West Seattle restaurants: New Leaf Bistro now open in Admiral

Story and photos by Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Great news for Admiral District pho fiends: New Leaf Bistro is open, three months after first word that it was headed this way.

Though the green awning above the entrance to the ex-Royal India Grill space at 2342 California SW touts “Asian Cuisine,” the menu predominantly features the cuisine of Vietnam, the homeland of owner Geoffrey Ly.

New Leaf Bistro’s opening menu has 13 items on its entree page, with items ranging from chow mein and fried rice to wok-seared pork belly and grilled salmon. Also on offer are vermicelli bowls, rice bowls, and a trio of salads, along with a sizable collection of appetizers most fans of Asian restaurants will find familiar.

But the centerpiece of New Leaf is the pho, which is available with the traditional beef broth or a vegan-friendly broth and customizable with a variety of proteins.

“Our pho is special. We use only natural ingredients,” says Ly. “Pho eaters can tell when you use the powders for flavor.”

Ly decided to use a “soft opening” – starting yesterday – to help the restaurant and its crew ease into operations while making adjustments to adapt to the business as it develops and grows. “We’re still kind of testing everything,” Ly explains.

Currently, New Leaf is open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.. Once the application for a liquor license is approved, however, closing time could be pushed later, particularly if the small lounge area toward the back of the restaurant finds an audience.

Carryout is of course available. Ly says he plans to also offer delivery on a limited basis (within 3 miles for a $30 minimum order), though details are not yet finalized.

New Leaf Bistro is Ly’s second West Seattle restaurant. In 1999, he opened Hunan Express in Morgan Junction (where Kokoras is now, at 6400 ½ California). It’ll be his fifth Seattle restaurant since 1984, after working his way from New York City with stops in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas, and California.

Despite all those travels, Ly is bringing the flavors of his homeland, where he worked with his grandparents in a streetside food-vending operation as a young boy, to the Admiral District. The hard work of running a restaurant is something he learned in both countries.

“When I was young, I was here with no English and no education,” says Ly. “The only thing I knew was to work hard to survive.”

While New Leaf Bistro isn’t online yet, we have photos of menu pages here (entrees), here (vermicelli/rice dishes), here (salads/pho), and here (appetizers).

19 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: New Leaf Bistro now open in Admiral"

  • LatteRose November 21, 2015 (10:32 am)

    Welcome! Looking forward to trying the pho!

  • sun*e November 21, 2015 (10:47 am)

    The menu looks delicious! And, I live close enough for delivery…WooHoo!

  • Jasperblu November 21, 2015 (10:55 am)

    Ooooooh, there’s Bún on the menu? This makes me a very happy girl indeed! Making a note to visit next time I’m off the island.

  • Admiral mom November 21, 2015 (11:38 am)

    Awesome! We will be there for lunch to try it out!

  • lallen November 21, 2015 (1:51 pm)

    We had lunch here today, and the food is very good! They still have a few service glitches to work out, but that’s to be expected; we’ll definitely go back to try it again soon.

    I do wish they’d choose different music, though. The gangsta rap is pretty obtrusive and occasionally offensive.

  • JayDee November 21, 2015 (4:49 pm)

    Asian food options in Admiral are very limited and I am looking forward to New Leaf! Takeout after gym sounds great.

  • Kathleen November 21, 2015 (7:26 pm)

    Anyone know the phone number for takeout? Can’t track it down.

  • Michelle November 21, 2015 (8:16 pm)

    Ate there this evening… LOTS of service glitches to still work out. A few food issues too- The pho was good (once we got it), bun was good, but meat was dry and a Chinese dish we had was extremely salty.
    We wish them the best and hope things smooth out for them soon!

  • junctioneer November 21, 2015 (8:38 pm)

    Welcome! Looking forward to trying. I was really hoping to see banh mi. The only good “cheap” lunch takeout I’m aware of in Admiral is met market’s reuben. If they had a good $5 bahn mi I’d be getting that every week.

  • Morris November 22, 2015 (1:28 am)

    We ate here on Friday evening. Food was really great. We’ll be enthusiastically heading back to this place.

  • Mike November 22, 2015 (7:34 am)

    Great! Looking forward to trying them out. We go to Pho Aroma now, since their broth and everything in it is far superior to other pho places. If New Leaf is using a homemade style pho broth and fresh ingredients, this is very promising.

  • Don't November 22, 2015 (10:03 am)

    Never, ever, under any circumstances, eat at a restaurant that advertises itself as “Asian cuisine.” That is insulting to the remarkable diversity of cuisines from Asia and to the intelligence of Seattle diners.

  • 76baby November 22, 2015 (12:20 pm)

    We ate here Sat afternoon and the food was excellent. The Pho was very good, but needs to be served in a larger bowl to scoop out all the delicious goodness. Went in knowing it was the first day and service was great. Really happy to have quality Pho within walking distance.

  • qoc November 22, 2015 (3:14 pm)

    I’m so happy that we have a good pho place in the admiral junction now! We ate there this afternoon and the pho was excellent – tasty broth and quality meat. We’ll be going back soon for sure.

  • Cheryl November 22, 2015 (4:32 pm)

    @Kathleen it’s 206-938-3681
    Having dinner here now, will let you know how it goes!

  • lookingforlogic November 22, 2015 (5:37 pm)

    I love pho. I’m too busy at this time of year but, I’m scheduling my holiday lunches in the Admiral district. Swinery, Circa, Mio Posto and Pizza 22 for Christmas eve, after Christmas and the New Year it’s long walks and dinners at Alki. I’m so tired I can’t wait to enjoy the holidays.

  • pinkgooseberry November 22, 2015 (11:46 pm)

    I ate pho tonight. It was very good. There are options for beef or vegetable soup broth for pho. The waiters were also nice.

  • Patty November 24, 2015 (10:59 pm)

    So glad to see the menu has GF options. I will definitely try this soon!

  • Wes C. Addle November 25, 2015 (2:45 pm)

    Be prepared for a wait right now. Went the other night and after we were sat down a flood of to go orders and walk-ins came in. Needless to say our food didn’t come out for about 50 minutes and random other people were getting food at odd times. A 4 top would get 1 bowl of Pho while everyone else had food etc . . . After waiting 50 minutes they realized our food hadn’t come out and then they brought out our food, which of course it was not what we ordered. So of course we left and went somewhere else at that point. Felt sorry for all of the families that were waiting for a table. I’ll try them again, once they hire about 3 more people per shift. Looked like they had 1 lady cooking food, two teenagers taking orders and waiting tables and one gentleman running things that looked very confused and overwhelmed. I’ll give them a few weeks before I try this again.

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