Jun 3, 2022 - Food and Drink

Seattle's beloved Ba Bar goes green

Kimchi fried rice from Ba Bar Green

The kimchi fried rice from Ba Bar Green. My daughter deemed it "herbal and tasty." Photo: Lewis Kamb/Axios

Ba Bar has gone green.

What's happening: The latest iteration of Seattle's beloved Vietnamese street food-inspired restaurant offers an all plant-based grab-and-go menu from a take-out window at its South Lake Union location (500 Terry Avenue North).

Background: Ba Bar Green launched in mid-November from a 200 square foot space where the restaurant formerly made pastries until the pandemic hit.

  • It primarily serves take-out and delivery orders, but if you get a beverage or appetizer from the adjacent restaurant's regular menu, you can dine-in.
  • The menu consists of vegan spin-offs of East Asian street food favorites, including dan dan noodles, kimchi fried rice and chorizo banh mi.

Between the lines: In the decade since they launched Ba Bar as a cousin to their more sophisticated Monsoon, brother-and-sister partners Eric and Sophie Banh have expanded their casual take on noodles and cocktails from its original Capitol Hill digs to SLU and University Village.

  • Ba Bar Green is a collaboration between Eric, his wife, Teresa Nguyen, and the Banhs' longtime chef de cuisine, Chris Michel.

What they're saying: "I wanted to design the menu around dishes that were well-known to see if I could make them plant-based," Michel toId Axios. "It was a little bit tricky, but I think we've done a successful job. It's really a menu for everyone. Most, if not all, meat eaters will like these dishes and not miss the meat."

Yes, but: All three of Ba Bar's sit-down spots continue to serve up their traditional meaty favorites, including beef, oxtail and chicken pho, and vermicelli dishes.

  • And yes, the spicy Sai Gon chicken wings are still a highlight of Ba Bar's happy hour menu (2–5pm).
Ba Bar Green's take-out window in South Lake Union.
The take-out window in South Lake Union. Photo: Lewis Kamb/Axios

Lewis here. My vegetarian daughter and I recently visited Ba Bar Green's take-out window and dined-in after ordering drinks inside.

  • Her take on the kimchi fried rice: "Herbal and tasty."
  • I feasted on the dan dan noodles and can confirm Michel's assessment: I could hardly taste the difference between the plant-based version and the traditional meat dish.

The bottom line: Yum!


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