Unusual Eats On The Ave

We reviewed restaurants with worst food safety inspection scores

James Garvey and Ian Lee

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Somtam Thai

Located on “The Ave,” Somtam Thai is a small restaurant that serves an array of sub-par Thai food. Pushing past a few not-so-sober college students blocking the door, I stepped inside.

An awkward host will likely help you find a table and get a menu. Starting with a tofu fried rice appetizer, I discovered that even something this simple can make you feel disappointed. The tofu was chewy with an unpleasant texture, like biting on a used eraser after math class.

The fried rice part was piping hot, but somehow the chunks of tofu managed to stay room temperature. Confused and sad, I thought I would order something reliable. I got some Pad Thai, which was actually not bad. It was a bit bland and the portion was ridiculously large, but I had plenty to take home. Though the flavors didn’t blow me away, the sheer amount of food for under fourteen dollars was enough to keep me happy.

­—James Garvey


Sizzle and Crunch

Sizzle and Crunch can be found between a Starbucks and an alley full of dumpsters.

Their specialty is Banh Mi made “Subway style.” I opted for a chicken Banh Mi, stuffed to the brim with carrots, cilantro and jalapeños.

As I was paying I noticed a “consuming undercooked foods may cause illness” sign on their menu. After quickly asking the cashier, she established that most of the sauces for the sandwiches have raw eggs in them. I look at the sandwich I just bought and although raw eggs are common in sauces, I had a flashback to the number of food violations Sizzle and Crunch has on the King County directory.

I looked at my sandwich then at my receipt for six dollars and weighed my options.

As it turns out, the Banh Mi was quite delicious. The sandwich had a great balance of crunch and tenderness, and filled me up quickly.

Despite my enjoyment of the food, the interior of the restaurant embodied a health violation. At least where I sat, the floor was covered in a sticky mess of sauces and shredded carrots.

—James Garvey


Ichiro Teriyaki

Ichiro Teriyaki is in a building that looks temporary, if anything.

Inside the restaurant, there is little space and seating, In my time waiting to pick up carryout inside.

What was most crazy about Ichiro Teriyaki was how diverse their menu was; it contained a wide range of options from burgers to fish and chips to, of course, teriyaki.

I just stuck to teriyaki since it was in the name, and if anything was going to be good, it should be that. I was sorely disappointed.

For one the amount of money I spent, the quality of teriyaki was poor. It was about 15 dollars including tax. The salad that was supposed to come with it was even smaller than the amount of meat provided.

It was also supposed to include miso soup, but that wasn’t even included. The teriyaki itself tasted fine, if not a little bit too sweet. The takeout containers were even worse, leaking all over inside the plastic bag provided.

I was not impressed overall with the restaurant.

­—Ian Lee

Safety Ratings

King County’s food safety ratings are based off of the number of high-risk violations within the past four inspections. After each inspection the restaurants are given a score. A score of ninety or above may result in closure. The “needs to improve” rating is given when the restaurant was either closed by King County within the last year or the restaurant needed multiple return inspections to fix food safety practices.

The Ave

University Way, or “The Ave,” offers some of the best and worst food options for UW students just a quick drive from University Prep.