Archive for the ‘Asian’ Category

ZenYai Noodle House

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

ZenYai-exterior

OGF: 4/5
One of the more interesting of the abundant Asian pseudo-ethnic restaurants surrounding the Microsoft campus, ZenYai serves primarily Thai dishes of widely varying quality.  Sometimes excitingly named, it’s worth going in with a recommendation or spying on your neighbors dishes before making a decision as while the “Hot Mamma Noodles” (usually on special) are delicious, dishes like “Noodle Explosion” are decidedley “meh”.  Despite the name, there are also a large variety of non-noodle dishes.

Taste: 4/5 – While we’ve had our share of bland dishes here (avoid the Ramen and the  aforementioned Noodle Explosion), they have a number of delicious and highly satisfying options such as the “Angry Curry Noodles”, “Hot Mamma Noodles” and “Crispy Garlic Chicken”.  It’s also hard to go wrong with Thai staples such as Pad Thai and Panang Curry.

Price: 3/5 – What you’d expect, roughly $8-10 a meal.

Quantity: Doggie bag – always more than you can eat.

Wait Time: 15 minutes on a normal day, but this place can get busy!

Rotation: 1

% MSFT employees: close to 100

Parking: Difficult – in the frustrating Mayuri/Trader Joe’s/Can-Am complex

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: The Hot Mamma Noodles when they’re on the special’s bored at the front if you like spicy food, or, if you’re feeling unadventurous, the Crispy Garlic Chicken is a decidedly unhealthy yet scrumptious option.  Also, unlike the entrees, their appetizers are universally acceptable.

ZenYai Noodle House

15400 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&ss=ypid.YN925x15738201&encType=1

KoBe – Sushi Sake Robata

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

KoBe-exterior

OGF: 4/5
A Classy Japanese restaurant with more elbow room and variety than Bento Box, KoBe is located in the plaza just south of Fred Meyer’s.  Recently opened, KoBe was surprisingly empty for a restaurant of its quality, low price and speed.

Taste: 4/5 – It’s hard to find a bad dish.  Whether you’re craving soba noodles, sushi, teriyaki or katsu, you’ll be sure to find something you like .

Price: 4/5 – Surprisingly low prices despite giving off a higher end vibe; you can find many lunch dishes for $9.

Quantity: Just right

Wait Time: 15 minutes

Rotation: 1

% MSFT employees: About half

Parking: Reasonable

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: The donburi was quite good, but really, you can’t go wrong with any of their dishes.

KoBe

14603 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA 98007-3750
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&where1=14603%20NE%2020th%20St%2C%20Bellevue%2C%20WA%2098007-3750&encType=1

Thai Chef

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Thai-Chef-Exterior

OGF: 4/5
Good Thai food at a fair price.

It’s easy to overlook the Thai Chef restaurant as it’s nestled in the Safeway / Office Depot strip mall at 140th Ave and Bel-Red Rd.  But it’s still a pretty popular spot with the soft, inside is a sea of badges and glasses.

Taste: 3/5 – My cashew chicken was a bit too sweet, but cooked perfectly and very pleasing to the eye.  Rated a 3 because it’s pretty generic Thai food, which isn’t a bad thing!  Were it not for luminary Thai spots like Chantanee I could easily rate this place higher.

Price: 5/5 – Great lunch menu prices ($7 for an entree or $8.50 with salad/pad thai).

Quantity: Just right.  But if you have a hearty appetite you should probably get the combination.

Wait Time: 5.  This is a pretty big place and they serve the food up fast.  I could only imagine getting the food faster by calling ahead or installing some sort of ESP device.

Rotation: 1.  Could easily be your regular Thai lunch.

% MSFT employees: 75%

Parking: Easy

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: Super heavy chairs!

Thai Chef

1645 140th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98005-2320
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&where1=1645%20140th%20Ave%20NE%2C%20Bellevue%2C%20WA%2098005-2320&encType=1

Than Brothers (Bellevue)

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Pho-Than-Brothers-exterior

OGF: 4/5
Not exactly a hole in the wall – these jokers have 11 locations.  If you like pho (fuh fuh fuh!) you’ve probably been to one of them.  If not, go!  They treat you to some puff pastries as an appetizer.  This offends Andy because they are dessert.  But you can just stare them down until you’ve polished off a hot steamy bowl of beefy goodness.

Taste: 5/5 – Pretty standard fare Pho, but the broth is just a bit better than the rest.  Addictively so!

Price: 5/5 – For the amount of food you get, the prices are great.  Pho is under $5.

Quantity: Just Right - I’ve never ordered more than a small and it’s plenty for my normalish appetite.

Wait Time: 10 minutes. Beware, if you can’t find a seat right away, you might be better off coming on another day.  It can take a while for them to turn a table.  Come early or come often.

Rotation: 1/5 – They specialize in Pho without much variety.  Unless you are a pho-fanatic I can’t see going here several times a week.

% MSFT employees: 50%

Parking: Easy – usually not a problem aside from being on a busy street and some killer speedbumps.

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: Chili sauce in your Pho.

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Than Brothers

1299 156th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&where1=1299%20156th%20Ave%20NE%2C%20Bellevue%2C%20WA%2098007-4599&encType=1