Bamboo Bar & Grill on Alki

Bamboo Bar & Grill - Tropical Bar Fare (3.5 Stars)

For two main reasons, my core group of friends and I have been dining at Bamboo Bar & Grill regularly for the past few years: 1 - Ryan gets his Microsoft Passport discount and 2 - we know the manager and she usually buys us a round of shots (which really means that one of the four or five of us will get the extra shot as I rarely drink). We do owe getting to know the manager to Ryan who is generally very, uh, specific with the wait staff.

Bamboo offers a cheeky ambiance with the Tiki touches you'd expect from a tropical, beach fare restaurant (read: palm tree and island scene painted walls along with several large-screen LCD TVs) and is patroned by everyone from well-to-do beach-goers to Rednecksville sharing their life stories at the bar. They've even started their own version of American Idol every Thursday night at 9:00 PM. That said, the food is always good and, thanks to the company, it's always an enjoyable dining experience.

Over the years, we've sampled just about everything including the Pork Egg Rolls, Macho Nachos (for low-carb, ask for just a few chips and extra meat and cheese), Coconut Prawns (really great sweet dipping sauce), and the Onion Rings (extra crispy, giant-sized, served with tartar sauce). We've also seen most salads, probably a third of the sandwiches, and things like the Chicken Fettuccine and Halibut and Chips.

As for burgers, the half-pound monsters are generous, the long cut fries are crispy and fresh, and their spicy ranch and dill tartar sauces make for solid condiment choices which is why we have at least one burger order every time we dine. Tonight, we had three: two Green Chile Burgers (the roasted green chilies and pepperjack cheese certainly hit the spot) and the "plain" Cheese Burger (for extra mmmm, go for the added bacon). The Shrimp Salad (complete with tomatoes, eggs, avocado, green onions, black olives, and bay shrimp) was Brian's choice.

Overall, the fare is consistent, well-portioned, affordable and, from what I've seen, the drinks are well-poured. Bamboo is a great anytime restaurant where a casual environment and amazing location would more than make up for generally average to good food.
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