West Seattle restaurants: Tom Yum Koong closes

Tonight was the last night in business for Tom Yum Koong in The Junction, according to the owner who’s selling the Thai restaurant. We’ve been working for a while to try to confirm details of the expected ownership change – the restaurant first went on the market more than a year ago, and then recently we learned a sale was in the works. But seller and prospective buyer didn’t want to go public till the deal was signed; once something was finalized, we were told, the restaurant would close for a while for a makeover. This may be that closure, but whether the deal is final or not, we don’t know yet; all we do know for sure is that current owner Jeff Sukomol e-mailed WSB contributor Bill “Hutch” Hutchison tonight to say this was Tom Yum Koong’s last night in business. (Separately, we got a note from Tim saying his spouse was in the restaurant tonight and was told it was their last night.) If this is the ownership change our research indicates, the eatery is likely to remain a Thai restaurant. We have messages out and hope to have more information as soon as tomorrow. P.S. Tom Yum Koong fans can still find Sukomol’s cuisine at Tangerine Thai on the eastside.

42 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Tom Yum Koong closes"

  • JR February 15, 2011 (12:29 am)

    That sucks… it was a great place for dinner with friends.

  • noooooo February 15, 2011 (2:25 am)

    Best thai food ever!

  • rw February 15, 2011 (6:19 am)

    I hope this works out well for both seller and buyer. I thought TYK’s food was comparable to Buddha Ruksa. I hope the quality of their food remains high and that more people discover this great dining option.

  • ann February 15, 2011 (6:22 am)

    I hope it stays good too. This place is always our first choice for Thai food!

  • CB February 15, 2011 (6:42 am)

    Seems like that part of the Junction is cursed for restaurants.

  • Jeff February 15, 2011 (7:28 am)

    Always liked going there. Went on Saturday in fact. Have to say I’m not surprised though. I went with friend on Saturday night right during dinner hour, and for about half the meal we were the only customers in the place. If you aren’t busy Saturday night, you are failing as a restaurant.

  • Julie Baker February 15, 2011 (7:55 am)


  • jeff February 15, 2011 (8:12 am)

    perhaps their Ikea furniture, lighting, and dishes can now be picked up on the cheap

  • JW February 15, 2011 (8:13 am)

    I’m sort of surprised there hasn’t been a post about the liquor license application going up at the old WS Pharmacy….no pressure, WSB! :-)

    • WSB February 15, 2011 (8:25 am)

      We have already reported on that project.
      The only thing that’s new now is that they have a name for it, OutWest Bar. We called the proprietors and they’re still not ready to say anything more than they said in our original story. Since they didn’t have anything new to say, the liquor license/name have been awaiting the next tidbit roundup. (Zippy’s also has filed for its beer/wine license, as they promised they’d be doing with the new move, BTW.) – TR

  • jiggers February 15, 2011 (8:37 am)

    I wondered how they kept in business because everytime I walked past, it looked empty. Maybe they did a boatload of deliveries and take-outs. I ate in only once when they first opened and never went back because I thought the portions were too small and overpriced. Anyways, I’m a little harder to please when eating out with because I used to work in the restaurant business years ago on all levels and been there, seen it and done that. It is what it isn’t sometimes.

  • Weiss February 15, 2011 (9:06 am)

    Hopefully the new owners will improve the atmosphere.

  • Kendra February 15, 2011 (9:20 am)

    We loved this restaurant for both sit down and delivery. We will miss them very much. Their crispy fried garlic fish was excellent and they are a lovely family business. That corner is cursed.

  • MJC February 15, 2011 (9:23 am)

    My husband and I ordered take out last night for Valentine’s Day. I was heartbroken to hear it would be my last meal here! Their Phad Thai, Palace Chicken, Panang Curry, Mango with Sweet Sticky Rice and Black Rice Pudding will be missed in our household. We will be making trips to eat their cuisine in Bellevue but it just won’t be the same. Thank you for the fabulous food Tom Yum Koong, we are loyal patrons we are sad to see you leave. Best of luck in Bellevue, we will be visiting shortly.

