Chinese and Korean
Many of Anchorage’s Chinese restaurants are actually run by Korean Americans, who make up a surprisingly large ethnic community in the city.
Panda Restaurant (605 E. Northern Lights Blvd., 907/272-3308, www.pandarestaurant-ak.com, Sun. noon–10 p.m., Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–midnight) has a big Chinese menu and gets kudos from locals. Most dinner entrées are around $13.
Twin Dragon Mongolian Bar-B-Que (612 E. 15th Ave., 907/276-7535, daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.) is a fun place where you fill a plate with veggies and meat and watch the chefs do their show. It’s reasonable too: $11 for the lunch buffet or $14 for dinner.
Yen King Restaurant (3501 Old Seward Hwy., 907/563-2627) has a big buffet and provides free delivery. Chinese Kitchen (2904 Spenard Rd., 907/279-2222) is a tiny family eatery with lunch specials and friendly owners. If you’re adventurous, ask about the menu items listed only in Chinese.
A personal favorite is Fu Du (2600 E. Tudor Rd., 907/561-6610, Sun. and Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., closed Mon.), where service is efficient and friendly, the setting is cozy, and servings are enormous. Entrées ($13–21) come with soup, Chinese kimchi, rice, an egg roll, and tea. Lunch specials are an even better deal, and Fu Du offers free delivery.
Thai and South Asian
Anchorage has quite a few Thai restaurants—seven at last count. None of these measures up to what you’d find in Thailand (or Berkeley, for that matter), but several are well worth a visit. Hip locals rave about Thai Kitchen (3405 E. Tudor Rd., 907/561-0082, www.thaikitchenalaska.com, Sun. 5–8:30 p.m., Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m., Sat. 5–9 p.m., entrées $8–11), tucked away in a strip mall on Tudor Road near Bragaw Street. With 120 choices on the menu, you’re sure to find something to your taste, but favorites include Popeye chicken or any of the spicy soups. Get there early since it closes at 9 p.m.
Housed within an old Pizza Hut building in Midtown, Chiang Mai Ultimate Thai (3637 Old Seward Hwy., 907/563-8900, Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat. 4–9 p.m., closed Sun.) is a family-friendly spot decorated with Thai linen and portraits of the royal family. Meals are consistently great, service is super-friendly, and the prices are fair: $12 for most items. Everything is made fresh while you wait.
Also recommended is Thai Orchid Restaurant (219 E. Dimond Ave., 907/868-5226, www.thaiorchidalaska.com, entrées $11–15), with the best pad thai in town and a diverse and inexpensive menu that includes many vegetarian choices.
Indian and Middle Eastern
Bombay Deluxe (555 W. Northern Lights Blvd., 907/277-1200, www.bombaydeluxe.com, Sun. noon–9 p.m., Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. 5–10 p.m., dinner $12–30) has an ample weekday lunch buffet ($12) and free delivery.
Alaska’s only Tibetan restaurant, Yak & Yeti Himalayan Restaurant (3301 Spenard Rd., 907/743-8078, www.yakandyetialaska.com, Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Thurs.–Sat. 5–8:30 p.m., entrées $9–13) is a relaxing Midtown spot with a mix of vegetarian and meaty dishes. Kids appreciate the lhasa momos (Tibetan beef dumplings), and grownups rave over the spicy chicken achari—marinated in mint and coriander, cooked in a tandoor, and served with chutney.
Aladdin’s (4240 Old Seward Hwy. at Tudor Rd., 907/561-2373, www.aladdinsak.com, Wed.–Sat. 5–10 p.m., $11–19) serves traditional Mediterranean dishes from North Africa and the Middle East, including moussaka, lamb couscous, seafood kebab, and various vegetarian specialties. The restaurant has a big local following.
Get the finest fresh sushi, tempura, and teriyaki from Yamato Ya (3700 Old Seward Hwy., 907/561-2128, www.yamatoyasushi.com), next to New Sagaya’s.
Kumagoro (533 W. 4th Ave., 907/272-9905, www.kumagoroalaska.com) is a plant-bedecked downtown restaurant with house-made udon noodle soups and an evening-only sushi bar. The restaurant fills up for lunch with the business crowd. Local Carrs/Safeway, Fred Meyer, and New Sagaya supermarkets also have fresh sushi in their delis.
One of Anchorage’s newest places is the pan-Asian Ginger (425 W. 5th Ave., 907/929-3680, www.gingeralaska.com, lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., dinner daily 5:30–11 p.m., entrées $18–33), where the menu encompasses everything from sesame crusted ahi to duck breast chinois. Don’t miss the spicy tuna tower appetizers.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition