Hidden Gems: 5 lesser-known Asian eateries in and round Lynnwood
Visiting San Francisco final yr, I satisfied my buddy to skip our deliberate ferry trip out to Alcatraz in favor of a whole afternoon spent munching our method by way of Chinatown. The steamed bao and egg tarts have been gone in a flash, however the reminiscence sticks higher with me than any grainy iPhone images of a haunted jail ever might.
Snohomish County most likely doesn’t rank on the high of anybody’s foodie-travel bucket listing, however our house isn’t missing in these semi-secret hidden gems.
There are such a lot of hidden meals gems across the county, in truth, that this column is simply the primary installment in a sequence highlighting them.
At this time we’re specializing in Asian cuisines, however are you aware of the very best taqueria hidden in again of a neighborhood Mexican market or a neighborhood fuel station with disproportionately scrumptious deli meals? Get in contact! I’d like to be a meals vacationer in your neck of the woods.
For now, get off the crushed path and poke round in nondescript strip malls and the backs of family-run grocery shops to seek out a few of the space’s tastiest morsels, and provides your self a pat on the again for being such an intrepid city explorer. Subsequent time your pals ask, “What ought to we get to eat?” you’ll be capable to say with a understanding smile that you already know simply the bizarre little place.
Yeh Yeh’s, Lynnwood
Amongst these consultants I’ve personally surveyed, Yeh Yeh’s is the vacation spot for banh mi. I heard tales of its deliciousness from the second I took the job as The Herald’s meals reporter, nevertheless it was ages earlier than I lastly put collectively the place it truly was — in an extremely nondescript constructing, tucked behind a tire store and a saloon on Freeway 99. Just one small signal alerts you to its presence from the primary highway, nevertheless it’s nicely price a fast detour.
Every part of a Yeh Yeh’s sandwich is praiseworthy in its personal proper. The baguettes are recent, steamy and moist inside with a satisfying crackly exterior. The proteins, whether or not they be fall-apart chunks of pulled pork, lemongrass hen or marinated tofu, are served in beneficiant helpings that bely the eatery’s outrageously low costs ($7.25 for a pork banh mi). Garnishes resembling jalapeño medallions, sticks of carrot and sprinklings of cilantro are at all times crisp, recent and simply what it’s worthwhile to chew into after a giant mouthful of wealthy pork.
Cease by on a weekend to see what the particular is — if it’s hủ tiếu, a pork bone soup historically eaten as breakfast, savor each final drop of that broth — or attempt a few of Yeh Yeh’s different menu choices, like pho and spring rolls. There isn’t lots of room to take a seat within the small counter-serve eating room, however the sandwiches will journey nicely for gas alongside the remainder of your SnoCo vacationer journey.
Yeh Yeh’s Vietnamese Sandwiches, 19915 sixty fourth Ave. W, Lynnwood. Open 10 a.m. to six p.m. Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday.
Toshi’s Teriyaki, Lynnwood
Okay, so this one might not appear notably hidden when you’re already acquainted with the numerous identically named eating places across the larger Seattle space, spawned by Toshi Kasahara’s very first teriyaki joint in downtown Seattle in 1976. What you could not already know is that this location, wedged between an Ethiopian grocery and a pawn store on Freeway 99 in Lynnwood, is definitely not affiliated with the granddaddy of Seattle-style teriyaki in any respect, in keeping with Toshi’s web site.
Teriyaki drama apart, although, this restaurant’s extraordinarily no-frills exterior completely matches the ethos of its menu — straight to the purpose, virtually utilitarian in its streamlined supply of beneficiant parts of meat and rice for not very a lot cash. The one factor that passes for décor on the skin of the constructing is lettering within the window that faces the freeway proclaiming a SPECIAL on teriyaki hen with rice and salad for $7.50, and also you get the sensation that that SPECIAL may not have modified a lot because the place opened in 1986.
The factor is, although, you don’t actually need something extra to reinforce your enjoyment of a Toshi’s teriyaki plate. Whether or not affiliated with the good man himself or not, this spot has bought the magical mixture of meat + sauce + rice nailed, and when you’re searching for a satisfying, low cost and fast dinner, you may do a lot worse than the brusquely named Hen Dinner. For $9, you get two sizeable hunks of grilled dark-meat hen properly coated in sweet-sticky sauce, a mountain of steamed white rice and a serving of crunchy, vinegary salad. May you actually ask for extra?
Toshi’s Teriyaki, 20829 Freeway 99, Suite C, Lynnwood. Open 11:30 a.m. to six:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to six p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
Better of Chengdu, Lynnwood
If someway you aren’t glad with the bang-for-your-buck at Toshi’s, you fortunately received’t must go very far in any respect to expertise the following hidden gem on our listing — it’s simply down the freeway a bit, and in reality proper throughout an intersection from Yeh Yeh’s. Did they plan this?
Better of Chengdu gives conventional Sichuanese cooking in a low-key eating room, hidden behind a squat brick façade that at the beginning look you’d assume was an insurance coverage workplace or medical facility. However the flavors popping out of the kitchen are to not be missed, particularly when you haven’t but seen the sunshine of Sichuan-style Chinese language delicacies. It’s Mandarin delicacies’s spicier, extra flavorful and intense cousin, relying closely on complete scorching peppers, a lot of garlic and tingly, mouth-numbing but fiery Sichuan peppercorns.
Tread rigorously when you aren’t but accustomed to this distinctive warmth — a stable majority of the dishes on the intensive, reasonably priced menu bear the warning “Spicy!” in daring crimson textual content — however don’t be frightened off by the explosion of flavors. There’s one thing for everybody to like, from crispy salt-and-pepper tofu ($12) to dan dan noodles ($10) or scorching pork kidney ($14). However the true hidden gem right here, the diamond within the tough, is the wonton soup ($11). I might drink the broth from a Large Gulp.
Better of Chengdu, 6124 two hundredth St. SW, Lynnwood. Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, midday to 9 p.m. Sunday.
HMart Meals Court docket, Lynnwood
Are you sensing a theme right here but? There’s such a preponderance of wonderful family-owned, low-key Asian eateries round Lynnwood that it’s simple to miss the smaller fish within the pond. Right here the Korean grocery store chain HMart has performed the laborious give you the results you want by accumulating a few of the space’s finest choices into one cozy meals courtroom.
At my home, we like to show a visit to the Asian market right into a weekend tour. Earlier than we dive headlong into HMart’s dizzying aisles of produce, shrimp chips and shabu-shabu beef, everybody splits off to hunt what calls to them most within the meals courtroom. For me, that’s most of the time Malri Hyang, which serves Korean and Chinese language dishes resembling tteokbokki, kung pao hen or black bean noodles in extraordinarily beneficiant parts. One in all my roommates will reliably beeline for Finest Tofu Home for stable sundubu-jjiage, Korean comfortable tofu soup, whereas one other will head over to Oshima Japanese Delicacies for a Washington roll (crab, avocado and cucumber topped with recent salmon) on the shockingly good worth of $9.
However the uniting issue amongst all of us is that we’re going to wish to hit Beard Papa’s final for cream puffs filled with vanilla and matcha pastry cream, then perhaps head over to Le Bon Patisserie to seize some milk bread and buns to take house. It’s the platonic ultimate of a one-stop store.
HMart, 3301 184th St. SW, Lynnwood. Retailer open 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day. Particular person restaurant hours might differ.
Kang’s Jokbal, Edmonds
We’re venturing outdoors Lynnwood for our final decide of the roundup, however not by a lot. This actually hidden gem lives inside Boo Han Oriental Market on Freeway 99, surrounded by different treasures resembling karaoke bar/fried hen purveyor Hen Prince and stylish dessert café Our Place.
There are solely two dishes on the takeout-only menu, each served in parts massive sufficient to feed a number of folks: bo ssam, or Korean braised pork stomach ($30); and the eponymous jokbal, or braised pig’s trotter ($35). Sure, “trotter” is a well mannered method of referring to the reduce of pork that features the foot from the ankle down, however there’s nothing pedestrian concerning the chewy, savory, pleasantly gelatinous cuts that Kang’s serves up. Plus, they arrive alongside beneficiant helpings of Korean shrimp sauce and spicy, funky ssamjang for dipping.
It unsurprisingly takes fairly a very long time to cook dinner a young trotter, so you should definitely get in early or name forward to order your platter — after they’re gone for the day, they’re gone. There’s even a punch card system that’ll earn you $20 off after you’ve positioned 10 orders.
Kang’s Jokbal, 22618 Freeway 99, Unit 110, Edmonds. Open 11 a.m. to eight p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to six p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.
Riley Haun: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @RHaunID.