It had to happen. Many local Vietnamese eateries serve good food at miraculous prices, but their decor varies from plain to shabby to lurid. Now one cooks it even better and presents it prettily in a beautiful, low-lit, exotic-deco space, complete with designer martinis, champagne cocktails, plus a burbling fountain in the bamboo-screened parking-lot patio. And at miraculous prices. Tamarind Tree does the classics right: steaming noodle soups, suitably seared half chickens and satay morsels made of chicken as well as the usual beef in fragrant la lot leaves. The rice-paper wrap-up platter trimmings are generous, the side sauces suitably pungent. And the capacious menu is seeded with novelties: In the Tamarind Tree Rolls, crispy fried cracker and tofu give an enlivening edge to the fresh, bland goi cu’on. Squid stuffed with pork and mushroom, like giant chicken hearts, deliver an overpowering earthy rush. "Yellow fish," crispy bite-size chunks dredged in turmeric, are a beer treat looking for a tropical beach. The kumquat martini is the standout sip. With all the care lavished on food, presentation, and decor, it’s almost reassuring that the cheerful servers always seem to forget one item. Otherwise Tamarind Tree might be too perfect.
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1036 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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