West Seattle restaurants: New pizza place; 2 menu changes

March 14, 2012 at 11:27 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 82 Comments

Three restaurant notes today, all from The Junction:

EX-GARLIC JIM’S TO BECOME ROUND TABLE PIZZA? That’s the way it looks, from a liquor-license application that just turned up online. A Round Table Pizza franchisee has applied for a beer/wine license at 4520 California SW, which is where Garlic Jim’s Pizza shut down six months ago after multiple ownership changes. Last time we looked at the restaurant’s for-sale listing (which is no longer active), the verbiage had changed to “Does not have to be a Garlic Jim’s.” The prospective licensee owns other Round Table franchises, including the nearest one – in Burien – where we have left a message seeking more info on the West Seattle plan.

NEW MENU FOR BANG BAR: This note is from Kay Fuengarom, proprietor of Bang Bar Thai Restaurant and Lounge in The Junction:

After being in the great West Seattle neighborhood for a little more than 8 months, we decided that it is time to do what we are best at which is the “authentic Thai cuisine.” We listened to every comment that we got from all of our customers and have been thinking about them thoughtfully, that they all love us, love the food, love the ambience, but they wish that they can come to Bang Bar more often. The facts being that our prices might be higher than most Thai restaurants but we really do use great quality ingredients and big and fresh seafood. We want to give the customers different choices and options to choose from. We now know that we should go back to our original authentic Thai menu that we planned before we opened the restaurant back in June of 2011. This menu offers over 100 items to choose from – lunch is at $7.95, lunch combinations at $9.95, dinner menu entrees start at $9.95, seasonal Bang Bar Signatures menu that will have all the Chef’s special dishes, we still have our happy hours menu at $5 and $6; happy hours martinis at $5. Now we’ve applied the restaurant concept that we use for our other two restaurants to Bang Bar: “Great Food, Good Service, Reasonable Price, Nice Atmosphere.”


NEW MENUS AT FRESH BISTRO:
Also announcing new menus, Fresh Bistro at 4725 42nd SW: They now have a gluten-free menu (see it here) and a “vegetarian-friendly” menu (see it here).

82 Comments

  1. Oh dear Bang Bar please please please keep that New York steak dish with the garlic and Sichuan pepper and sauce. PLEASE!
    .
    (And a plethora of more affordable Thai dishes–with your proven standards of creativity and great quality—sounds irresistible. )

    Comment by mookie — 11:41 am March 14, 2012 #

  2. Didn’t we have a round table before? Or was that a Godfather’s?

    Comment by c — 11:46 am March 14, 2012 #

  3. Forget Round Table, let’s get Tutta Bella in the old Petco space instead of whatever that nonsense in there now is.

    Comment by Jeff — 11:47 am March 14, 2012 #

  4. Round Table Pizza?!?

    Comment by chrisma — 11:51 am March 14, 2012 #

  5. I do not love the idea of Round Table coming here. In my opinion it is sub-par, and us west Seattleites would be better off with something else, but oh well…..

    Comment by Jason — 11:52 am March 14, 2012 #

  6. Meh.

    Comment by Velo_nut — 12:02 pm March 14, 2012 #

  7. The irish pub use to be Godfathers (and we had a Shakies too at one point).

    I LOVE the idea of this – I use to work near the Burien Round Table and it was a well run place, good pizza and really nice people. I’d love to see them up in West Seattle.

    Comment by Colleen — 12:06 pm March 14, 2012 #

  8. I love Round Table! Well, not the pizza particularly but the salad bar is a favorite that we now drive down to Burien for. A salad bar of any sort seems hard to come by.

    Comment by alkiguy — 12:07 pm March 14, 2012 #

  9. I’m with Alkiguy – bring on the Round Table salad bar!

    Comment by pampire — 12:11 pm March 14, 2012 #

  10. Too bad about Round Table Pizza. West Seattle needs more small businesses, not some corporate pizza joint shelling out sub-par food.