  • Jiggers February 15, 2011 (9:38 am)

    It’s not the corner that is cursed. The Junction has a lot of competition clammering for your dollars. You have to stay one step ahead of the game and give people a reason to come to your business. If you don’t have the knowledge and/or passion to own a business or restaurant in the Junction, you won’t survive. Or survive period.

  • Laura Sisson February 15, 2011 (9:38 am)

    I think the loss of a parking lot is effecting the business of all establishments on that side of the street. The small lot behind Husky Deli is not sufficient for the traffic the Junction sees – especially on the weekends. A parking garage is needed somewhere in the area – and I don’t mean one like the one at Jefferson Square. There are way too many restrictions in that garage. You can’t even get to an elevator to shop at Safeway if you park down there. That’s fine if you’re running in for milk, but not so good if you have a cart full of grocerys to take back to your car. I understand everyone wants to make a buck these days, but the free parking lots need to stick around so customers spend their money in restaurants and stores as opposed to for a parking space.

  • D February 15, 2011 (9:44 am)

    I agree with Laura about the parking.

  • austin February 15, 2011 (9:46 am)

    I was wondering when somebody was going to bring up “parking” in that area as the problem. Not that it makes any sense whatsoever; every time I’ve taken a car to the junction I haven’t had to walk more than a block to my destination.

  • Genesee Hill February 15, 2011 (9:58 am)

    I agree austin! Compared to many places I think the Alaska Junction has pretty good parking availability. And, most of it is FREE!

  • Beth February 15, 2011 (10:07 am)

    My leftovers from last night have just gone up in value. Sad they are closing. :(

  • Thistle February 15, 2011 (10:10 am)

    Will people seriously stop complaining about Junction parking – The Junction has THREE large free parking lots, plus free road side parking… name me one neighborhood with that much excisable parking in a two/three block radius. Seriously, I stop by the junction on my way home from work frequently to pick up dinner – never had a problem finding free parking – even on a Friday or Saturday night! Even my close friend, who has a physical disabilty that makes walking a challenge, has commented on how accessible the junction area is for parking in comparison to other areas of Seattle. There are many neighborhoods that we will bus to because we know that we will not be able to get close enough parking for her ease. Restaurants and other businesses close for any number of reasons, including lack of costumers, overall economy, or the owner simply placing the business up for sale because they are just not into it anymore/life reasons (not to imply that these are the reasons for this closure). Be grateful for what we have, continue to enjoy the abundance of great local food options, and learn to walk a few blocks.

  • cjboffoli February 15, 2011 (10:22 am)

    austin: That’s exactly the point. Too many people don’t want to walk more than 20 feet from their car. It’s ridiculous.
    Or even get out of their car for that matter…..I was standing at the walk-up window at the Triangle Starbucks recently and a woman walked up behind me. I heard her say out loud: “Oh, I didn’t know there was a drive-thru.” So even though she was only second in line at the window, she went back and got in this massive pickup truck and drove through, idling happily while they no doubt fixed her a gooey, whipped cream topped coffee drink.
    I think traffic and parking are not the problems we should focus on fixing, so much as managing people’s expectations about walking.

  • cclarue February 15, 2011 (11:16 am)

    “lack of costumers”.. lol so people didn’t like how the tom yum koong waitstaff dressed?? sorry thistle I wanted to beat DP to that typo.

  • cclarue February 15, 2011 (11:20 am)

    Cjb I think we tend to have a suburbia illusion over here in WS rather than an in city thought process. I would never think to complain about parking far away when downtown but I might here in WS.

  • Mike February 15, 2011 (11:22 am)

    Say it isn’t so . . . . How will I live without my Palace Chicken? This was on my favorites list for regular visits.

  • Eilis Flynn February 15, 2011 (11:56 am)

    i loved their coriander beef. Sob!

  • Chris February 15, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    Hopefully the new owners will clean the carpeting…black, greasy carpeting is a turnoff, sorry.

