August 11, 2015
UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Aug. 13, 2015
*Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Levitate Gastropub was located in the former H&H Tavern. The H&H Saloon is still open and located at 91 Front St. N.
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.
There are plenty of options for “pub grub” in Issaquah, consisting of your typical bar food, from burgers to salads.
However, there’s only one eatery in town touting itself as a “gastropub” — Levitate.
The basic definition of a gastropub is a pub that elevates its menu fare with high-end ingredients. Read more
July 16, 2015
Appearances can be deceiving.
Take for example, August Moon. Don’t decide whether to eat there or not by its empty parking lot at 2 p.m. on a weekday, or by the Yelp review that described the interior as a Chinese retirement home, with a décor that hasn’t been updated since 1982.
If you went by appearances alone, you’d be missing out on a darn fine meal with some of the best customer service.
February 3, 2015
The Issaquah dining scene has quite the selection of international flair, covering the standard in Italian, Chinese and Mexican. But if you’re craving a little Mediterranean cuisine, your choices are limited.
Luckily, you can’t go wrong with The Tantalus Restaurant in Gilman Village, which features a menu of Greek standards.
December 23, 2014
Buyer beware — you really can get too much of a good thing.
Take Stan’s Bar-B-Q, for instance. Just don’t take it all at once like I did. After downing just half of the “Who’s Your Daddy” sampler platter, I was ready for a meat nap.
October 21, 2014
The problem with so many family restaurants is how commercialized they have become, from Applebee’s and TGI Fridays to Red Robin and Denny’s.
That’s why Herfy’s was such a pleasant discovery.
No pretensions, no waitresses singing a customized happy birthday song to a slightly embarrassed group of diners, just a large menu full of delicious food.
September 16, 2014
Let’s talk about Indian buffets.
When I first started eating this divine cuisine oh so many years ago, I treated buffets like the Holy Grail of exotic dining. Every buffet gave so many choices and so much of them. But as years and restaurants pass, a palette refines and buffets disappoint.
While I looked forward to my experience at Pabla Veggie Cuisine in the Meadows Shopping Center, I was skeptical of the buffet. While it did present a good representation of what the vegetarian restaurant can provide hungry customers, it also fell to many of the same bland faults as other Indian buffets.
July 1, 2014
Noodle Boat has long been one of my favorite Issaquah restaurants and a return visit for a review does nothing to change my opinion.
The little Thai restaurant at the end of a strip mall off Northwest Gilman Boulevard seems a little buried among the storefronts. But once you step inside, the clean and charming atmosphere welcomes you into a comfortable dining environment.
Noodle Boat is outfitted with traditional decorations in a modern setting and has a confident sense of design. During the day, the windows offer wonderful lighting and the evening provides a relaxing place for a repast.
April 15, 2014
Chan’s Place is extremely unassuming, given its location. Its name is lit up in neon running over the strip mall exterior. A banner touting Chinese food and decrying MSG hangs over the neon sign.
There is no way you would expect its interior by walking past it. It is light and open and airy inside. The decor is filled with warm to neutral colors encouraging a calming meal.
A dinner in the first part of the week is nothing to hurry for; a Tuesday night dinner will get you prompt and pleasant seating by the hostess. There is ample seating around but you won’t feel isolated. Even with four or five tables in the relatively spacious dining room you still feel like you are around people. Conversations are carried throughout the room at just the right level: enough to hear them, but not enough to drown out your own conversation.
April 1, 2014
Sometimes, when together with a group of co-workers, you just get a hankering for some pub grub. So, we trekked up to Pine Lake Ale House to check their offerings.
The first good sign was how packed it was. A successful restaurant needs to maintain a solid base of regulars while constantly attracting new diners.
I went right for their top item from their menu’s list of specialties — the fish and chips. Glancing around the pub, it appeared to be a popular order among the many other diners. It was easy to see why, as the combination of flaky Alaskan halibut, the Mac & Jacks beer batter and the chili tartar sauce combined for a satisfying whole.
March 11, 2014
Before now, to enjoy Mediterranean food, the only choices in Issaquah were sit-down dining at Tantalus (Greek) and Pogacha (Adriatic). Fine dining, to be sure, but not for those in a hurry, especially the on-the-go lunch crowd.
Filling that void comes Garlic Crush, former Microsoftie Maher “Matt” Jabbour’s second restaurant after opening his first in Bellevue.
Located in the former O’Ginger, the interior has been renovated to accommodate a faster, order-at-the-counter service. The atmosphere is lighter and airier with pop-Arabic music piped over the restaurant’s speakers.