    Comment by bonbon — 12:15 pm March 14, 2012 #

  11. 100 items on the menu? How can you possibly control quality? Forget what the customers want…you can’t please everyone.

    Comment by atomic-age — 12:20 pm March 14, 2012 #

  12. Ugh, I Round Table in the Junction? One word: lame.

    Comment by e.r. — 12:25 pm March 14, 2012 #

  13. Long ago there was a Round Table Pizza at the location that is currently The Bridge on 35th SW

    Comment by JanS — 12:25 pm March 14, 2012 #

  14. RE: Round Table/Bang Bar changes:
    One thing you can count on, they will either make money with their moves, i.e., the community will support the enterprises with their cash, or they will go bust.
    It’s always a crap shoot, which makes watching the Junction activity so much fun.

    Comment by old timer — 12:29 pm March 14, 2012 #

  15. I happen to love round table! And bang bar-I’ve only had their pad thai once and for the price it was nothing special..glad they’ve realized this too.

    Comment by Casey — 12:30 pm March 14, 2012 #

  16. The Bridge was Pizza Pete and Taco Time was Shakey’s. Great old Pizza places.

    Comment by z — 12:31 pm March 14, 2012 #

  17. Bang Bar is incredibly awesome specialty Thai Food. Definitely a little on the high end of of the price scale but well worth the tasty quality specialty dishes. And the Happy Hour food and drink menu is awesome! Will definitely go more with lower prices and I hope the tastiness stays the same!

    Comment by z — 12:35 pm March 14, 2012 #

  18. Hurray for Round Table – despite being a franchise they actually have really good pizza.

    Hurray for Bang Bar rethinking their concept. Their food was too high priced for absolutely nothing special. Just because you “look” foodie doesn’t mean you are foodie.

    Comment by ElevenEleven — 12:45 pm March 14, 2012 #

  19. Round Table sucks. Sorry but could not think of more appropriate word to describe their pizza.

    Comment by ZS — 12:47 pm March 14, 2012 #

  20. I don’t understand a restaurant with a menu that has over 100 items. That spells trouble with absolutely no focus or consistency. The food isn’t bad in there, but I haven’t been back since my last visit. I tried 3 times. Besides, it’s pretty hard to top Buddha Ruksa.

    Comment by NotMe — 12:54 pm March 14, 2012 #

  21. I have nothing against Round Table, but with the number of great pizza places in the area (Pagliacci, Zeek’s, Proletariat, Pizzeria 22) I’m not sure it’s needed. Although I’m with the rest of you who are hoping they bring their salad bar. :-)

    Comment by Beth — 1:01 pm March 14, 2012 #

  22. Hopefully Round Table will be a place for families with kids. I miss the ol’ days when the whole fam would go have pizza and the kids would play video games and you could get pitchers of soda and beer! I love Zeeks, but they need to have something for the little ones.

    Comment by monroe1200 — 1:14 pm March 14, 2012 #

  23. If you don’t like Round Table, do not go. Look at the positive side, a vacant space is now rented, and hopefully West Seattle residents will be employed there. That is more revenue for the area, 1 less empty store and hopefully a few people off of unemployment. And remember, its a franchise, which means mostlikely a small business owner.

    Comment by coffee — 1:22 pm March 14, 2012 #

  24. Round Table was at The Bridge ‘stunning location after Pizza Pete. Late 80′s, I’d say.
    I liked them then, but that was before there were other options for pizza.

    Comment by west Seattle since 1979 — 1:25 pm March 14, 2012 #

  25. Ah, memories – Taco Time was the Shakey’s, A Terrible Beauty was Godfather’s and I remember The Bridge as Round Table (where we could afford to go on my paper route money in the early 80′s). I miss the Shakey’s jo-jos!
    It does seem a little redundant to have another pizza place go in, but if they have video games and a salad bar…old school!
    Just like any other business of it’s type, if it’s good it will stay. If no one goes, it will be gone.
    I’ll also add Red Star Pizza and Talarico’s to the previously mentioned existing pizza joints.

