Green Leaf

Written by on September 19, 2013 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Belltown neighborhood, Seattle, Washington

Green Leaf

How I heard of this place: When I first moved to downtown Seattle back in 2005, I was thrilled at the ease of commute, being able to walk everywhere and have access to everything at my immediate fingertips. This deal was sweetened by having the best Vietnamese restaurant in such close proximity – in the International District.

Green Leaf Tea

Now, having moved back downtown, this time on the north end of Belltown, I’m thrilled that Green Leaf, too, has made it’s way to our neck of the woods.

Elliott Bay at Sunset

Type of cuisine: Vietnamese. Authentic, aplenty. “The menu is extensive, the food is delicious, the portion sizes are huge and the quality exceeds the price you pay. The spring rolls are certain to satisfy; they’re light and refreshing. The pho is great, full of flavor and packed with vegetables. Their vermicelli is my go-to dish, be it stir-fried beef, spicy lemongrass chicken or egg rolls. Tell your friends, but no one else. A great find!

Green Leaf Take-away

Ambiance: While I haven’t had the pleasure of discovering the new space myself, my husband and sister-in-law made their way through the hidden doors of Green Leaf. A Yelp-er draws a pretty good picture of this delightful hole-in-the-wall discovery: “If you don’t happen to spot the little sign on Clay, you’ve missed your chance to enjoy a hole-in-the-wall beaut. It’s kind of questionable, the way you enter the restaurant: enter through a side door, walk down a case of janitorial stairs, turn a corner and voila. Alternatively, I suppose you could enter through their actual storefront on 1st. But once you’ve found this secret alcove of great Vietnamese food at the perfect price, you’ll be glad it’s hidden so well out of sight. Less visitors, more for you.”

The original space, however, is intimate, cozy and packs up quickly, so get in early.

Green Leaf Interior


Seating to the right and left as you enter, kitchen easily accessible at the end of four tables and squished-in chairs, bamboo flair throughout, the smell of chili and soy sauce, sticky rice and lemongrass permeate the space.

Green Leaf Dining

What I ordered: For our take-away roof-top dinner, enjoying not on the views of Elliott Bay, but also the company of my in-laws, each of us thoroughly enjoyed our generous portions of traditional Vietnamese fare. My mother-in-law selected the Grilled Combo ($13.95) with grilled pork chop, chicken, shrimp and fried egg and a side of brown rice ($1.50).

Green Leaf Combo

My husband chose the Grilled Pork Chop or Suong Heo ($12.95) with a side of steamed rice ($3).

Green Leaf Pork Chop

My father-in-law enjoyed the Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp or Tom Xa Ot ($13.95).

Green Leaf Lemongrass Shrimp

My sister-in-law partook of her favorite, the Egg Roll & Pork Vermicelli or Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong ($10.95), while they selected the Grilled Chicken or Ga Nuong ($12.95) for little, ol’ me.

Green Leaf Grilled Chicken

On a return visit, Wednesday, December 18, 2013: My sister was in town and craving Asian food; rightfully so, as we spent much of our afternoon in and around the International District! Rather than traipsing all the way back to Belltown, we decided to enjoy the intimacy of the original Green Leaf. We started with tea all around, and indulged in the Green Papaya Salad ($8.95) or Goi Du Du with Ga Nuong (grilled chicken).

Green Leaf Green Papaya Salad

Continued with the Bot Chien ($6.95), sweet pickled vegetables alongside the pan-fried flour cakes scrambled with eggs and spring onions.

Green Leaf Pan-Fried Flour Cake

And then shared our two main entrees: the Com Suon Bo ($10.95) or Beef Short Ribs with Rice,

Green Leaf Beef Short Ribs

and the Com Ga Xa Ot ($9.95), Lemongrass Chicken with Rice.

Green Leaf Lemongrass Chicken

Our meal ended with the bill and three fortune cookies.

Green Leaf Fortune Cookies & Check

What I loved: I loved most the sweet fish sauce drizzled over all of the fresh, crunchy vegetables that were served alongside each of our meals. The chicken was flavorful, yet a little too fatty (un-clean) for my taste. The pork was surprisingly tasty with excellent texture and the steamed rice delicious…when dipped in the fish sauce.

Why I loved it: It’s always the locally owned hole-in-the-walls that offer stellar food at excellent prices and hearty portions that grab my attention, and keep me coming back for more.

Green Leaf Fortunes!

Cost: Low to average ($8-$15 per entree)

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