Iyara Thai Cuisine
Jun 15th, 2010 by sovicki

This one is way overdue. I’ve been eying this place for months if not years. I’ve always driven by this place, but never made it inside. Beginning this year, I was thinking of celebrating a friends birthday here, only to find out the owner had a family emergency and went back to Thailand, and the restaurant was closed for a month. Then somehow we just didn’t have Thai for several months. Finally, one evening, after coming back from Chicago, we made it here.

It was very  homey. The witness, might have also been the owner, was very nice and attentive. Deco is very pleasant. The painting on the wall was what I imagine our living room would have for a while, but later I decided on something else, that’s a whole another story. According to their menu, they are now serving

new menu items under our new concept called “Street Foods of Thailand”.
Why “Street Foods of Thailand”? As many tourists visit Thailand and see verities of foods are offering and cooking on the street footpath all around Bangkok but afraid to eat due to uncertain of hygienic issue.
Then we came up why don’t we bring some those kinds of items that very popular from street food vendors plus put back the original ingredients as much as they are available in U.S. and make them to meet and exceed the Health Department’s requirements. This way our customers can experience the “Street Foods of Thailand” without flying to Thailand and still be able to enjoy the foods at the U.S. standard and quality.

This really reminded me of Thai Tom which closed couple times due to its health violations. Some of my friends joked that the reason Thai Tom tastes great, is all because of the “special ingredient” which is not on the menu. It apparently is reopened again. Back to what I was saying.

We ordered pad kee mao and iyara fried rice. It is possibly the best pad kee mao I’ve ever had. Especially compare to the 干炒牛河 (Beef chow fun) that we had at Ocean City in Chinatown the night before. It was well prepared, seasoned, very flavorful. Iyara fried rice in comparison is a bit too mild. We think it might just get over powered by the pad kee mao. Don’t get me wrong, it is still good, but I think it might a bit unfair to judge just how good it is until I give it another try.

For dessert, we had the house special sauce with the Chinese donut, and the coconut iceam. The Chinese donut was interesting, but not sure if I’d try that again. I might just go for the simple coconut ice cream next time.

All in all, for $9 an entree this is such a steal!

Gaslamp Bar & Grill
Jun 10th, 2010 by sovicki

This is the definition of a hidden gem. Friendly service, good atmosphere, and great food.

Burgers are very juicy, and they are giant! Definitely bigger than normal size, and only $9. Their Sunday special $3.99 for a cheese burger makes it better pricing than McDonald’s. Definitely recommend!

Gaslamp Bar & Grill
(425) 392-4547
1315 NW Mall St
Issaquah, WA 98027

Jun 10th, 2010 by sovicki

We tried this place over the memorial day weekend. Ever since I saw that Yelp newsletter about the Japanese sushi places around Seattle that Wednesday before, I cannot stop but thinking about sashimi. That evening I stopped by H-Mart on the way home to pick up some Salmon. Sadly Salmon is only thing they’ve got. I was hoping for Uwajimaya’s selection, but needless to say I was disappointed, and my craving was not satisfied.

By the time weekend rolls around, my craving is getting out of control. Sadly the little place that I really like in Issaquah has closed down. I wonder if I recommended too many people to go there or too little? They are just like Musashi’s in Wallingford, only without the line, and better ambiance. All in all it was my favorite little hidden gem. Cry….

So we first stopped off at Musashi’s around 8pm, and there was still a line outside of the door wrapped around the corner. Alright, I was dying for some good sashimi, so urbanspoon on Iphone came to the rescue. I remember reading good review about this place, Tsukushinbo, on yelp. The reviews say they are best kept secret, cozy, family run, and authentic, best deal, etc… and one reviewer even say that this is their default dinner place, and his wife had to fight with him every other time to go somewhere else… Well, the reviews weren’t entirely wrong, it was cozy, it was family run, and authentic? maybe. Best deal? definitely NOT!!!

We got there around 8:30pm, and had to fight with a older Japanese ladies group for the door since  we already lost the parking spot to them… then waited at the door for about 5 minutes before anyone care to let us know that they’ll be cleaning the tables soon, so that we can sit down. Already dying for food, we sat down at the bar. Another 10 minutes went by before the only waitress came and took our order. She seem very strange. She had to stand on the right side of us, and far away, but then she cannot hear what I was saying, so I have to repeat couple times. Geez, I don’t have cooties… Another half an hour went by before our dinner arrived. Chirashi was exactly 9 skinny piece of shashimi, yes, I counted, it was exactly 9 piece, the skinniest that I’ve ever seen, think of Nigiri, yes, that’s the thickness… This is probably only 1/3 of the size of the Chirashi at Musashi’s… Oh, how I remember I couldn’t even finish the fish at Musashi’s…and the bento box, could you find another piece of cod that’s possibly smaller? They are the size of half of my palm. Maneki’s $6.99 black cod was much much MUCH bigger, and that’s three pieces, people. The food is alright, nothing exceptional.

$50 later, my stomach is as empty as my wallet. I’d definitely take my wallet and stomach else where for some decent service, and a fuller meal. What were those people yelping about?