Everett’s Blue Mango serves top-notch Korean

EVERETT — The restaurant next to Anthony’s on the waterfront changed ownership recently.

What once was a Japanese sushi and teriyaki place now embraces pan Asian cuisine, leaning heavily on Korean dishes.

It’s an odd space, with two distinct dining rooms separated by the kitchen. The new owners of Blue Mango Bistro gave the restaurant a needed face lift.

Now the dining room on the parking lot side has the feel of a more modern bar, with neon purple lighting and slick black tables.

On waterside, the room is more elegant, a bit more upscale, with wonderful views of the marina.

You have to know the waterfront room is there. If you visit the restaurant at lunchtime, like I did, you’ll definitely want the waterside and you can get there only by walking around the building; the staff is shy about letting customers cut through the kitchen.

Gone are the bento boxes and sashimi. Instead Blue Mango offers up mouth-watering plates of bulgogi, bibimbop and jap chae.

This is some of the best Korean food I’ve had in Snohomish County. It’s tasty, fresh and packs just the right amount of heat.

There’s a long list of appetizers that includes fried tofu ($8), chicken hot wings ($9), shrimp cocktail ($8) and an assortment of sushi rolls.

We tried the spicy tuna roll ($9), which was as gorgeous to look at as it was to eat. The generous portion, eight pieces, easily could have been lunch all on its own.

The California roll ($8) was equally satisfying, clearly made to order.

All the entrees were big enough to share or for leftovers.

The Blue Mango’s green salad ($8) came garnished with crisp rice bits, a quarter mango and a sliced chicken breast atop a fresh bed of lettuce leaves with cucumbers for more crunch. A creamy dressing had a familiar Asian taste.

Japchae ($9 for lunch, $13 for dinner) is a dish made of glass potato noodles tossed with vegetables and seasoned beef. It had a big wallop of black pepper and was sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The bulgogi ($9 for lunch, $17 for dinner) is beef (also available with pork or chicken) that’s served with rice and outstanding kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage. The tender was coated with a pleasingly sweet and flavorful marinade that caramelized in the wok. Delicious.

There are plenty of other entrees including tempura ($8 to $12), fried rice ($9 at lunch, $15 for dinner), udon noodles ($12) and classic fish and chips ($9 for lunch, $15 at dinner).

The good news is that there are lots of other dishes to try. I can’t wait to taste their seafood pancake ($15) or the pancake made of kimchi and pork ($10). A chicken chili stew with spicy sweet peppers and scallions ($18) intrigues me as does the fried hot and sweet chicken ($15).

For dessert, Blue Mango has ice creams, mochi ice creams and fruit and yogurt smoothies. And yes, mango is prominently featured.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; jholtz@heraldnet.com.

Blue Mango Bistro

1728 W. Marine View Drive, Everett; 425-252-5300.

Specialty: Pan Asian and Korean.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Price range: Moderate.

Liquor: Beer, wine and sake.

Vegetarian options: Limited.

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