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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Tue–Fri 11:00am–10:00pm
Sat–Sun 4:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Accepted


West Seattle
3520 SW Genesee St.
Seattle, WA
(206) 937-7676
Buddha Ruksa
Lychee-martini-style Thai-American, plus the occasional authentic surprise

In the arena of dressed-up Thai in an ornate setting, Buddha Ruksa still has to answer to May Thai in Wallingford—in fact, if the two weren’t so far from each other, Buddha Ruksa might not seem like such a big deal.

But everything that lands in West Seattle feels like a revelation, so let’s count Buddha Ruksa’s strengths. First, plates are beautifully presented. Second, the menu is more adventurous than most Thai-American; for example, in season, they might try skin-on trout. The “Sample Platter” panders to Western palates with cream-cheese-stuffed crab wontons and such, but it’s all surprisingly tasty, perhaps even worth blowing out a stent or two.

Buddha Ruksa also makes possibly the best pad see ew in town, with superfluously wide noodles; a rich, syrupy soy sauce; and lightly steamed, vividly green broccoli. This is the kind of inauthentic Thai-American slop of which we heartily approve. Still, many dishes are slightly out of balance, particularly curries, which are often too sweet.

Buddha Ruksa has a very good wine list (with a heavy—and appropriate—nod to Rieslings), along with the usual gimmicky Thai-themed cocktails, and a loungey vibe matches its ample drink menu. If anything, the place is almost too dark and too woody inside, with intricate carving everywhere—it feels a bit like dining in the inside of a humidor.

Not that there’s anything wrong with dining inside a humidor.

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