Eating the Map at Wild Ginger

"A list of things that were big in 1989: the Nintendo Game Boy, hurricanes, The Simpsons, sushi, Duran Duran, Ronald Reagan, Colombian drug lords, the Bangles, the Berlin Wall, and Wild Ginger, in its original location on Western Avenue.

A list of things that were big in 2000: Same-sex marriage, Blink-182, cell phones, the tech bubble, mad cow disease, America Online, Y2k, Survivor, Coldplay, and Wild Ginger, recently moved into its new location, in the Mann building at Third and Union.

A list of things that were big in 2010: iPads, bank bailouts, Justin Bieber, late-night weight-loss infomercials, Ronald Reagan, foreclosure sales, Facebook, and Wild Ginger, now with two locations (the newer one is in Bellevue)."

From this week's review of Wild Ginger.

If anything, Wild Ginger, like Reagan, is more popular now than it was in 1989. The most recent Zagat survey of Seattle tagged the downtown location as the single most popular restaurant in the city. Wild Ginger is not tourist-popular. It's not day-tripper popular or grandma-visiting-from-out-of-town popular. It is beloved--in some cases fanatically--by actual Seattleites who drop by on a Tuesday for satay, a couple sake bombs, and maybe some duck. Twenty years out and it tops 'em all, outstripping Canlis and everything Tom Douglas has ever done. And even though it has grown, expanded, and changed locations, Wild Ginger hit big the day it opened with what, at the time, was a fairly unique take on Asian cuisine and simply never wavered. There are fans that have been coming to this place for 20 years, ordering the same plates, virtually unchanged. And as if any proof was necessary of he enduring appeal of Wild Ginger, just look at the size of the space, and then try to get a table during prime time on Friday night.

To me, it seemed like the time had come to take a fresh look at the place--to see if it was still worth all the love and praise after so long on top.

And tomorrow you can read all about how it went, both here online and in print.

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