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Sheen on!

This ain’t your momma’s Inchochine

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This week I’ll be bringing you to a restaurant that’s very near and dear to me.

It’s one that I’m proud of because it matches my ambition and dedication.

It’s one that I’ll always adore no matter what people say.


First things first, for the official record it’s pronounced as Indo-“sheen,” not chine.

And sheen it is!

I grew up in Federal Way, and I’ve been a dedicated patron of the very first Indochine that the Ngov family opened in1995. The restaurant there is rooted in equal amounts of comfort and tradition.

When daughter Ly and her husband, Russell, set their sights on opening their own restaurant in Tacoma in 2005, they came straight out of the chute with one clear message:

This ain’t your momma’s Indochine.

The personality of downtown Tacoma Indochine screams swank, urban and industrial, with textures like cherry and iron amongst gorgeous drapery, aluminum and brick. When I offer my own little tours of the establishment, I often joke that the water elements make me feel like I have to pee, but that’s part of the fun.

Another interesting part of the Indochine tour is that the restaurant actually connects to the University of Washington, Tacoma, classrooms. If I was going to school at UWT, I’d make a b-line down that hallway as fast as my feet could take me.

With that, Indochine is typically filled with a mix of college students, professors, local dignitaries and people like you and me who just like great food and drinks in an exquisite, sleek setting.

The menu weaves mouth-watering Thai, Indian, Japanese and French cuisine. I typically dig on the fresh spring rolls (lettuce, basil and cilantro wrapped with chicken and shrimp, or tofu served with Indochine’s garlic and chili sauce) and the chicken phad thai (hand-extracted tamarind and wok-fried noodles to the bean sprouts, roasted peanuts and tangy-sweet sauce). Other Indochine favorites include Mongonlian beef, grilled lemongrass chicken, pesto shrimp, yin yang ahi and potstickers.

The lounge at Indochine is just as sweet, intimate and gentle as the proprietors Ly and Russel are. The specialty drinks are where it’s at (I always get the Indo Mojito) and they often come with a fresh flower that always seems to wind up by my ear. Other signature drinks include the La La Lemontini, the Drunken Buddha, the Mango Rita and the Thai Kiss that makes me pucker up.

So I’ve said before, and I’ll always say it again:

Indochine is my queen.

[Indochine, 1924 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.8200]

Tell me where you like to party here.

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