Monday, July 9, 2012
Dining Out: Monsoon (East), Bellevue WA
It seems that Vietnamese cuisine brings thoughts of "strip mall", "noodle soup" and "inexpensive" . Well, some of that may be true. But at Monsoon, none really apply.
Monsoon East is a great upscale Vietnamese restaurant in old downtown Bellevue. It is part of the Monsoon family of restaurants that includes a location in Seattle, Ba Bar and Baguette Box.
Ok, back to their East location. Located on Main Street in old downtown Bellevue they offer street parking and lot parking which I have yet to find. Open their big, heavy door and you'll find yourself in a restaurant very fitting for the Bellevue scene.
I've been many times for happy hour, brunch, lunch and dinner. I find their menu able to please anyone, especially my picky vegetarian friends. Ingredients are always fresh and flavors of herbs and spices blend very nicely with their menu items.
Most Vietnamese restaurants don't compare to the quality and attention that good food deserves. You'll find yourself plesantly surprised at how Monsoon has elevated this wonderful cuisine as well as the dining experience.
My go to menu items include the following. Note that items may not be served throughout the day:
Grilled Lo la lot
Arugula, avocado salad (this is fantastic, the flavors are so fresh and delicious)
Vegetable fresh rolls
Crispy Washington druken chicken
Oxtail broth pho (note, this pho is much more flavorful)
Any of the Vermicelli bowls (a hearty salad(ish) dish)
Any Banhi mi (in case you're looking for a soup and sandwich combo)