Chinese restaurant has new name, same quality food

December 15, 2015

NEW — 11:44 a.m. Dec. 15, 2015

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

Cascade Garden was a longtime tenant in the Meadows Shopping Center, offering a popular menu of Chinese food standards.

By Greg Farrar / gfarrar@isspress.com The lunch combos sampled from Szechuan Chef were (clockwise, from left) the Mongolian beef, the garlic chicken and the twice fried pork, Szechuan style.

By Greg Farrar / gfarrar@isspress.com
The lunch combos sampled from Szechuan Chef were
(clockwise, from left) the Mongolian beef, the garlic chicken
and the twice fried pork, Szechuan style.

Recently, ownership changed hands and the restaurant has a new name: Szechuan Chef. But don’t fret over the provincial name change. While offering authentic Szechuan food, renowned for its bold flavors and the use of the Sichuan pepper, Szechuan Chef still features a huge menu of staples other regional Chinese cuisine. Read more

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The Black Duck offers flavors found nowhere else in town

December 8, 2015

NEW — 12:54 p.m. Dec. 8, 2015

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

Move over, chicken. Duck is the new king of the roost.

Issaquah’s The Black Duck has embraced the waterfowl to introduce flavors that can’t be found anywhere else in town.

By Greg Farrar The Black Duck’s sharing menu features poutine, the popular Canadian diner staple, made with fries, cheese curds and a duck gravy and topped with an egg.

By Greg Farrar
The Black Duck’s sharing menu features poutine, the popular Canadian diner staple, made with fries, cheese curds and a duck gravy and topped with an egg.

Opened in August by The Flat Iron Grill owner Sean Quinn, The Black Duck offers an adults-only pub that is redefining pub grub. Read more

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Let Ohana take you away with its islander cuisine

November 17, 2015

NEW — 4:16 p.m. Nov. 17, 2015

If you’re going to open a new restaurant in Issaquah’s crowded dining market, you’d better do one of two things — do your cuisine better than what’s already there, or offer something not yet available to discerning diners.

Ohana fulfills the latter with its Hawaiian-themed menu.

By Greg Farrar Ohana’s karei raisu is a well made red curry dish with pork, carrots, peppers celery, onions and potatoes.

By Greg Farrar
Ohana’s karei raisu is a well made red curry dish with pork, carrots, peppers celery, onions and potatoes.

Located in the former La Costa, the old space was completely renovated to incorporate a Pacific Islander setting. Its Tiki lounge motif adds character without being kitschy. The whole space has been opened up to give it that high ceiling, cabana feel. Read more

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Levitate elevates pub grub from the mundane to the sublime

August 11, 2015

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Aug. 13, 2015

*Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Levitate Gastropub was located in the former H&H Tavern. The H&H Saloon is still open and located at 91 Front St. N.

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

There are plenty of options for “pub grub” in Issaquah, consisting of your typical bar food, from burgers to salads.

However, there’s only one eatery in town touting itself as a “gastropub” — Levitate.

By Greg Farrar The wild boar pulled pork sandwich (top) and the fish taco with mahi mahi are two upscaled pub grub menu items featured on the Levitate Gastropub menu.

By Greg Farrar
The wild boar pulled pork sandwich (top) and the fish taco with mahi mahi are two upscaled pub grub menu items featured on the Levitate Gastropub menu.

The basic definition of a gastropub is a pub that elevates its menu fare with high-end ingredients. Read more

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August Moon offers full menu of diverse Chinese cuisine

July 16, 2015

Appearances can be deceiving.

By Greg Farrar The Dragon and Phoenix Combo (left) and the Seafood in Vermicelli Sauce entrées were a good choice from August Moon Chinese Restaurant’s lunch menu.

By Greg Farrar
The Dragon and Phoenix Combo (left) and the Seafood in Vermicelli Sauce entrées were a good choice from August Moon Chinese Restaurant’s lunch menu.

Take for example, August Moon. Don’t decide whether to eat there or not by its empty parking lot at 2 p.m. on a weekday, or by the Yelp review that described the interior as a Chinese retirement home, with a décor that hasn’t been updated since 1982.

If you went by appearances alone, you’d be missing out on a darn fine meal with some of the best customer service.

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Feel like family when Uncle Si serves up a slice of that pie

May 20, 2015

When the owner of Uncle Si’s Pizza was looking to open a second location outside Snoqualmie Ridge, he chose a curious spot.

By David Hayes The barbecue chicken (front) and the Old Standard are two good choices for pizzas at Uncle Si’s.

By David Hayes
The barbecue chicken (front) and the Old Standard are two good choices for pizzas at Uncle Si’s.

A few months back, he opened that second location in the Sammamish Lakeside Plaza on East Lake Sammamish Parkway. Commuters to and from Issaquah drive past it daily, while schools are all up the hill in Sammamish and businesses are south, closer to downtown Issaquah. So it’s not very conveniently located for the typical lunch crowd, unless you live in the nearby apartment complexes.

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Let Tantalus take you on a culinary cruise to Greece

February 3, 2015

The Issaquah dining scene has quite the selection of international flair, covering the standard in Italian, Chinese and Mexican. But if you’re craving a little Mediterranean cuisine, your choices are limited.

By Greg Farrar The Olympus Plate at Tantalus offers a wide variety of Greek standards from the restaurant’s menu.

By Greg Farrar
The Olympus Plate at Tantalus offers a wide variety of Greek standards from the restaurant’s menu.

Luckily, you can’t go wrong with The Tantalus Restaurant in Gilman Village, which features a menu of Greek standards.

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Kansas City ’cue — During the winter, leave the barbecuing to Stan’s

December 23, 2014

Buyer beware — you really can get too much of a good thing.

By Greg Farrar An order of Who’s Your Daddy? at Stan’s Bar-B-Q comes with three ribs, a half-pound of beef brisket, a half-pound of pulled pork, two sausage links and two sides, all for just $25.99.

By Greg Farrar
An order of Who’s Your Daddy? at Stan’s Bar-B-Q comes with three ribs, a half-pound of beef brisket, a half-pound of pulled pork, two sausage links and two sides, all for just $25.99.

Take Stan’s Bar-B-Q, for instance. Just don’t take it all at once like I did. After downing just half of the “Who’s Your Daddy” sampler platter, I was ready for a meat nap.

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Herfy’s extensive menu offers something for everyone

October 21, 2014

The problem with so many family restaurants is how commercialized they have become, from Applebee’s and TGI Fridays to Red Robin and Denny’s.

By Greg Farrar Herfy’s varied menu includes a solid presentation of a Philly cheese steak sandwich and fries.

By Greg Farrar
Herfy’s varied menu includes a solid presentation of a Philly cheese steak sandwich and fries.

That’s why Herfy’s was such a pleasant discovery.

No pretensions, no waitresses singing a customized happy birthday song to a slightly embarrassed group of diners, just a large menu full of delicious food.

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Pabla Veggie Cuisine has good food, is good value

September 16, 2014

Let’s talk about Indian buffets.

By Peter Clark Pabla Veggie Cuisine has all the standards of most Indian buffets.

By Peter Clark
Pabla Veggie Cuisine has all the standards of most Indian buffets.

When I first started eating this divine cuisine oh so many years ago, I treated buffets like the Holy Grail of exotic dining. Every buffet gave so many choices and so much of them. But as years and restaurants pass, a palette refines and buffets disappoint.

While I looked forward to my experience at Pabla Veggie Cuisine in the Meadows Shopping Center, I was skeptical of the buffet. While it did present a good representation of what the vegetarian restaurant can provide hungry customers, it also fell to many of the same bland faults as other Indian buffets.

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