From Skeptical to Surprised at Stateside

stateside logoI’ve been openly skeptical about Asian food (by non-Asian chefs) in Capitol Hill amidst the cocktail crowd. As a result, I’d skipped Stateside for far too long. But when friends from New Zealand came to Seattle and asked for food they can’t find at home, Stateside came to mind. (I take a lot of people to Huong Binh in the International District, but this occasion called for something a little more formal.)

I’m skeptical no more.

Oh, keeping with the Capitol Hill vibe, it’s a little too loud in there. But it’s a charming place. The service was attentive, and I appreciated when the server suggested I change my order from one dish to a more seasonal one that matched the rest of the meal I was constructing. (Stateside’s menu is conducive to plate-sharing, and I always prefer to order just a couple of dishes at a time to see how the meal goes.)

The food was fantastic. Lots of fresh herbs (a hallmark of Vietnamese cooking) and use of interesting ingredients. The dishes were texturally interesting. I had the kind of meal I most enjoy: full of familiar flavors, but also with opportunity to discover something new. And I even had one of my few “wow” moments so far this year in a restaurant.

Crispy duck fresh rolls, packing an herbal punch with (I believe) shiso, lemon balm, cilantro, and "sawtooth mint" (culantro?)

Crispy duck fresh rolls, packing an herbal punch with (I believe) shiso, lemon balm, cilantro, and “sawtooth mint” (culantro?)

Heirloom tomato salad with duck egg cured in aged rice wine, black garlic, rau ram, and lemon vinaigrette - the refreshing course of the meal, with great flavors

Heirloom tomato salad with duck egg cured in aged rice wine, black garlic, rau ram, and lemon vinaigrette – the refreshing course of the meal, with great flavors

Curried whole globe artichoke heart braised with dried yuba and rice paddy herb - I recently started using yuba (tofu skin) in curries and stews, and now I'm excited to try artichokes!

Curried whole globe artichoke heart braised with dried yuba and rice paddy herb – I recently started using yuba (tofu skin) in curries and stews, and now I’m excited to try artichokes!

Grilled corn on the cob rolled in Maggi mayo, lime leaf, and pork floss, topped with pickled chilis and mint - moves me closer to being a fan of pork floss (like meaty cotton candy)

Grilled corn on the cob rolled in Maggi mayo, lime leaf, and pork floss, topped with pickled chilis and mint – moves me closer to being a fan of pork floss (like meaty cotton candy)

Chili cumin pork ribs - perhaps too many cumin seeds, but great for appearance and flavor...I would have liked these ribs (the meat was delicious!) just a little spicier

Chili cumin pork ribs – perhaps too many cumin seeds, but great for appearance and flavor…I would have liked these ribs (the meat was delicious!) just a little spicier

Cha ca la vong: black cod marinated in turmeric and galangal with rice vermicelli, fresh dill, cilantro, mint, and peanuts (served with a pineapple-anchovy sauce) - this was the "wow" dish of the meal, delicate but delicious with lots of texture and flavor (more noodles and fish, please!)

Cha ca la vong: black cod marinated in turmeric and galangal with rice vermicelli, fresh dill, cilantro, mint, and peanuts (served with a pineapple-anchovy sauce) – this was the “wow” dish of the meal, delicate but delicious with lots of texture and flavor (more noodles and fish, please!)

Braised morel mushrooms in Shaoxing wine with English peas, in sauce hollandaise - in contrast to the cha ca la vong, this was extremely rich, with great earthy flavor (served with bread and a fun fish sauce-flavored butter)

Braised morel mushrooms in Shaoxing wine with English peas, in sauce hollandaise – in contrast to the cha ca la vong, this was extremely rich, with great earthy flavor (served with bread and a fun fish sauce-flavored butter)

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2 Responses to “From Skeptical to Surprised at Stateside”

  1. KD
    July 30, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Where do you find fresh yuba in Seattle?

  2. Jay
    July 30, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Northwest Tofu and Thanh Son Tofu in the Little Saigon area would be good bets. You can also try Uwajimaya and the new Asian Food Center (132nd and Aurora).

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