sasha1,

              Please let us know where you went, and your impressions of the place...

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gizmo56

                I'm storing up all these suggestions for our next visit, which will be soon bc my husband printed out some tickets to the zoo and left them at home. At least we caught the Sounders! We lamed out and went to La Carta, which was awesome as usual. This time we had fun with the salsa bar - loaded up on every variety I think. Guac was great as usual, husband had the entomatada steak great as usual, I had the mole pork tamale which was a new one but quite tasty (a smidge greasy), and the kids liked their carne asada tacos. The one miss universally was the al pastor tacos. I can only describe the mouthfeel as the meat being tossed in a chalk powder based rub before being cooked. It was really offputting.

                The place next door - selling molten chocolate cakes and adult shakes - was rocking!! But we had already grabbed some pastries from Macrina so had to pass. How is it? Anyone? Bueller?

                1. re: sasha1

                  Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery?
                  It's THE trendy, hipster spot of the moment.
                  It's good (and a lot of fun, with alcoholic milkshakes and stuff), but I'm rarely willing to wait in the long line for it.

                  1. re: GreenYoshi

                    There's one thing (In Seattle, and maybe the world) worth waiting in line for and that's Paseos. Not that I actually wait in line, but I would if that were the only way to get Paseos.

                    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                      I don't like them, but I think they're a necessary evil sometimes. I wouldn't want to pass up a great food experience because I had to wait some.