  • Amy February 15, 2011 (12:39 pm)

    I’m crying right now. So so sad. We order delivery from there once a week and love it. Their phone number is saved in my favorites. Good bye and good luck. You and your yellow curry with Tofu and cashew chicken nut will be missed.

  • D February 15, 2011 (2:05 pm)

    Wow, cjboffoli. How can you even see us down here, so far up on your moral pedestal? She drove a pickup AND used a drive-through? How did they even let her in West Seattle? Your condescending comments are judgmental and offensive. You’re essentially calling someone fat, lazy, and environmentally irresponsible just because she’d rather use a drive-through than stand in line behind you. Stop trying to manage my expectations and get back on your bike and ride.

  • Wbn February 15, 2011 (2:36 pm)

    We love this place too. Yum palace chicken. They told us a couple of months ago that they were closing because as their kids were getting older to far to come out here. They still have their place on the eastside near their home in Sammashish. And they told us some friends of theirs that have a Thai restaraunt up North Northgate area were buying the place, and at that time in December they told us they would be closing in February.

  • TJ February 15, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    Wow, D — cjboffoli really touched a nerve, eh? He used so such adjectives, but you sound really defensive. Only you know if the shoe fits… if it does, put on some sneakers and go for a hike.

  • Carla February 15, 2011 (3:01 pm)

    I wasn’t that impressed with the food or the service. Perhaps both will kick up a notch in the next life.

    We moved here from a suburb in Virginia. I am surprised to hear anyone in West Seattle complain about parking. If you want super close parking, you’ll have to lose the awesomeness that our community provides and head for the suburbs. And folks, get out and walk! This is one of my favorite parts of the city!

  • D February 15, 2011 (3:13 pm)

    So now because I call him on his judgmental comments, I must be fat and lazy too? Sorry to disappoint you, but the shoe doesn’t fit, TJ; that’s my point.

  • WSRes February 15, 2011 (3:29 pm)

    On the bright side, this does mean that we could get a great Thai restaurant at the junction – something that rivals Pailin would be awesome. We travel quite a distance for exceptional Thai food, so would appreciate something closer.

  • KBear February 15, 2011 (4:00 pm)

    “You’re essentially calling someone fat, lazy, and environmentally irresponsible just because she’d rather use a drive-through than stand in line behind you.”
    No. Just lazy and environmentally irresponsible. And he’s right.

  • natinstl February 15, 2011 (4:02 pm)

    I would encourage people to try Thaitan just south of the Junction, I think people are reluctant to go there because it looks like a mexican restaurant. Their garlic chicken is awesome.

  • KBear February 15, 2011 (4:19 pm)

    I haven’t been to “Taco Thai” yet, but I guess I’ll have to try it now.

  • Michelle February 15, 2011 (5:35 pm)

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This makes me so sad!!! My husband and I loved Tom Yum Koong!!!!! Oh I am so sad to hear this.

  • Keith February 15, 2011 (5:37 pm)

    I second the Thaitan – their garlic chicken is indeed awesome, along with their pumpkin curry. And they deliver!

  • Ra-chan February 15, 2011 (6:09 pm)

    I second jigger’s experience- went there once, the food was pretty good, but felt that the portions were very small for the price. I sympathize with those that are losing a favorite, but I really hope we can get another great restaurant there. Also, I do NOT understand the comments about “no parking” in that area of the junction. There is a lot practically across the street from what was Table 35. Do people just not want to cross ONE street!?

  • Blinkyjoe February 15, 2011 (6:44 pm)

    ThaiTan is really great. I’m sad to see TYK go also, but ThaiTan will easily pick up TYK’s customers.

  • JumboJim February 15, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    Three cheers for the Thaitan! I’ve eaten there about half a dozen times now and the food is very good. Wait staff are friendly also. They don’t always have a packed dining room but they seem to do a good take-out business.
    My wife and I ate at Tom Yum Koong twice and both times we found the food to be sub-par. Best of luck to the new owners though…

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