    Comment by Todd — 1:33 pm March 14, 2012 #

  26. First a Wing Dome and now a Round Table? Our little junction is losing its quaintness

    Comment by Michelle — 1:43 pm March 14, 2012 #

  27. Good grief, I feel like West Seattle is becoming very East side/chain oriented. First Spring Hill goes fried chicken, now we get another pizza joint and Bang Bar, which again, I frequented because it was nice enough to take clients and different than your average Thai, is going mainstream. I love West Seattle but I can’t help but feel that we’re going down market fast. And mama ain’t happy. Bang bar: please keep your high end menu items, I love your restaurant and your food.

    Comment by Arbor Heights Mom — 1:50 pm March 14, 2012 #

  28. I love Round Table pizza and their salad bar is great! Video games inside would be great, that totally reminds me of being a kid going to Shakeys and Bison Creek pizza in Burien

    Comment by B — 1:51 pm March 14, 2012 #

  29. BTW, Red Star is the best in my eyes.

    Comment by coffee — 1:53 pm March 14, 2012 #

  30. Gross. For those of you with kids what in the world are you thinking feeding your kids that crap? At least with Pagliacci or Zeeks you know they’re trying not to use crap that is going to give your little girl her period at age 9 or your little boy little boobies.

    Comment by Neighbor — 1:54 pm March 14, 2012 #

  31. I agree that something else is needed in the old Petco space. The current use is a joke.

    Comment by DW — 1:57 pm March 14, 2012 #

  32. Red Star is the best- mmmm…cheesy goodness.

    Comment by Kim — 2:12 pm March 14, 2012 #

  33. If you really want to hop into the time machine, before Shakey’s it was “Gil’s”. One of my Dad’s old hangouts from the 1950′s. It was torn down in the early to mid-70′s, I think…

    Comment by Tony S — 2:20 pm March 14, 2012 #

  34. I like Bang Bar’s menu compared to the phone-book-size menu at most Thai places. Their prices are reasonable and the food is excellent. I hope they don’t skimp on quality just for the sake of slightly lower prices. I encourage them to stick with the current menu: quality over quantity!

    Comment by Peter in Fauntleroy — 2:22 pm March 14, 2012 #

  35. I wish we could get a straight up Chinese Restaurant in that empty space.

    Lee’s is OK, but they are a Chinese/Thai hybrid and the food with a few exceptions is kind of bland.

    Comment by Neo-Realist — 3:01 pm March 14, 2012 #

  36. If you want something better in the old petco spot, open something better in the old petco spot. Otherwise quit complaining.

    Comment by censored — 3:06 pm March 14, 2012 #

  37. taco time was GILS with the first KFC in same building. ah, you youngsters. and godfathers use to be Carlise furniture

    Comment by Loco in W.S. — 3:17 pm March 14, 2012 #

  38. Round Table ain’t all that bad. And it will give families another option for pizza w/ the kids. I was at Talarico’s not so long ago and it was a zoo of parents and kids. It seems that another pizza option for them in the area is appropriate.

    Haven’t yet been to BB, but I hate to see such a restaurant “dumb down” the food, but probably necessary in this economy.

    Comment by Charles — 3:31 pm March 14, 2012 #

  39. Really, round table?! A franchise with mediocre food! Terrible news. I agree we need family restuarants, but we do not need to sacrifice good food to have a family eatery. What we need is tutta Bella to open another place in West Seattle!

    Comment by Corra — 3:31 pm March 14, 2012 #

  40. Pssffftttt. This should be a Dicks, not a round table.

    Comment by Wessider — 3:32 pm March 14, 2012 #

  41. I’d rather see Proletariat Pizza in the Junction, and I wish Bang Bar wouldn’t change their menu. It’s pretty awesome as is.

    Comment by Eugene — 3:35 pm March 14, 2012 #

  42. WHAT- ?? – pray tell please, has gone into the old PetCo space? Everyone keeps referring to it but never SAYS what is IN there now! (???)

    Comment by KD — 3:39 pm March 14, 2012 #

  43. http://westseattleblog.com/2012/02/west-seattle-businesses-whats-up-in-the-former-petco-space

    Comment by WSB — 3:48 pm March 14, 2012 #

  44. Eastside/chain oriented? Because a chain pizza place is replacing a chain pizza place? Because Bang Bar and Spring Hill are changing their menus/pricing in order to simply survive? Wing Dome is chastised because they have four locations? (they ARE a local business, BTW). We could apply this same “chain” logic to establishments like JaK’s, Matador, Zeek’s, A Terrible Beauty and Spiro’s.

    Folks sure seem to be getting picky around here – there are more diverse dining options than I’ve ever seen in my 20 years as a West Seattleite. We should be counting our blessings that we have such a wide array of restaurants, and patronize the ones we like. Eat, drink and be merry people.

    Comment by sw — 3:53 pm March 14, 2012 #

  45. i want the $100 i spent at bang bar for 2 people BACK and I was so blown away by the cost that before I go back – I want my money back – i complained and they said – oh, we are a fancy thai restaurant – whatever

    Comment by thd — 3:56 pm March 14, 2012 #

  46. @thd it’s too bad there wasn’t a way for you to know how much something cost before you ordered it.

    Comment by frank — 4:00 pm March 14, 2012 #

  47. Walk in, sit down, read menu, order, eat, question cost, demand refund.

    The order of that progression seems a bit off to me but I can’t put my finger on it.

    Comment by Zach — 4:13 pm March 14, 2012 #

  48. There sure is a lot of First World Problem complaining in West Seattle. Sheesh.

    Comment by Linda — 4:19 pm March 14, 2012 #

  49. RT is the best bad pizza there is. Besides, what the heck does ANY Seattleite know about pizza? It’s like New Yorkers commenting on beer or coffee.

    Comment by OP — 4:22 pm March 14, 2012 #

  50. All you folks with “great” ideas for what restaurants/shops should come to the Junction just bring your cash and take a cut at it. It’s awful easy to potshot at people trying to make a living out of a dream. It’s a whole lot harder to plunk down your hard cash and sweat equity to make it a reality.

    Comment by Eddie — 4:32 pm March 14, 2012 #

  51. Our family loves Round Table! The RT in Burien (same owner as the new WS) is owned by a local family. They give a lot back to the Burien community, including $1000s to public schools every year. Great pizza, great service, AND community-owned.

    Comment by Monty — 4:32 pm March 14, 2012 #

  52. Pizza buffet like in Burien? Winning, Duh!

    Comment by 35this35mph — 5:23 pm March 14, 2012 #

  53. RT’s great, fun for the family, and brings money into the area. My friends are excited for more food options.

    Also, what is with the complaining this week? Everyone’s been so grouchy in the comments. Trader
    Joe’s is a chain, and yet people are falling over themselves to get to it. If you don’t want the pizza, don’t go. Save the space for those of us who do want it.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 5:37 pm March 14, 2012 #

  54. Bang Bar-please keep the duck dish and the lamb.They are so mouth watering.
    @THD-prices are on the menu,the service there is outstanding and the food as well.Glad you’re not my date.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 6:08 pm March 14, 2012 #

  55. jedifarfy…complaining is in direct proportion to the crummy weather, I’m thinkin’

    Comment by JanS — 6:51 pm March 14, 2012 #

  56. Not fun for my family unless its gluten free like Gatlic Jim’s. Still missing that delivery timesaver.

    Comment by Gfree — 6:57 pm March 14, 2012 #

  57. why do we settle for mediocre?

