Issaquah’s Hottest Seafood Restaurant Rediscovered

Big Fish Grill MartiniForget about fish fingers. When you want to treat yourself to a seafood feast, head to The Big Fish Grill. Add the signature Big Fish Martini to your order – or one of 11 beers on tap – and you’re on the way to a memorable night out. The restaurant, which is located next to Regal Cinemas, is currently celebrating its third anniversary. We caught up with manager Mike Anderson to ask what’s new.

Big Fish Grill built its reputation on seafood. What are some of the hidden gems on the menu?

You might be surprised that two of our most popular menu items are the Filet Mignon and New York Steak. In fact, our steaks rival grilled salmon as a favorite of many regulars. We also have an approachable kids menu, including Fish & Chips and Grilled Wild Salmon. Kids eat free on Mondays, too.

You’ve got 11 beers on tap. What pairs best with seafood?

Our beers on tap include Georgetown Brewery’s Lucille India Pale Ale (IPA) and Manny’s Pale Ale, bothBig Fish Grill Issaquah 001 brewed in Seattle, and Mac & Jack’s African Amber, which is brewed in Redmond. All three pair well with seafood. One of my favorite pairings is Dynamite Shrimp and the Lucille IPA, which holds up to the heat of the dish. If you’re here for Happy Hour, an order of Dynamite Shrimp is $4.

What makes Big Fish Grill’s happy hour one of the best in the area?

It’s a combination of the menu, timing and specials. What you may not know is that food specials are available seven days a week. We serve Happy Hour in the bar and on the outdoor patio, so anyone under 21 can enjoy food specials on the patio. Two of the most popular specials are Cod Fish & Chips or Shrimp Truffle Orzo Pasta for $6. Happy Hour is from 3 pm to 6 pm and again from 9 pm to close.

What’s your most popular weeknight special?

Ladies Night, which is Thursday. All specials are available in the bar and dining room. From 3 pm to close, Ladies enjoy $5 Lemon Drops, Big Fish Martinis and Cosmos, as well as $2 off wine by the glass.

Big Fish Grill CocktailsHow do Chef Derek Stewart and the team create monthly menu specials?

A lot depends on the season. We introduce dishes when new fish are running and when the harvest changes. The feedback we hear from guests is also important. If guests love a dish, we’ll keep it on the menu as long as possible. Some monthly specials get nominated for the regular menu. Both the Ahi Salad and Parmesan Crusted Halibut are great examples of guest favorites that we hope to offer on the regular meu.

Can guests request substitutions?

Everything is made-to-order (house-made) so it’s easy to substitute or omit ingredients. Say, for example, you don’t like cilantro. Just say the word and we’ll hold it from your dish.

What’s the best part about working at Big Fish Grill?

Apart from the great people and delicious food, I can walk to work every day because I live in theBig Fish Grill Patio Issaquah Highlands. I’ve lived in Issaquah since 1998 and couldn’t be happier.

The Big Fish Grill is located at 984 NE Park Drive. For reservations, call (425)-369-4334 or visit Free parking is available in the adjacent parking garage. Street parking is also available.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC


Sorella Salon Launches Blowout Bar

Sorella Salon Stations & ColorGrandma had it right when she went to the hair salon each week. Nothing compares to having your hair professionally styled. While grandma called it a wash and set, today’s stylists call it a blowout bar service – and it’s now available here at Sorella Salon & Spa.

Blowout bars caught on rapidly in New York and California a few years ago, but have been slow to arrive on the Eastside. The service focuses solely on washing, conditioning and styling your hair for a reasonable price. It’s a sensory experience that leaves you looking and feeling fantastic.

Sorella Salon Brandon HiroeEarlier this summer, Sorella introduced its new blowout service option, led by expert stylist Brandon Hiroe. The service features luxury Kérastase products and includes hair wash, scalp massage, conditioning, blow dry and style – plus a complimentary mimosa – all for $45. It’s a perfect way to prepare for an event, especially if you’ll be photographed.

