Off the Press

October 23, 2012

By David Hayes

Some lonely eateries deserve another look

David Hayes
Press reporter

For the hungry lunchtime crowd, Issaquah offers a smorgasbord of eating options to satisfy a craving for just about every cuisine.

To help satiate this hunger, The Issaquah Press staff writes semi-regular restaurant reviews to update diners of the newest arrivals or other options that may have been missed.

Lately, by the absence of fellow diners, we’ve discovered more than a handful of establishments that fit in the latter category. Sure, anyone can go to the established, popular joints, but there’s a lot of fine dining being missed. Let’s revisit some of these eateries that, for whatever reason, haven’t attracted the lunch crowd they deserve.

Perhaps the biggest victim is Szechuan Bean Flower Restaurant. Tucked waaaay back off Northwest Gilman Boulevard behind a dog training facility and a children’s daycare, this flower is blooming in relative obscurity. An award-winning restaurant needs a flashing, neon sign pointing drive-by traffic to its front door. But city permitting prohibits this. So make the effort to seek out Szechuan Bean Flower Restaurant; you won’t be disappointed.

Testing the Vietnamese waters two doors down from a Thai cuisine mainstay is Saffron Deli. Surf Yelp and other social media websites and you’ll find glowing reviews of this “hidden treasure.” In addition to serving up some great pho, Vietnamese sandwiches and curry dishes, don’t be surprised if owner Jessie is tickled pink to have someone to carry on a conversation with while she whips up your meal.

Most recently, we stopped in on the latest tenant at 385 N.W. Gilman Blvd. — Filo’s. In a perfect example of coming full circle, Filo’s is the former Field of Champions, which was the former Tiger Mountain Grill, which was the former Jay Berry’s, which was opened by the man running the current restaurant. Lief Moi’s website states he jumped at the chance to return to where it all started with a second Filo’s, the first located in Redmond.

Each occupant offered a completely different cuisine — from gourmet pizza and pasta, to American steakhouse, to pub grub, back to gourmet pizza and pasta. Filo’s offers great food (watch for an upcoming review on the A&E page). But the problem it shares with all its previous tenants is twofold — the cavernous interior would be hard to fill any day or time of the week and, my guess, the location right on Issaquah Creek necessitates such a high rent that it’s reflected in menu prices. I’d hate to see another excellent offering go under because of that.

I’m sure there are other great eateries that could use a boost in attendance that I’ve missed. So, when you’ve got extra time on your lunch break, seek these establishments out and spread the wealth. Your tastebuds will be glad you branched out.

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