China City's far-reaching menu spans the delectable gamut of Mandarin, Szechuan, and Hunan cuisines, from piping-hot soups to sizzling platters. Sate seafood cravings with freshly cubed ahi tuna, which mingles with shrimp chips in wasabi mayo ($8.99), or flood belly canyons with cups of hot-and-sour soup ($2.99). Carnivores can sink incisors into the mongolian beef, a sliced flank steak with green and white onions, sautéed in a sweet-spicy sauce ($10.99), or lighty dusted and deep-fried shrimp coated with a creamy sweet mayo and bedecked with honey-sesame walnuts ($14.99). Herbivores can mash molars on mushu vegetables with sliced cabbage, bamboo shoots, and wood mushrooms, sautéed and slathered in a sweet-plum sauce, then hugged by a overly friendly pancake ($9.99).
Root Table’s rustic décor, tree-trunk tables, and earth-toned walls lend a creative ambiance to diners, who pore over a menu populated with Asian fusion salads, sandwiches, tapas, and entrees. Lunchtime munchers can adopt a sandwich for an afternoon meal, such as the tempura shrimp poboy ($8), which is layered with lettuce, tomato, crispy shallots, and spicy mayonnaise. Fingers snatch at plates of shareable tapas, such as the Thai bruschetta ($5)—a baguette boat helmed by a crew of garlic- and pepper-marinated chicken—or the sweet-pumpkin tempura ($5), which can be dunked in a kiddie pool of ginger soy sauce. Root Table's servers escort eclectic fusion entrees to tables, such as the black tiger shrimp with notes of Indian yellow curry woven into a latticework of angel-hair pasta ($12) for a dish as intricate and flavorful as a freestyle rap by William Faulkner. Root Table is open for dinner Tuesday–Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and for lunch Friday–Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As they worked with intense, iconic ingredients such as lemongrass and curry, the cooks at Thai of Wedgwood found that they never needed to turn to MSG for help. So, they cut the artificial enhancer out of their cuisine completely, relying instead on age-old recipes and nature's own flavor powerhouses. They add sugary pop to their sweet and sour chicken with real pineapple, or spice up salmon with red curry and coconut milk. Their cuisine shows up at tables in a dining room rife with personal touches of Thailand, from the dressing screen which hides a hallway to the wall hangings that measure how much the nation has grown since last school year.
Much like Thailand itself, Thaiku's menu comes loaded with traditional and authentic Thai delicacies; unlike Thailand, it contains few elephants. Kick-start your tummy's tuk-tuk with an appetizer such as giow tawt ($6.50)—crab and cream cheese wrapped in won ton and served with plum sauce—or the por sia sod ($6.50), a fresh salad and Chinese sausage roll wrapped in rice paper and topped with house hoisin sauce. Along with classic noodle dishes like pahd see iew ($8.50), adventurous diners can feel like they're eating from a genuine Bangkok street stall minus the backpack-shaped sweat stain on their back with an order of North Thailand's staple kao soy (fresh egg noodles in yellow curry and coconut broth, $8.95), guay tiow bed (a soup of rice noodles, sliced duck, rich anise, cinnamon, and sweet soy broth, $7.95), or the gai yaang ($12.95), a marinated chicken paired with sticky rice and a sweet green papaya salad.
Despite its humble environs of a converted gas station, Savatdee Authentic Thai & Lao Cuisine has racked up a steadily climbing number of accolades. Seattle Met Magazine named it one of the best Laotian restaurants in 2011, an award the Sakounthong family proudly displays in their eatery. “We want our food to speak like it is a five star restaurant, but we want the atmosphere to feel like you are eating in your own kitchen,” said Andy Sakounthong in an episode of Check Please!. Andy–along with his brother, parents, aunts, and grandmother–shop each morning for fresh ingredients and cartoon fire used in dishes that range from cornish game hen marinated in spiced curry to pad mar keur, a grilled-eggplant stir-fry with onions, basil leaves, and yellow-bean sauce. The more adventurous patron can order off of the Lao menu, where galangal and kaffir leaves season a dish of charbroiled chicken mixed with hearts and gizzards.