The New York Times once described teriyaki as Seattle's equivalent of the Chicago hot dog. It's true that various versions of this dish are available at many local restaurants, not just those with "teriyaki" in the name.
The distinction among most places is based on cooking method, grilled or wok-fried, quantity, big to bigger, and the side, usually a small lettuce salad or pickled cucumbers. Taste and freshness are important factors, too.
We found two south Everett teriyaki restaurants that recently underwent ownership changes. Both rated high for producing fine, fast and flavorful renditions of fairly standard menu choices. Neither choice offers fine dining. It's counter service at both places.
Talking with the chef-owners at both restaurants, I found the people to be friendly, happy to talk about their business and interested in encouraging repeat customers.
Nom Nom Teriyaki N'More is across from Fred Meyer near the intersection of Holly Drive and Evergreen Way. A couple bought the place about six months ago after running a restaurant in Bellevue.
The decor is a bit outdated with faux leather booths in what looks like it was once a burger joint. Today the menu still includes burgers and fries, fulfilling the mission statement of "one stop to satisfy your Asian and American food cravings," but the focus clearly is on the Asian cuisine.
A recent to-go order included the chicken-and-beef teriyaki combo ($7.99) that came with generous portions of both meats, plenty of rice and a small tossed salad with shredded carrots. The chicken was wok-fried.
The chicken yakisoba ($7.69) was tangy, full of broccoli, carrots and cabbage. Kung pao chicken ($7.69) included baby corn, water chestnuts and peanuts in a sauce spicy enough to get your nose running.
Nom Nom's menu includes Thai dishes, curries and tempura.
A complementary cup of tasty egg-drop soup tided me over while I waited for my order.
Closer to downtown, Bento and Teriyaki is an unassuming hole-in-the-wall on Evergreen Way across from the General Brushless Car Wash.
It's a smaller dining area than Nom Nom, but the room feels a bit more spacious, with light flowing in through picture windows.
Here the chicken and Mongolian beef combination ($7.99) also came with a fresh salad, and also was cooked in a wok. The chicken yakisoba ($7.45) was above par. A side order of California rolls ($3.99) tasted freshly made and was a perfect little nosh.
As the name suggests, bento plates are offered here. These usually come in a plastic serving tray with lots of little compartments for small dishes. Here the bento box includes a main portion of chicken, beef or pork teriyaki or chicken katsu, a Japanese take on fried chicken. Prices range from $8.99 to $9.49 and includes a side of shrimp and vegetable tempura, rice, salad and a sushi roll.
Many people wrongly assume that teriyaki is solely a Japanese dish. It's also a staple of Korean cuisine. The family running Bento and Teriyaki is Korean and they feature pork and beef bul-go-gi, a Korean favorite, at $8.49.
Both restaurants offered generous portion sizes. The teriyaki easily could feed two people. Yakisoba noodles from each place included a scoop of white rice, adding an already heaping plate of food.
If you know of a standout teriyaki restaurant you'd like us to review, feel free to drop us a line and we'll check it out.
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; email@example.com.
Nom Nom Teriyaki N'More
8833 Evergreen Way, Everett; 425-212-9473.
Specialty: Asian and American fast food
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Vegetarian options: A few tofu and vegetable-only options.
Bento and Teriyaki
6100 Evergreen Way, Everett; 425-353-9595.
Specialty: Asian fast food
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Vegetarian options: Vegetarian menu available.
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