Pan-Asian fare has a strong following in Seattle, and trendy noodle houses are as plentiful as coffee beans and Goretex. One of the best of the bunch, Wild Ginger (1401 3rd Ave., 206/623-4450, www.wildginger.net, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–11 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–midnight Fri., 4:30 p.m.–midnight Sat., 4–11 p.m. Sun., $17) jumps all over Asia: Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, and Szechuan Chinese dishes all come out of this creative kitchen. Wild Ginger is best known for its satay bar, which features skewered and grilled seafood, chicken, pork, and vegetables, but it also offers delicious curries, soups, and crab. The menu changes seasonally.
Also worth a look is the arty Thai Typhoon (1400 Western Ave., 206/262-9797, www.typhoonrestaurants.com, 4–9:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5–9:30 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $14). The menu is much more expensive than the average hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant about town, but then again, its noodles, curries, and satays are a cut above the rest. Come ’round with the after-work crowd to take advantage of one of the best happy hour menus downtown.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition