Restaurant Review: Susumu Restaurant

Normally, Friday night is pizza night. But I guess we were all feeling like we needed a change of pace (and maybe some cheering up after a tough week), so we decided to do something new with the kids. Something new involving setting fire to food before their very eyes.

We decided to go to Susumu, a venerable teppan-yaki place in Lynnwood off 196th. Before we had kids, this and BeniHana in Seattle were favorites of mine. There is just something so fun about having the food prepared at your table, especially if they set fire to it. Also, you can order drinks in a ceramic geisha. Or sumo wrestler. Who doesn’t want a ceramic geisha? Or sumo wrestler?

Okay. I know, it’s cheesy. But I like a good show, what can I say?

We hadn’t been to Susumu in years, but it was just as we remembered. Same Japanese samurai dolls behind glass, same slightly sketchy entrance, same smell of cooking oil lingering in the air, same waitresses in shortie kimonos. Same vinyl club chairs on rollers gathered in groups of 8 around the cooking grills.

As you walk in, you begin to wonder, have I made a mistake in coming here?

But as soon as the grill is turned on, and the chef comes out to your table, something magical happens. All Susumu’s faults begin to fade into the background as your senses are overtaken by fire and smoke and the metallic clanging of sharp knives as they transform simple vegetables, eggs, rice and meat into dinner with a show.

Susumu isn’t the best food you’ll ever eat, although it is quite tasty – especially the shrimp appetizers. It’s definitely not healthy, as Susumu’s take on cooking meat seems to be that butter makes everything better. And given the flavor of the end product, I would argue that they are not wrong.

Susumu is also not cheap, nor is it overly expensive. Dinner for 4, including 2 kids meals, a couple of adult beverages, splitting an entree of lobster and filet with a side of chicken, came out to around $100.

That’s pretty expensive for Lynnwood, but not outrageous. In any case, despite its flaws we had a great experience at Susumu.

What sets Susumu apart is the show. There really isn’t anything else like it in Lynnwood, or anywhere else in Snohomish county (though there are plenty of teppan-yaki places elsewhere in the world, to be sure). The chefs are fun and personable, and very skilled at what they do.

But the best part was watching our kids faces as they marveled at what the chefs were doing on our grill. From the “egg roll” trick to the fiery onion volcano, they were transfixed the entire time. Considering that their favorite restaurants are Chuck E. Cheese and McDonalds, the fact that this technology- and Playplace-free zone was able to hold their interest through our entire meal is saying something.

Susumu did what it does best – which is setting fire to your dinner in the most entertaining way possible.

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Susumu Japanese Steakhouse
http://susumusteakhouse.com
5621 196th Street SW, Lynnwood WA 98036
(425) 670-0176

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Restaurant Review – Milltown Lounge

We have a new restaurant review feature here at the EatandRunmom. These reviews are made possible by our local YMCA’s Parent’s Night Out program.

Once a month on a Friday, my husband and I tell our kids it’s Kids Night Out. They get to go to the YMCA and play in the pool, eat pizza and pretend to be superheroes or knights.

We get to go on a date.

Last night was Kids Night Out – or Parents Night Out, if we’re being honest. Fortunately, my kids can’t read well enough to know I’m misrepresenting this to them yet. So we dropped them off, and set off on our date.

We didn’t really have a specific plan in mind, but we knew what we were looking for. Someplace cozy and warm, not too far away, not crowded or expensive, with a good happy hour and tasty food.

We found it in the Milltown Lounge in downtown Edmonds. It’s located in the recently renovated Milltown center on 5th street. The front of the center still has it’s “old west” feel but has been modernized with new paint, signage and landscaping. It is much more attractive than it once was.

Inside, the Milltown Lounge has a classic bar, and a separate dining room. The decor is red, black, wood and leather. It has sort of a dark European cafe sort of feel.

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We arrived in time for happy hour, which features $1 off draft pints and glass pour wines, and $5 classic cocktails. We decided the classic cocktails sounded good, so I ordered a Sidecar, and my husband ordered a Greyound. Both were tasty. Mine was nicely presented with an orange peel strip and sugared glass rim. So pretty.

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As an appetizer we ordered the smoked Gouda with Baguette, also $5. It was served promptly, the baguette thinly sliced and lightly spread with garlic butter.

For dinner, I ordered a Cuban sandwich, served with a side of green spring mix salad with vinaigrette. The Cuban’s marinated pork had just a hint of Jamaican jerk spice, and was served on a ciabatta roll, complemented with jalapeƱos, tomato and aioli sauce. The sandwich was slightly sweet and fairly spicy.

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My husband ordered Roasted Garlic Prawns from the small plates menu. The prawns were rubbed lightly with cayenne and roasted with garlic lime and olive oil. He requested some additional bread to soak up the juice from the prawns. He said his dish was very good, but next time he wants to try the bacon wrapped shrimp tacos.

The Milltown Lounge has some interesting choices on its dessert menu. I decided to try the Buttermilk Sorbet with Cabernet syrup, my husband opted for the Belgian Chocolate Fudge Tort with raspberry cream. Both were delicious, although I found that the sorbet was a little bit gritty with granulated ice.

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Our overall experience was very good. Service was friendly if not Johnny on the spot with water refills (after my first cocktail I switched to water as I had a race in the morning), and the prices were very reasonable. Our total bill was less than $65 including tip, for three drinks, a small plate and sandwich, plus two desserts.

I would recommend the Milltown Lounge for drinks, happy hour with friends or a date if you are looking for a low-key, friendly place with good food and drinks, and reasonable prices.

203 5th Avenue S., Suite 204
Edmonds, WA 98020
425-712-0300
Www.milltownlounge.com