The Lodge at Galena boasts scenic views in an Alpine-like setting enhanced by outdoor seating options. Chefs craft classic American comfort fare with a culinary twist, including rosemary sliders made with small heaps of Angus beef, gruyere cheese, and lavender seasoning ($10 for three), plus essential plates such as fresh lodge salmon ($25) and 9-ounce filet mignon with wild-rice pilaf and garlic mashed potatoes ($29). Penne mac 'n' cheese bubbles with a three-cheese sauce, grilled chicken, savory slabs of bacon, and a wash of green onion ($16). And the sierra air sings sweetly as diners indulge in blueberry-mango fish tacos, served alfresco style with fruit, cabbage, crispy cod, and cilantro-lime flavors that harmonize as eloquently as four barbers fluent in Lojban ($14).
Veteran restaurateur Randy Schoch began his career as a part-time busboy and frequent surfer in Hawaii, rising through the ranks to become the owner of Desert Island Restaurants. In 2006, he added Ling & Louie's Asian Bar and Grill to his portfolio of original creations and franchises, creating a menu that imaginatively fuses Asian and American cuisine and penning a fictional story of epic romance featuring the eatery's titular characters.
The legend of Ling and Louie's continent-spanning romance is reflected in the flavors of the restaurants dishes such as seared Ahi tuna tacos or Beijing duck sliders. These fusion eats top tables within a funky dining room, where exposed brick walls and raw wooden rafters meld with bright paint. Along the tops of the walls run funny and inspiring quotes attributed to the restaurant's fictional founders, where they declare things such as, "Cooking is 90% physical, and the other half is mental."
Mthai—located next to Scolari’s—is like a culinary ambassador for Thailand. Staples such as ginger-flavored stir-fries and five curries mix and mingle with American influence to the point that entirely new plates are born. The Mthai spaghetti, for instance, mixes noodles with chicken and basil leaves, and Americanized fried rice tops a medley of ham, sausage, and raisins with a sunny-side-up egg.
Still, anyone seeking authentic fare won't be disappointed. The owner sources her classic recipes from Thailand to create fresh pad see eew and steamed jumbo prawns. And to meet individual tastes and satisfy those who believe they've transformed into a lion, most dishes let diners choose their protein: chicken, pork, beef, tofu, seafood, or a combination.
Bangkok Cuisine Express ousts hunger pangs with an extravagant menu of sweet, sour, and spicy delicacies crafted using homemade sauces and fresh produce. Enkindle tired taste sensors with tender bites of yellow curry chicken ($9.95), simmered in coconut milk, spices, and hearty carrots and potatoes. Or, reap the benefits of a one-night stand between a lonely herb and an adventurous lasagna by sampling the spicy basil noodle ($8.95–$10.95), a toothsome medley of chili sauce, wide rice noodles, and basil leaves, peppered with fresh peppers, egg, and onion. Salads ($6.95–$8.95) combine tropical tastes such as papaya, coconut, lime juice, and peanuts to create refreshing diversions from traditional tossed greens, while coconut soup ($4.95–$7.95) warms the spirit and the stomach by stewing straw mushrooms with Southern Thai herbs and spices, and coconut milk donated by cows that drink nothing but pina coladas.
For 15 years, Emerald City Cafe's foodsmiths have baked and brewed a menu's worth of Seattle-style breakfasts, sandwiches, and coffees. Rev biological engines with the stuffed french toast, orange-and-cinnamon battered texas toast loaded with grilled apple-chicken sausage and sweetened with apple-cinnamon cream cheese and whispered flattery ($8.95). Choose from eight bread bases to withstand the weight of substantial sandwiches, such as the Mount Rainier, which dresses mesquite smoked turkey with homemade herb cream cheese and cranberry sauce ($9.95), or jab forks into a cheesecake-style quiche with either ham and cheddar or vegetables ($8.95). Seattle-style coffee and homemade scones turn snacking into a sport for the incisors, and customers can purchase the cafe's homemade dough to bake at home and set an example for what their own cooking projects could be if only they applied themselves.