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Green Leaf in the I. D.


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I hit this place late Wednesday night - they were gracious though we were the last diners of the evening. The flour cake is so weird, but good. Eat it while it is hot!

Shortribs were plentiful and tasty, though pretty dry. The house vermicelli noodles, served dry, had all sorts of tasty treats - shrimp skewer, chicken, spring roll...and each entree came with a different cup of sauce to pour over.

Now the music...well it was happy...but annoying.

Edited by tsquare (log)
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The music seems designed to keep you moving along at a good clip. Eat, pay the bill, get out. Not that the service gives you that impression.

Have you ever noticed the music at 7 Stars Pepper? It's high pictched flute or whistling of 70s pop like the Carpenters.

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Now the music...well it was happy...but annoying.

What, you have problem gettin' jiggy with the Vietnamese elevator music? It cracks me up.

So where, oh where, on the menu did you find shortribs?!?!?!

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Ok, I braved the traffic tonight and schlepped from Shoreline down to the ID. I'm happy to report it was well worth the effort!

Tried the banh xeo, the vegetarian spring rolls and the fried duck noodle soup. I purposely didn't add anything other than the supplied dipping sauces so I could get a better idea of the base flavors of each item. I will say that my favorite was probably the duck noodle soup as the banh xeo was a tad greasy. Not saying that it was anything less than excellent taste wise, but if I had to pick ... it'd be the soup :smile: And I enjoyed the spring rolls, but the wrappers were a tad thicker than I'm used to (so much so that my dog unrolled the one I brought to him [no, he's not spoiled at all] and just ate the filling!). It did make them easier to pick up and eat though :smile:

I made sure I got a take-home copy of the menu, but the result after scanning it was too much to post here. If anyone wants a copy I have it up at Greenleaf menu <-- this link.

Next time I'm going to bring someone with me! No, there was WAY too much food for me so my dog got 1 spring roll and 1 (ok, 1/2 - I ate more after I got home) banh xeo. I did finish the soup - barely :smile:

No one can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it. - T. Bankhead
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Now the music...well it was happy...but annoying.

What, you have problem gettin' jiggy with the Vietnamese elevator music? It cracks me up.

So where, oh where, on the menu did you find shortribs?!?!?!

Under rice dishes. Turn the page.

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Now the music...well it was happy...but annoying.

What, you have problem gettin' jiggy with the Vietnamese elevator music? It cracks me up.

So where, oh where, on the menu did you find shortribs?!?!?!

Under rice dishes. Turn the page.

Were they the thin-sliced across the bone variety of short ribs or the meaty braised short-rib variety?

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Now the music...well it was happy...but annoying.

What, you have problem gettin' jiggy with the Vietnamese elevator music? It cracks me up.

So where, oh where, on the menu did you find shortribs?!?!?!

Under rice dishes. Turn the page.

Were they the thin-sliced across the bone variety of short ribs or the meaty braised short-rib variety?

thin sliced across the bone, henceforth, a tad dry.

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Another kudos for Green Leaf! Friends and I went on Saturday and had the most incredible meal. Such a bargain!

We had:

- Fried Flour Cake

- Grilled Lemongrass Tofu

- Bahn Xeo

- Lotus Root Salad

- Grilled Beef in Lop Leaf Vermicelli

- Three Bean Dessert

- Flan Cake

- Grilled Banana Cake

- Thai Dessert

For me, my favorites were the appetizers and the lotus root salad. The desserts, while I was assured are very traditional, I probably would not order again. Not that they were bad, just not my favorite part of the meal.

I developed a craving so bad for the Lotus Root Salad, I went back again last night! The first time I had it with shrimp, the second time was with pork. The pork was in thin slices, firm fatty pieces dominated. Next time, I'll opt for the shrimp. I can't wait to try their other salads...and Tighe's duck soup, of course!

Traca

Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

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Review in The Stranger today: Green Leaf Love.

The cat is definitely now out of the bag. I'm getting tired of the Stranger reviewers gleaning their material from eG though.... :wink:

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Lunch today was great, and I tried a couple new things. First, the flour cakes...didn't really like them at first, but the more I ate, the better it tasted. I think I had to get used to the texture. Had the curry chicken 'bahn mi'. Great dish, it's actually a bowl of chicken curry soup with a toasted bahn mi loaf on the side. Not sure if one is supposed to assembe a sandwich, but I just used the bread for dipping. Wonderful, fresh tasting curry.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I have to bust on mamster's (otherwise excellent) review of Green Leaf a little. He writes:

Mi Vit Tiem (duck soup): This big bowl of broth, with noodles and bone-in pieces of duck, lacked the spicy or sour elements that made the rest of the meal seem so alive. Luckily, this soup came with a jar of pickled jalapeños, which I applied liberally.

To each his own, but I think evaluating the duck soup through the lens of what is commonly thought of as the Vietnamese flavor profile is a mistake. One of the best parts of Green Leaf is that there are twists on and movements away from the norm. The duck soup is more properly considered in a French framework, which is where I would guess it originates.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Hey, Vince. I know you would never miss a chop-busting opportunity.