    Comment by k — 7:32 pm March 14, 2012 #

  58. Wow. ONE vegetarian entree Fresh Bistro? I can get a salad anywhere. I am extremely UNDERWHELMED…

    Comment by StringCheese — 8:28 pm March 14, 2012 #

  59. Agree with StringCheese – unimpressed with the one vegetarian entree listed – a 16 dollar salad – even tho I am sure its delish!

    Comment by LisaM — 9:10 pm March 14, 2012 #

  60. Round Table, eh? Going from a mediocre chain to perhaps the worst pizza I’ve ever had. Granted last time I had Round Table was about 20 years ago in Phoenix, but I’m skeptical that it has much improved. But hey, they have a right to open their little franchise – and I have a right to take my business to decent local joints, and hope other neighbors do like-wise.

    I agree with Wessider, why doesn’t anyone open a decent burger joint near the Junction? I love Zippy’s, but not always convenient to head over to White Center for a burger fix. Surprised no one has seized on that opportunity.

    Comment by B-Check — 9:14 pm March 14, 2012 #

  61. First world problems… We’ll get through this.

    Comment by Yossarian — 9:55 pm March 14, 2012 #

  62. Thank you Fresh Bistro! No more bacon bits in your vegetarian dishes, I hope? Thanks for listening.

    Comment by Lauren — 10:57 pm March 14, 2012 #

  63. Lol… these are incredibly funny, but I have to add to the comment from “k” where he/she asked, “Why do we settle for mediocre?” I have been using that exact word to describe nearly all the restaurants in the Junction area.
    .
    I have the answer: because we keep paying them money and settling for mediocre. If you don’t want that anymore, then stop buying it. Now, having said that, I think I will listen to my advice… for once. :-)

    Comment by NotMe — 11:50 pm March 14, 2012 #

  64. Hey THD…..that’s how much it costs to go out for a nice dinner for two in 2012. Come on guys if we want to be a special as we think we r in WS we need some more “fine dining” places. Ballard is doing it now and doing it well. If u want cheap eats there r plenty of places to choose from

    Comment by chris — 5:53 am March 15, 2012 #

  65. Some people like the restaurants in the Junction area, which is why they stay in business. Who are we to say what other people should like or dislike?

    Comment by west Seattle since 1979 — 6:59 am March 15, 2012 #

  66. I actually have a lot of good memories of hanging out with my family in a Round Table on a Friday or Saturday night, playing arcade games and stuff. I don’t think this space is really big enough to recreate that vibe unfortunately.

    Comment by Jeff — 7:45 am March 15, 2012 #

  67. I got 99 problems, but a new restaurant menu ain’t one.

    Comment by Danny — 8:18 am March 15, 2012 #

  68. Still have not been to BB. I heard the prices were too high. My friend went and along with the high prices they screwed her order up TWICE. Clearly, they were not doing well bc there are coupons for them in every Val-Pak that comes out. I still wouldn’t try them even with a coupon. Maybe after they re-vamp the menu we might think about it.

    Comment by A — 10:02 am March 15, 2012 #

  69. Was at Bang Bar last night for happy hour and the new menu is already in place. HH was great, really reasonable prices on food/drink and good selections. The new menu looks … big. I didn’t see our two favorites, the Moonlight Halibut and the Garlic Lamb. Bummer! But I like the atmosphere and the service is always very good so we will continue to go there.

    Comment by add — 10:20 am March 15, 2012 #

  70. Went to Bang Bar last night too, new menu is in place and extensive. 100 dinner items, almost everything was $10 (80%?), appetizers around $6-8, then the specialties ranged from $13-20. The Panang Curry was great, crispy garlic chicken was very good, but couldn’t live up to “Crack Chicken” at Buddha. The lack of forty minute wait was great, though!

    One big knock: rice costs $1.50 (white) or $2 (brown). Who eats curry without rice? So just tell me the curry costs $12 and include the rice… Pet peeve of mine.

