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DINING GUIDE DINING GUIDE


Suggestions for Dining Guide additions or corrections can be sent to diningguide@spokanecda.com


ASIAN AND INDIAN ALOHA ISLAND GRILL. Hawaiian.


March 2011. Operating out of two former Taco John shacks on Monroe and West Francis, Patrick and Lori Keegan are serving up fresh, tender Teriyaki Chicken “plates” that will keep you coming back even without much inside seating. Based on family recipes from the islands and plenty more than just teriyaki, both spots offer a student discount and the Francis location serves an amazing breakfast concoction called Loco Moco. Order it the way “Huff” (Patrick’s nickname) gets his. Open daily. 1724 North Monroe (509-327-4270) and 1220 West Francis (509-413-2029). www.alohagrindz. com. $-$$


Signature Dish in


GINGER ASIAN BISTRO AND SUSHI BAR. Japanese and Chinese. Owner Jingou Sun has put together a brilliant team with Tong Lui in charge of an LA-style sushi bar and Jay Jay Lu turning out brilliant traditional Chinese hot entrées. The Steamed Dumplings Szechwan Style are amazingly like the dumplings in China. The portions are generous and the there is plenty of creativity tucked into the massive menu. 11 am – 9 pm on Tue to Thur and Sun, 11 am – 10 pm Fri and Sat, Closed Mon. 1228 S Grand Blvd in Spokane. (509) 315-5201. $-$$$


GORDY’S SICHUAN CAFÉ. Chinese. A well-kept secret among its South Hill neighborhood locals for good reason, Gordy’s is a wonderful exception to all-too-often mediocre Chinese food. Lemon Chicken, pork dump- lings, and sesame prawns are in a class by themselves. The Sichuan heat is definitely on here, but never gratu- itously so. Lunch Tues-Fri 11-4, dinner Tues-Sat 4-9. 501 E 30th Ave in Spokane. (509) 747-1170. $$


HA HA GRILL HOUSE. Korean and Fusion. This Hillyard gem owned and operated by John Ha and his mother Soon serves up incredibly fresh and often organic Korean classics like Bulgogi along with Asian soups and several sandwiches. Not much to look at outside, Ha has remodeled the inside to be bright with an open kitchen. Try the Daeji Bulgogi (spicy marinated pork) if you like a bit of heat or the fusion BBQ pork sandwich topped with caramelized onions. Open for lunch and dinner Tues – Sat and Sunday afternoons. 2710 East Garland Avenue in Spokane. (509) 483-1399. $-$$


HULA HUT GRILL. Hawaiian.


Tucked into a retail complex and surround by the chains that dominate the north end of Spokane is this local take on the Pacific island ‘plate lunch’ tradition that serves up the likes of Teriyaki Chicken or Flame Grilled Short Ribs over rice with several great sides. Make sure you try the Kalua Pork and Grilled Salmon. Owners Ron and Tanya Riordan also have a fine macaroni salad (the classic Hawaiian side), a fine Hula Burger, and several unexpected good dishes featuring another island favor- ite: Spam. Local Brain Freeze ice cream or deep-fried donut balls for dessert. Open daily from 11 am to 8 pm. 12210 North Division Street in Spokane. (509) 466- 2336. www.hulahutgrill.com. $-$$


Reviewed June 2011.


MUSTARD SEED. The Mustard Seed is an amalgam of several Asian and Pacific cuisines, which derives from the background of the owners, Betty and Nancy Toku- moto, who grew up in Okinawa, Bangkok, and Hawaii, successively. The somewhat eclectic yet harmonious blending of fresh, clean, mild flavors in the dishes that


186 SPOKANE CDA • July - August • 2011


spring from this mix of culinary origins is what has made the Mustard Seed a perennial favorite with Spokane diners. Over the years, our favorites have consistently been Bong-Bong Chicken, chunks of breast and vege- tables stir-fried in wine, and Chicken (or Shrimp) Osaka, sautéed in butter, ginger, and lemon, served with a mustard sauce. We also enjoy their zippy take-out and delivery service. Northtown Mall: Mon-Thurs 11-9, Fri & Sat 11-10, Sun Noon-8, (509) 483-1500. $$


PHO VAN. Vietnamese. Henry Cao and his wife Thuy now have two Pho Van locations in Spokane. The original spot on Hamilton where price and quality conscious Gonzaga students are often found and a new spot at the base of the Division hill that raises the bar on ambi- ance with great décor. Try the Spring Rolls and Pho Ga. Several classic Chinese dishes are also on the menu for those hopeful for something exceedingly familiar. 1212 N. Hamilton. (509) 483-8136.


