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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily noon–9:30pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted


Capitol Hill
1554 E. Olive Way
Seattle, WA
(206) 568-2343
In the Bowl
A vegetarian “noodle bistro” that doesn’t skimp on the spice

Vegetarian and pan-Asian aren’t exactly the most promising combination of words, but In the Bowl has a loyal Capitol Hill following because this kitchen knows how to bring the heat. Seriously, they’re really not holding back on the spice, so unless that appeals to you, order a star below what you normally would.

The menu is mostly Thai, with some Japanese noodle dishes plus stir-fries and fried-rice dishes that could be attributed to a number of Asian countries. Though you can order “beef,” “chicken,” or “prawns,” each is merely a slightly different version of tofu or other type of soy protein. If you’re not partial to the fake meats, which vary in quality here, just stick with the tofu, which comes sans quotation marks. Anyway, the plain tofu and vegetables allow the sauces and broths of the best dishes—pineapple curry, yellow curry noodle soup, and Tokyo noodles—to take center stage.

The predominantly yellow-and-orange interior, like the menu, is a hodgepodge of styles and cultures: Pacific Northwest Modern light fixtures, Buddhist temple bells, and the requisite padded black banquet chairs you find in every Asian eatery. Hilariously enough, the best part of the restaurant is the bathroom: it’s quite the little sanctuary.

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