Bellevue >Monsoon East
Just like their older sibling on Capitol Hill this joint serves up some serious fresh and tasty Vietnamese fare. If you're just looking to whet your whistle, the Monsoon bar is also known for mixing up some seriously inventive cocktails.
There isn't a bad time to visit this sleek Eastside room but weekend brunch and Monday - Thursday (3:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) happy hour offer great value.
Monsoon East has a sexy cocktail called Sparkling Nightshade: french brut, hendrick’s gin, parfait amour, lime juice and basil seeds served in a flute. Fancy!
Love the oxtail pho soup! I'm also glad they have banned candles from their dining tables. I'm allergic to candle smoke and suffer headaches for days after eating in most restaurants. Now, if they'd only get rid of those pesky candles in the bar. All in all though, a great place for asian specialties.
great tofu. best tofu ever, definately will be back. good atmosphere too.
Not worth it!. I heard good things about the place only to be let down when we tried it. Took forever to be served. Attitude of the server and manager was atrocious. They need to realize this is 2010, not 2006 and should try to earn their business.
Tasty and unusual food.
I've been to Monsoon East a few times. I've had some amazing and some decent dishes, it just depends on the dish. The beef 'stew' with butter beans was divine and I loved the beans as much as the meat!
Other dishes aren't always as delicious, but they're usually at least good. It's a fun experience in Bellevue where there are so many bland, boring restaurants. The decor and ambiance is pretty nice, although the tables are a bit close together. For Valentine's Day 2009 they had very pretty red confetti hearts on all the tables.
One thing that I really like is that the owner (or manager?) and the front desk staff seem to care about your experience. This is getting rare in the service industry and is very refreshing.
finally a nice restaurant in bellevue.
Nestled on main street in bellevue, this is a good nice restaurant. I think the first restaurant in bellevue that I'd recommend for service and food. Previously you'd need to go to seattle.
I have sat in the main restaurant once and found it dark and a little claustrophobic. I now always sit at the bar or the low tables in the front. Reasonable decor, comfortable to sit and talk while watching people out the big windows. Bar is a nice big piece of wood.
First time I came here I ordered the beef shoulder salad. Without asking the waiter served it basically black on the outside and raw in the middle. Fantastic piece of meat cut thin after cooking. Usually i need to beg a chef to cook meat like that, I was very pleased. Super cool and tasted great.
Also ordered the large sashimi platter, fresh wild sockeye, was a good deal for a lot of very nice fish.
Another standout on the menu once was a "heirloom" tomato salad, which my little one said was as sweet as a pear.
If you sit at the bar the drunken chicken smells fantastic while its being cooked, but I thought it was too greasy and didn't like the flavor (to each his own).
I ate here once with a larger group and got to try quite a few things. Frankly I think the sashimi, the specials and the salads are the best things on the menu. I stop here sometimes when I'm coming home late, great place to treat myself and decompress.
Hope they bring back the large sashimi platter.
fantastic food. We love this place, whenever we wonder "where should we go out to dinner?" This is the spot. Having been a very long time customer, praise is pretty much all there is for the food. Elegant, interesting, cooked to perfection. It has a typical Seattle attitude but we have usually been lucky to receive great service at the Bellevue restaurant (the original, bit questionable with the service and you definitely want to be there we the owner is) Bellevue has never failed!
Vietnamese Food?. Don't go here expecting Vietnamese food, you'll be sorely disappointed. and charged dearly for it. Best to visit the ID and save a few dong!
Great asian food in the east side.
We love asian food, and we ate there several times.
The experience was consistent - it was always great food and great service
Fresh Food/ Fresh Ideas.
Great atmosphere, unique and fresh food concepts (Vietnamese Fusion). If you are tired of the "Generic Northwest" culinary concepts and enjoy fresh and interesting dishes, try Monsoon. And I know I've said fresh three times already (once in the headline), but looking back, it's really the first thing that pops into my head when thinking about the food. The service was very sincere from start to finish; smiles and warm greetings on the way in - thanks from the entire staff on the way out (including the kitchen). Our server, Gene (I think) was extremely polite and timed all of his perfect recommendations wonderfully.
Pros: Atmosphere, service, food, (both quality and selection... and of course, freshness), full bar and great wine list.
Cons: Drove past it 3 times before seeing it. If you are meat and potatoes person, this might be a stretch for you.
Eastsiders: Don't get too excited....
After reading the write up in The Times we decided to venture out on a rainy Monday to Monsoon East. It was before 6 and not very busy, the hostess put us at a 2 top wedged between 2 others and we were so close we could bump elbows so we asked for another table, there were plenty of 4 tops but she said the only option was to sit ?in back?. So she took us to ?in back? where we sat alone and so I can?t comment on the overall atmosphere from this point of isolation but from what we did see it looked very hip. I?d give the place overall a ?C? for very average.
We ordered the vegetarian rolls which was a bland piece of tofu without season, a few hydrated mushrooms and some lettuce in rice paper loosely wrapped, very dull and messy presentation. The dry ribs which were greasy and had chives sprinkled on top that were past their prime, not much pop to them and the deep fried spring roll was really a sausage roll that reminded me of something we found in Australia, confusing but very good deep fried salty meat. We also had the sashimi and ahi, both very good, but pricy for what it was, the ahi was better.
Our service was pretty below average but we actually felt badly for the guy, we were imagining what his real job had been, we think he might have been a displaced former financial genius, we felt his pain and he showed it every step of the way. I think that big chain place in the mall is a much better bet.
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