April 15, 2014
Chan’s Place is extremely unassuming, given its location. Its name is lit up in neon running over the strip mall exterior. A banner touting Chinese food and decrying MSG hangs over the neon sign.
There is no way you would expect its interior by walking past it. It is light and open and airy inside. The decor is filled with warm to neutral colors encouraging a calming meal.
A dinner in the first part of the week is nothing to hurry for; a Tuesday night dinner will get you prompt and pleasant seating by the hostess. There is ample seating around but you won’t feel isolated. Even with four or five tables in the relatively spacious dining room you still feel like you are around people. Conversations are carried throughout the room at just the right level: enough to hear them, but not enough to drown out your own conversation.
April 1, 2014
Sometimes, when together with a group of co-workers, you just get a hankering for some pub grub. So, we trekked up to Pine Lake Ale House to check their offerings.
The first good sign was how packed it was. A successful restaurant needs to maintain a solid base of regulars while constantly attracting new diners.
I went right for their top item from their menu’s list of specialties — the fish and chips. Glancing around the pub, it appeared to be a popular order among the many other diners. It was easy to see why, as the combination of flaky Alaskan halibut, the Mac & Jacks beer batter and the chili tartar sauce combined for a satisfying whole.
March 11, 2014
Before now, to enjoy Mediterranean food, the only choices in Issaquah were sit-down dining at Tantalus (Greek) and Pogacha (Adriatic). Fine dining, to be sure, but not for those in a hurry, especially the on-the-go lunch crowd.
Filling that void comes Garlic Crush, former Microsoftie Maher “Matt” Jabbour’s second restaurant after opening his first in Bellevue.
Located in the former O’Ginger, the interior has been renovated to accommodate a faster, order-at-the-counter service. The atmosphere is lighter and airier with pop-Arabic music piped over the restaurant’s speakers.
February 11, 2014
As a regular patron of Indian restaurants, I felt very comfortable in Tikka Masala.
Walking into the clean and tidy restaurant in Gilman Village, you smell a unique blend of exotic aromas and hear the rhythmic sounds of Indian music. While these sensory triggers are more or less standard for most Indian restaurants, I still find them welcoming.
Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tikka Masala offers a lunch buffet. It features a standard selection of dishes. Aloo masala (spiced potatoes and vegetables), chana masala (spiced chickpeas and vegetables) and tandoori chicken all make an appearance with many other assorted selections, including appetizers and desserts.
February 4, 2014
Who wouldn’t like to sit in a big, comfy recliner in their own living room and watch a movie on a movie theater-sized screen?
Well, you can do that at Cinebarre — but with waiters and waitresses.
Won’t those people going back and forth interrupt the movie? Not nearly as much as you would think.
December 24, 2013
The spoiling of the customer at Aji Sushi & Grill in the Issaquah Highlands starts with the warm hand cloths brought to your table when you first arrive. It continues with impeccable service.
The restaurant has not only sushi but also numerous Korean dishes.
One way to judge a sushi place is by its California roll, one of the most popular menu items for people who love sushi, and for people who don’t. The California roll at Aji is beautifully made. You get eight large pieces for $4.95 and the blend of ingredients is perfect.
December 17, 2013
Yelp is no help.
The best way to discover a new restaurant, such as Big Fish Grill at Grand Ridge Plaza in the Issaquah Highlands, is to avoid the personal vendettas and experience it in person.
With locations also in Kirkland and Woodinville, Big Fish is still finding its footing in Issaquah (the website is still not up and running yet).
I popped in for a meal with a dining companion recently and enjoyed the experience. We arrived in the late afternoon, having missed the lunch crowd, too early for the dinner service. We almost had the side dining room and the entire wait staff to ourselves. So, you’ll have to discover for yourself how Big Fish operates at peak hours.
November 19, 2013
We don’t usually review restaurant chains, but instead try to stick with local cuisine. Technically, Extreme Pizza is a chain, with franchises in 11 states.
However, good luck finding the next nearest one outside Issaquah, as our fair city has the only one in Washington.
Also, just about the only thing extreme is the sports the founder is renowned for doing, from skydiving to snowboarding.
August 13, 2013
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.
If you are looking for anything particularly egg-ceptional from The Egg & Us on Gilman Boulevard, you will probably be content. With selections like an “ultimate” egg frittata and a California burrito, there are many options to satisfy your palate. That being said, the brunch-oriented restaurant — no worries, it isn’t all eggs, all the time — is not far from other breakfast joints when it comes to quality and taste.
The Swedish pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon were satisfactory. The cake was light and sweet with cream and lingonberries, a great complement to my crisp bacon. The other dishes that came out of the kitchen were appealing with tasteful piles of whipped cream or fruit. It’s not all breakfast fare; the menu has sandwiches, burgers and salads for those who want lunch.
April 30, 2013
In a world of American-Asian food, it’s easy to get something sub par. But, Dolsot Korean Cuisine definitely has an authentic feel.
The recently opened restaurant is small and quiet. There was only one other family there that night, so we had the attention of both a waiter and waitress who were very observant of our needs.
Upon arrival, we were quickly seated and a young, Korean gentleman took the time to explain the menu. This was necessary, because 90 percent of the menu is in Korean, with little explanation in English.