Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, which boasts 480 branches in Japan, lands in Bellevue in Wilburton Village. More than 50 different kinds of sushi ($2.95 each plate) and other bites make the rounds on the sushi belt. You can also order from the tablet and then watch your tonkotsu ramen and hand rolls ride the “express” conveyor belt. Kids get a thrill out of seeing food on the autobahn belt whizzing by the slowpokes on the regular sushi belt. The seared salmon with Japanese mayo and the “real crab California roll” are among the crowd favorites. Bellevue is Kura Sushi’s 32nd restaurant in the United States, and the first in Washington state. Management hopes to open more branches in the Seattle area in the future, though no expansion plans have been announced.
Desi Tadka Indian Grill, which was a big hit as a food truck, now runs a brick-and-mortar in downtown Bellevue, with all the favorites from that vegetarian mobile kitchen plus more tandoori bites under $10 and Punjabi entrees. The 92-item menu includes paneer tikka masala and chickpea kala chana curry. This is one of the big vegetarian openings on the Eastside this year.
Other Bellevue openings: Ezell’s Famous Chicken expands to the Factoria Village shopping center. Lari Adda serves paratha rolls and Pakistani street food out of its food truck. And Timeless Tea serves crêpes and mochi along with its signature bubble tea.
In Kirkland: The 53-seat Fan Tang Asian Cafe brings Hunan rice and noodle dishes to the Houghton neighborhood. Six miles north of that Chinese cafe sits Rush In Alaskan Dumplings, where pelmeni get stuffed with veggie fillings such as potato and mushroom or proteins such as beef and pork. (Check out my colleague David Gutman’s review on those Russian dumplings and other Kirkland eats here.) For those with a sweet tooth, Nothing Bundt Cakes offers its namesake dessert in 10 different flavors, from white chocolate raspberry to pecan.
In Redmond, 151 Days, a Chinese restaurant known for its chicken broth, runs a large soup and fresh noodle menu that includes Berkshire pork-stuffed wontons. In the Village at Redmond Ridge shopping center, Luigi’s Cocina sells hard-shell tacos along with staples like burritos and enchiladas. For heartier meals, the Mexican restaurant also offers steaks and seafood entrees.
And in Newcastle, there’s Gyro Makers.
In Tukwila, the 110-seat Birrieria Monarca restaurant showcases those trendy birria beef stew tacos stuffed with melted cheese. Good news for vegetarians who have been sidelined during all this birria hysteria: A soy version of that popular taco is also offered here. About 2 miles south of that taco spot sits Sushi Omiya, which also serves salmon skin udon noodles and karaage chicken.
Speaking of sushi, Musashi’s, which is popular in Seattle, has expanded with a branch in Kent.
Aliberto’s Jr. Fresh Mexican Food in Renton offers a large breakfast burrito lineup and lots of taco lunch combos for under $12.
In Des Moines, Hampton Isom, a former pro basketball player and Alaska Airlines flight attendant who ran a popular Creole food truck, now has a brick-and-mortar spot, Dat Creole Soul, to hawk his New Orleans grub.
In Shoreline, Royal Dumplings House is the latest newcomer to jump into the dumpling craze, offering fried buns and pot stickers as well as Northern Chinese-style boiled dumplings with pork. Next to the Central Market sits Bullettrain Udon, which does six variations of its namesake Japanese noodle, including beef, shrimp and tempura veggies.
In Edmonds, Kahlo’s Cantina, by the Washington State Ferries Edmonds-Kingston terminal, serves traditional Mexican comfort food, fusion and other dishes such as a wagyu burger topped with avocado and grilled sockeye with mango salsa.