Throw a brick along 38th Avenue and chances are good it'll plunk down into a bowl of pho noodles. This is the epicenter of Tacoma’s thriving Vietnamese community and is the place to go in the South Sound for fresh spring rolls, vermicelli noodle dishes, and, of course, pho. Do yourself a favor and go directly to
Nhu Thuy (758 S 38th St., 253/474-3992, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) to experience the best pho among all of these little mom-and-pop establishments. A close second is Vien Dong Vietnamese (3801 S. Yakima Ave., 253/472-6668, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun.).
For ultra-fresh Japanese sushi, head downtown to Fujiya (1125 Court C, 253/627-5319, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri. and 5:30–9:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., closed Sun.).
If you've just had a full day at Point Defiance and you've got to satisfy the little ones with Americanized Asian dishes, venture over to Imperial Dragon (6805 6th Ave., 253/565-5477, 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat.), where you can find a compromise between traditional Chinese fare and kid-friendly sweet-and-sour dishes.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition