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Song Song Restaurant

New addition to South Tacoma Way's International District shows promise

Spicy Pork Bento. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: This week, Dutch and Jackie circled back around to Tacoma's International District to indulge in more exotic fare at newly opened Song Song Restaurant.

JACKIE: Song Song embodies strip mall sanctuary status. You could easily zip by during your commute down South Tacoma Way and completely miss this gem. The exterior is marked by bright green signage, the interior clean, brightly lit and simple. The dishes though, man, they will sing to you. The menu features a variety of Korean soups and small plates that just begged to be enjoyed smorgasbord-style and further encouraged by the complementary nibbles served with their soup dish including pickled jalapeno and onions, melon and cucumbers tossed in chili sauce, pickled daikon radish and house-made kimchi. The sampling of flavors was exquisite with sweet, zingy and spicy textures throughout. Amirite, Dutch?

DUTCH: You are right! You know you are about to enjoy some truly authentic cuisine when the waitress questions your order because "It's very Korean". However, my teenage son ventured forward with the Sul-Lung-Tang (beef bone soup). This was also served with all the fixins, which he generously added to broth, noodles and beef. Despite the generous portion, he finished the entire bowl, minus the few bites he shared with me, of course.

JACKIE: The vegetable soup came in a large bowl with noodles swimming in a rich broth alongside seaweed, carrots and green onion. We finished every last drop. The spicy pork bento entrée was loaded with tender pork smothered in a delectable sauce that delivered an approachable heat with a trace of nuttiness. Rice, tempura veggies and a crisp, fresh salad drizzled with a Thousand Island-esque dressing finished it all off. The lunch portion was perfect, especially considering we also ordered the mini kimbap. With your choice of six fillings, we opted for tuna. The dish features 10 rolls in all with rice and your protein choice wrapped in seaweed. The dipping sauce is a soy sauce with sliced peppers floating about that elevated an already tasty bite to next-level good.

DUTCH: I stuck with the soup selection and ordered the rice cake and dumpling soup with the beef and vegetable dumplings. The dumplings were large and took four to five bites to finish and I found myself wanting more. I also added a little salt, onions and even the pickled jalapenos for a little kick, but that was a choice, not a necessity to the dish, as it carried enough flavors to hold its own. One of the great things about the South Sound is the easy access to such great Asian dishes, and Song Song is right up there with the rest of the neighborhood.

Song Song Restaurant, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 9205 South Tacoma Way, Suite 104, Lakewood, 253.503.1855,

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