Ten bucks for banh mi, that Vietnamese baguette sandwich you can grab at delis all over town for under $4? Welcome to Alicia Fusion Bistro at Leschi’s lakeside—the polished, candlelit antidive whose banh mi is a warm, crusty baguette crammed with a moist, pulled version of roast Carlton Farms pork, along with crackling pickled veggies and silky garlic aioli. It’s notably fresh and terrific—as are the brisket pho, grilled lemongrass chicken vermicelli bowls, and other Vietnamese classics of the sort you might find at the Kuang family’s fanatically beloved original restaurants, the Green Leafs in the ID and Belltown. But the real glories of Alicia are its mad forays into successful Vietnamese-Continental fusion: dishes like gilded scallops over sweet corn and a savory, cilantro-flecked onion sauce; or a petite burger crafted of Mishima Ranch beef and pickled vegetables and brisk lime aioli; or Willapa Bay clams in a ragù lit with the unlikely triumvirate of tomato sauce, pork, and lemongrass. Yes, these small-plate presentations add up to more than you’re used to paying at the Green Leafs of the world. But Alicia is wholly more ambitious, from its kumquat cocktails all the way through to its dessert malasadas, Portuguese fried dough balls with coconut and chocolate dipping sauces.
This article appeared in the December 2014 issue of Seattle Met magazine.