Taquitos at La Cocina del Puerco (Bellevue, WA)—CLOSED

In the sea of cookie-cutter Mexican restaurants in the Seattle area, one on the Eastside stands out for its great food and interior decor kitschiness. When you walk through La Cocina del Puerco‘s doors, it’s refreshing to be surrounded by piñatas hanging from the ceiling, the turquoise- and pink-painted walls, rickety metal card tables doubling as dining tables and sporting Superior beer logos, clunky folding chairs and other stuff hanging all along the walls. When you’re completely enveloped by this scenery and Mexican music playing on the audio system, you’d swear you were in Mexico. What’s doubly surprising is that this place, more like a cantina than a restaurant, thrives in Old Bellevue, an upscale neighborhood of high rises, concrete and steel buildings and yoga studios.

We’d been coming here for a long time. The menu lists many Mexican favorites, but we have long since settled on ordering one thing when we come here—the pork carnitas taquitos plate (item #1 on the menu). Continue reading

Noodle Soups at Pestle Rock (Seattle, WA)

Guay tiow lao

Guay tiow lao

I’ve eaten at Pestle Rock twice before, having come away impressed both times. The occasion of having lunch with my daughter marked my third visit.

What caught my eye was a noodle soup dish called Guay Tiow Lao, which I presumed from its name was Laotian in style. How it’s Laotian in influence I have no idea, let alone if my assumption was correct in the first place. Regardless, the broth was extremely briny from shrimp paste, a stinky seasoning whose ammoniated odor can overpower a kitchen. The shrimpy flavor got tamer as I ate more. The soup contained thin rice noodles that were silky and had good texture, small slices of pork spareribs with tender meat that you have to free up between pieces of bone, tomatoes, and garnished with sliced mustard greens and fried shallots. Overall a good enough soup but one that I wasn’t overly fond of because of the shrimp paste’s strong flavor.

My daughter ordered the khao soi noodle soup that was as good as I remembered from a previous visit.

Khao soi noodle coup

Khao soi noodle soup

Pestle Rock
2305 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107