    Comment by Chris — 10:47 am March 15, 2012 #

  71. Bang Bar menu looks to be updated on their website. http://bangbarthai.com/menu/

    @Chris Buddha Ruksa charges $2-4 for rice. It seems to be fairly common lately. Last time I got an order to go for green curry with rice it was over $15.

    Comment by Marcus — 11:41 am March 15, 2012 #

  72. Agree Chris. Basic white rice should be included. I’ve only paid extrat at BR if I ordered sticky rice, white was always included.

    Comment by alkikmac — 12:39 pm March 15, 2012 #

  73. ANOTHER pizza place??? Really? How about a non-franchaise NY style pizza place? Or something else – I don’t know how we can support another one that is similar to all the rest. If we want a salad bar, why can’t we get a salad bar place – maybe with smoothies??? There has to be something more original/unique than a chain pizza spot. Too bad about Bang Bar – yes to kinda expensive, but hopefully they will preserve their unique dishes and fresh ingredients.

    Comment by Carla Rogers — 1:00 pm March 15, 2012 #

  74. Non-franchise NY-style pizza place: Abbondanza in Morgan Junction!!! Love it!!

    Comment by add — 1:31 pm March 15, 2012 #

  75. So glad Bang Bar realized that sky-high prices aren’t sustainable. Their food is great and now I can afford to eat there more than once in a blue moon. Good news for Junction residents!

    Comment by LAintheJunction — 3:09 pm March 15, 2012 #

  76. Round Table Pizza is absolutely the best pizza out there. The owners are all local, independent operators, putting up their own personal money and involved with the local community. How lucky the junction would be, If the potential owner doesn’t back out because of these ridicules comment.Like the Junction really has anything going for it as it is.

    Comment by JB — 5:51 pm March 15, 2012 #

  77. Don’t be so quick to judge harshly….the owners of the new Round Table are a local family who supports our community…. so pause a minute and consider checking out the Burien RT and the quality of the pizza there first. My family really likes it, and of course the salad bar too.

    Comment by SL — 5:57 pm March 15, 2012 #

  78. I have NEVER been charged $4 for rice at Buddha Ruksa… where did you get THAT figure?

    Comment by NotMe — 2:02 am March 16, 2012 #

  79. Per BR’s online menu (toward the end of the doc)
    .
    http://www.buddharuksa.com/passion/Menu2008.pdf
    .
    “Large” bowl of rice is $4.

    Comment by WSB — 2:43 am March 16, 2012 #

  80. I’ve never understood the hoopla over Buddha Ruksa. The food is just ok, the service is disinterested at best & downright negligent at worst. And their prices are very high, including charging for a side of rice (yes, $4!). But they’re not alone in doing so. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I went to an Asian cuisine joint that didn’t charge for rice. Weird.
    .
    As for pizza in the Junction. Hello? Talarico’s! Slices as big as your head for $5. A full bar. And it’s kid friendly til 8 or 9pm. Forget the “chain” joints, if my family is out for sit-down pizza in WS, that’s where we go.
    .
    Otherwise there are myriad other “cheap eats” in WS to choose from. Add White Center & Burien to the mix of nearby choices, and really, we need NEVER cross the water.
    .
    Fancier, higher pricd fare is great too, but in this economy, and especially if your family is on a budget, I don’t know how they survive without a steady stream of customers with more $$$ to spend. Ballard & Cap Hill make more sense for that kind of venture. West Seattle-ites seem to be a more budget conscious lot.
    .
    Wishing these business owners the best. Staying open when times are tough isn’t easy. I appreciate that they love WS enough to try and make it work.

    Comment by Jasperblu — 8:02 am March 16, 2012 #

  81. anyone know what going on with Red Star? They seem to be closed.

    Comment by randall — 7:04 pm March 18, 2012 #

  82. Phone recording says they’re closed till March 29th and reopening March 30th. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:40 pm March 18, 2012 #

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