I think you're probably right about the soup, but it was impossible to evaluate it in any context other than the rest of the stuff I had at Green Leaf, most of which is rather more subtle and balanced than at an average Vietnamese restaurant, but there's still plenty of fish sauce, chiles, and so on. It's hard to back off from that and consider the very mild duck soup on its own merits, considerable though they may be.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Regarding the duck soup. I liked it, but my hubby did not care for it. He thought it was too mild and the duck pieces kind of unwieldy to deal with. The crispy duck skin also was soggy in the soup. He prefers the Pho. I would order the duck soup again though sometime.

Duck Soup

greanleafduk2.jpg

Crispy Spring Rolls (photo taken after we had, oops, already eaten a couple!). These are FABULOUS.

greanleafroll.jpg

We also had the Beef La Lot, and I wasn't crazy about it. I prefer the Beef La Lot at Tamarind Tree. (apologies it is hard to see them in this photo).

greenleafLa.jpg

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I think they're a bit overwhelmed by all the new business-our lunch on Saturday mid-afternoon took about 2 hours (that's long for a little place like that) and we had some pretty bad service. The very sweet pregnant waitress saw that things were not going well for us and she apologized profusely, saying they had new waitstaff who didn't have the routine down yet.

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  • 1 month later...

We finally made it in for lunch yesterday, having gotten derailed the last time we'd planned it. A very nice little place!

We had the green mango salad with fried shrimp - that was totally awesome. Even my husband, Mr. Never Touch a Mango, ate up the delicious salad. Because he's squeamish about shrimp heads, I got all three shrimp for myself. You eat it all, shells, tail, and head, just a delicious treat. We also had the fresh shrimp rolls with the crispy center, which were delicious. The dipping sauce is unusual, seeming to have a hint of pineapple.

Then we had the banh xeo. I've only had it once before, and while this version was better by a mile, it's not my favorite dish. The pancakes were impeccably crisp, the beansprouts fresh and lightly cooked, the portion huge. Still, it's light on flavor, although I could taste the oil pretty clearly, and it's devilishly difficult to eat with chopsticks. The accompanying plate of herbs was very nice, including one I've never tasted before. Our server pronounced it for me as something close to hung tai. She said it's in the mint family, but it's definitely a new mint for me. Anyone know what that is?

I look forward to another trip there, and to trying more dishes. That green mango salad's likely to be on the menu again, though. It was truly memorable. And lots of people around us had various vermicelli bowls, which looked absolutely gorgeous.

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  • 1 month later...
Then we had the banh xeo.  I've only had it once before, and while this version was better by a mile, it's not my favorite dish.  The pancakes were impeccably crisp, the beansprouts fresh and lightly cooked, the portion huge.  Still, it's light on flavor, although I could taste the oil pretty clearly, and it's devilishly difficult to eat with chopsticks. 

We had the banh xeo and the fried duck soup for lunch. The banh xeo is light in flavour without the fish sauce, but I made sure each bite got a healthy dunking in the sauce with plenty of basil and cilantro too. We thought it was great, and it was amazing how it stayed crisp even with the steam coming from the bean sprouts.

The duck soup was also pretty good, but I don't like eating soggy duck skin. Next time, we'll try something else. I drank every last bit of broth, though! :smile:

The man (maybe the manager?) spoke Cantonese...(is it Vietnamese-owned? Just curious.) He was really excited that we liked our lunch, and told us how the chef was on a local cooking show awhile back. :smile:

Edited by Ling (log)
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The man (maybe the manager?) spoke Cantonese...(is it Vietnamese-owned? Just curious.) He was really excited that we liked our lunch, and told us how the chef was on a local cooking show awhile back.  :smile:

Many Vietnamese are ethnic-Chinese, and many retained links (language, customs, etc.) of their ethnicity.

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The man (maybe the manager?) spoke Cantonese...(is it Vietnamese-owned? Just curious.) He was really excited that we liked our lunch, and told us how the chef was on a local cooking show awhile back.  :smile:

The owner is multi-lingual and takes great pride in his restaurant's food, as well as customer service. Very refreshing. Let him bring you his choice of dishes for your table next time - he'll treat you well.

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  • 1 month later...

I had the escargot/pork dumplings speared by sugar cane and they were so good...lots of escargot in each dumpling. There was a ginger dipping sauce and pickled jicama and carrots that complimented this yummy apetizer. The duck soup was a struggle with the large amounts of skin but the broth was delicious.

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  • 6 months later...

we happened to travel down to seattle for the day (today) and were planning on trying out this place, but it was CLOSED! :shock:

i raced out of my car and saw the handwritten sign on the door, "on vacation until march 1".....my wife suspected that they went back to vietnam for "tet" (chinese new year) celebrations.

ahhh, next time then...

(but we ended up going to Le Pichet, which we LOVED :rolleyes: )

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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