Coast Restaurant, Vancouver, BC - Inventive, fusiony seafood-based menu; standouts included foie gras nigiri sushi and tuna tartare served with homemade potato chips. Moderately expensive.
Phnom Penh, Vancouver, BC - Cambodian/Vietnamese in Vancouver's Chinatown neighborhood. Fantastic, aromatic soups with handmade noodles. Inexpensive.
Banana Leaf, Vancouver, BC - Great Malaysian restaurant; veggie and noodle dishes especially good. Inexpensive.
Heirloom tomato salad at Trellis
Trellis, Kirkland, WA - "Hotel restaurants" often aren't very good, but Trellis, in Kirkland, Washington's Heathman Hotel, has a chef that goes the extra mile: he grows much of the produce served in the restaurant on his three-acre sustainable garden. Breakfasts especially good; standouts at lunch/dinner include the exquisite heirloom tomato salad above. Moderate.
Fries drizzled with demiglace and fontina cheese - Quinns, Seattle WA
Quinns, Seattle, WA - Gastropub in Seattle's Capitol Hill district. Standout dishes included hand-cut fries drizzled with demiglace and fontina cheese, and a Belgian beer on draft (Duchess de Bourgogne). Moderate.
Cured meat platter (with cheese and olives) - Salumi, Seattle WA
Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, Seattle, WA - Amazing cured meats, served with olives, cheeses, bread and wine, eaten family-style with other foodies (and chefs on their lunch hours.) Inexpensive and an astounding value for money.
(All photos by Scott Smith, used with kind permission.)