Dining out with Kids, Local Style: Part II

Family-friendly dining made easy at Grand Ridge Plaza (Sponsored)

By Regency Centers April 30, 2015

What are your dinner plans? If you’re craving something new, there are plenty of options for family dining at Grand Ridge Plaza. In the second installment in our series devoted to dining out with kids, we’ll pay a visit to three newcomers who have a knack for making kids – and their parents – very happy. These sit-down, full-service restaurants offer something for everyone. To top it off, each is a quick walk from PinkaBella Cupcakes, Caffe Ladro, Ben & Jerry’s, and Regal Cinemas, too.

Chinoise Café: Founded by chef, entrepreneur and mom Thoa Nguyen, Chinoise Café features Pan Asian cuisine in a modern and welcoming atmosphere. Chef Thoa brings together dishes from the kitchens of Japan, China, Hawaii, Thailand and Vietnam, with menu choices ranging from delicious sushi to Cashew Chicken and Beef Tenderloin Pho. Chinoise Café is a great place to eat family-style and share dishes (kids can split a noodle dish). When asked about their favorites, two young diners from Bellevue named the Basil Green Bean Beef and Shanghai Noodles as their number one picks. The kid’s menu has tasty – and healthy – choices in the $7 to $8 range, such as Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli, Ninja Noodles and Kids Pho. Each kid’s meal includes a choice of juice, soda or milk. Vegetarian and vegan options are available and you can choose fresh or fried tofu instead of meat in many dishes. Chinoise Café is located at 936 NE Park Drive.

Food Network fans can tune in on May 14 to watch Chef Thoa, of Chinoise Cafe, on the Beat Bobby Flay show.

Big Fish Grill: Owned by local entrepreneur and mom Carrie Orrico, Big Fish Grill gets kudos from parents for their Seafood Cobb Salad, Seared Sea Scallops and Coconut Crusted Rockfish, as well as their Wagyu Bacon Cheddar Burger. Their kid’s menu offers dishes in the $6 to $8 range, including Cod Fish & Chips and Chicken Tenderloins. We’ve heard from young diners that the Kid’s Seared Wild Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Veggies is delicious (an adult entrée version is also available). Each kid’s meal comes with milk, juice or soda, and they’ll substitute fresh fruit for fries. The relaxed setting and pleasant service make for a great evening out. BONUS: Kids eat free on Monday nights. You’ll receive one free kid’s meal with every paying adult at your table. Big Fish Grill is located at 984 NE Park Drive.

Big Fish Grill founder Carrie Orrico enjoys family time with son Joseph and grandson Braylon.

AJI Sushi & Grill: Chef Danny at AJI Sushi & Grill has made a convert out of many a skeptical kid who wouldn’t try sushi. AJI is a family favorite thanks to its huge menu, spanning sushi to hot, cooked dishes. Whether you want to share a sushi platter or order individual dishes, everything is made fresh-to-order. Chef Danny is happy to create a dish that meets your needs, so feel free to make special requests. Sushi choices change daily and the regular menu features classics such as Chicken Teriyaki and Seafood Yakisoba. A little-known secret about AJI is that they also serve Korean dishes, so those who eschew sushi can enjoy Korean fare. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. AJI is located at 1052 NE Park Drive.

Chef Danny from AJI Sushi & Grill
Rina Kang Photography

Home to more than a dozen restaurants and cafés, Grand Ridge Plaza at Issaquah Highlands was designed with families in mind. Next in the series, we’ll visit fast casual restaurants where you can enjoy a quick bite on-the-go.
Directions and Parking at Grand Ridge Plaza: From I-90, take Exit 18 and follow E Sunset Way/Highlands Drive toward Issaquah Highlands. Continue on Highlands Drive for about half a mile to arrive at Grand Ridge Plaza. The shopping center offers plenty of free parking.

Other articles in the Grand Ridge series: