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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Sun–Thu 10:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 10:00am–midnight

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted


International District
1036 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA
(206) 860-1404
Tamarind Tree
A worthy stop in the I.D., if not totally deserving of its long waits

Tamarind Tree suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. The so-called “provincial Vietnamese restaurant” actually serves slightly modernized (though not egregiously fusion-y) food. Artsy flourishes like an exterior waterfall (next to which you can dine, weather permitting) and cubic light fixtures that glow green and orange are awfully flamboyant for a restaurant stuck in the back corner of a dingy strip mall that adjoins…another strip mall. Well, never mind. Tamarind Tree’s efforts to create a bamboo-fringed world within a shabby corner of Little Saigon are appreciated, even if they are a bit overblown.

The menu is huge, and even though it will affect your chances of securing a table quickly, it’s best to bring a group here to share a bunch of dishes. Pho and satays are pretty standard—not the best in the city—but the salads are typically good, and the green mango salad is a must-order. The less traditional dishes are more memorable: steamed prawns on a coconut rice cake, the “Tamarind Tree Roll” (fresh herb-filled goodness with coconut, peanut, jicama, and tofu), and vegetarian crêpes all rate high.

Tamarind Tree does have some unique pleasures—the waterfall and green tea vodka are two. Plus, its service has improved from miserable to, well, serviceable—even friendly, if you’re persistent.

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