(509) 326-6470. Mon - Thur 10 – 9, Fri – Sat 10 – 10, Sun 10 – 8. $


Spokane, Sushi Maru is the perfect place for a quick, healthy, and entertaining meal before or after a movie. The $3.75 Tuna Poki Salad is a steal and the off-menu mochi balls are a must. There are plenty of fully cooked rolls and other items like Orange Chicken on the fun visual menu if raw fish makes you nervous. Open at 11 am during the week. Closes at 9:30 Mon – Thur. 10 pm Fri – Sat and 8 pm Sunday. 808 West Main Avenue in Spokane. (509) 455-3900. $-$$


2909 N Division.


SALA THAI. Thai. Reviewed August 2011. Sala Thai fits the stereotype that you can often find the best ethnic food just outside military bases. Owners and chefs Pat and Rapeepun Smitamorn serve up memorable Thai specialties pungent with the smells and flavors or fish sauce, lemongrass, coconut milk, and ginger. Try the Yum Gai Tod or possibly the best Pad Thai in the region but don’t skip the transcendent Tom Kah and Tom Yum soups. Spice Warning—Sala Thai’s 0-5 star heat rating runs high so consider starting low. Mon-Fri 11-2:30 for lunch and 4:30-9:00 for dinner; Sat 2-9 ; Closed Sunday. 12924 West Sunset Highway in Airway Heights. 244-4800. www.salathaispokane.com. $$


(509)


SHOGUN. Japanese. Simple elegance defines the decor, with guests greeted by an interior waterfall. Shogun is really two restaurants. First are the familiar hibachi tables. Each table seats about eight and comes with a personal chef who prepares a selection of beef, chicken, and seafood in front of delighted guests. Trained in the art of hibachi cooking, chefs serve as impromptu performance artists, amazing diners with kitchen acro- batics, sleight-of-hand and grill-assisted pyrotechnics. The other is the sushi bar, perhaps one of the largest and best equipped east of Seattle. Across the bamboo bridge over a tranquil koi pond and past the waterfall and lounge, this is a quiet refuge and counterpoint to the frenetic atmosphere of the main dining room. Sho- gun is a perfect spot for either a special celebration or a quiet night out. Open seven days 5-10. 821 E 3rd. (509) 534-7777. $$-$$$


SUSHI.COM. Japanese. We still think the name is about as cheesy as you can get for a sushi bar and Japanese restaurant, but the food transcends the curious dot. com label over the door. Sit at the sushi bar and enjoy what is fresh or take a table and explore the menu that also includes plenty of excellent options if raw fish still makes you nervous. Some of our favorites are the super white tuna and the house tempura. 11 am – 9:30 pm weekdays. Noon – 9 Sat. Noon – 8 Sun. 430 West Main, Spokane. (509) 838-0630. $-$$$


SUSHI MARU. Japanese. A hip conveyor belt sushi spot in the heart of the downtown Riverpark Square mall in


SUSHI TRACK. Japanese. Reopened in September of 2010 to offer conveyor belt sushi plates as well as a full off-the-belt menu, Sushi Track offers great lunch spe- cials and a less-slick, homier feel than Maru downtown but offers the same advatages of kaiten-zushi: healthy food fast (sit down and start to eat), reasonable prices, and a visual introduction to one of the great cuisines of the world. 11 am – 3 pm for lunch; 5 pm – 9 pm for dinner. Saturday 11 – 10. Sunday noon – 8. 7458 North Division in Spokane. (509) 483-4000. $-$$


SUSHI YAMA. Japanese and Korean. After years devel- oping a cult following in Airway Heights and serving up some of the best sushi in the region, Charlie Yamamoto has opened a second location on 3rd Avenue in down- town Spokane. The space works as an Asian restaurant with touches of the truck stop vibe remaining from its Arctic Circle days. Most of the menu will be familiar to Charlie’s West Plains clientele.


sports-theme rolls that anchor the sushi side of the menu. Bento boxes and classic Korean dishes are also served up with relish. 11 – 10 Thu-Sat. 11 – 9 Sun – Tue. Closed Wed. 1321 West 3rd Avenue in Spokane. (509) 624-5553. $-$$$


Try one of his fine


SYRINGA. Japanese. Chef Viljo Basso serves up Japa- nese dishes with some creative French touches out of a small storefront on North 4th Street in Coeur d’Alene. The sushi from Kenta Nishmori and his brother Hiroshi is fresh and sweet and the house has some fun with vegetarian dishes and a series of “saketinis.” Under no circumstances should you miss Basso’s Chilean Sea Bass Misozuke ($16) that marinates in a white miso past for three days before Basso’s puts it on the grill. 11:30 – 9 Mon - Thur. 11:30 – 10 Fri. 4-10 Sat. Closed Sunday. 1401 North 4th in CDA (208) 664-2718. www.syringa- sushi.com $-$$$


TAAJ INDIAN CUISINE. Brilliant Indian food from owner and manager Gurmeet Gill and his two Punjabi chefs. One chef is in charge of the curries; the other runs the tandoori oven. Be sure to order several of the breads and don’t miss the Chicken Makhani, the Lamb Seekh Kababs, or the Baingan Bhartha that turns grilled egg- plant into an addictive substance. The weekday lunch buffet is a great way to explore Taaj’s large menu since it changes daily. Lunch and dinner daily. 128 West 3rd Avenue in Spokane. (509) 624-3738. $-$$


TAKARA. Japanese. Straight from Japan, the sushi chef brings the sea to North Idaho. Sake (raw salmon) and migura (raw tuna) are fabulous. Interested in cooked seafood? Try the light and crispy tempura; it’s worth the drive to Coeur d’Alene. Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2, Dinner Mon-Thur 5-9, Fri 4-10, Sat 5-10. 309 E Lakeside in CDA. (208) 765-8014. $-$$


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