“A blowout treatment is very relaxing and we discuss the style you want to achieve and any concerns you might have,” explains Hiroe. “There’s time to relax, sip your mimosa and review photos. We focus on relieving tension with a scalp massage and shampoo, and apply a custom combination of Kérastase products to condition hair.”

Sorella’s Kérastase conditioning treatments leave your hair feeling like silk and your blowout will last for days. It’s a great option for anyone who might have difficulty styling their own hair or when the weather makes it difficult to maintain your style.

“In about an hour, it’s possible to change someone’s day with a blowout service,” adds Hiroe. “OurSorella-Isq_03-14_185 clients leave smiling and with a different energy – ready to have a fantastic day, whether that’s a job interview, special occasion or dinner date. Your hair is shiny, touchable and well-conditioned – but not heavy or full of products. The mimosas are amazing, too.”

Sorella Salon & Spa is located at 930 NE Park Drive. Sorella is open Monday thru Saturday. For info, call (425) 392-9299 or visit Free parking is available in the parking garage next to Regal Cinemas. Street parking is also available.


Celebrating 10 Years in Issaquah Highlands

This year marks an important milestone for several merchants at Grand Ridge Plaza: Their 10th anniversary in the community. These local entrepreneurs keep us looking and feeling our best – not to mention caffeinated. Congratulations!

Sorella SalonSorella Salon & Spa started as the Reasy family’s dream to work together in an industry they all love. This dream became a reality when sisters Jamie, Jessie, Jacquelynn and their mother Peggy opened Sorella Salon & Spa. Since opening, Sorella has established itself as a premier salon. Their work is regularly featured in the pages of 425 Magazine as well as events such as The Art Institute of Seattle’s Fashion Show.

Locally-owned and operated, Highlands Cleaners keeps Issaquah looking its best. From preserving wedding dresses to alterations, Highlands Cleaners is a great resource for specialty services.

DSC_7593In 2006, Lane and Jamie Scelzi opened Sip at the wine bar & restaurant, a concept all its own. With one of the largest Washington wine selections in the region, Sip quickly became a favorite among wine connoisseurs. Today, the culinary team led by Executive Chef Emran Chowdhury continues to feature locally-sourced meats and seafood, as well as fresh seasonal produce from Sip’s organic garden.

Sandwiches, salads and breakfast – and dare we forget fresh-baked cookies? SUBWAY of Grand Ridge Plaza is a perennial favorite for before & after games at the City of Issaquah’s nearby Central Park and for everyone on-the-go.

Optica Vision Care is a trusted community resource for comprehensive vision care. Led by Dr. Samuel Ahn, the optometry practice offers services ranging from eye exams to medical evaluations, as well as a large selection of designer frames, sunglasses and children’s frames.

Caffe LadroWhat would mornings be like without Caffe Ladro? The Seattle-based coffee house is a neighborhood hot spot at Grand Ridge Plaza. Homemade baked goods, sustainably-grown and fair trade coffee, and Adirondack chairs on the patio are just a few of the staples that make Caffe Ladro a coffee-lover’s haven.

AJI Sushi & Grill is a feast for the senses, especially the taste buds. A local favorite for all ages, AJI has made a convert out of many a skeptic who wouldn’t try sushi. Led by Chef Danny, AJI gets rave reviews for its Bento boxes, as well as the Chef’s daily sushi creations.

Agave Cocina Ramos FamilyAgave Cocina & Tequilas is known for hand-crafted dishes made-to-order, scratch cocktails and one of the region’s largest selections of fine tequilas – including their own private label tequila. Owned and operated by the brother-sister team of Julian and Faviola Ramos, Agave has built a reputation for excellent Mexican fare and the best margaritas in town.


Get Happy at Grand Ridge Plaza

Sip at the wine bar bartender“Happy” and “Hour” – never have two words paired so well together. It is no secret that Seattleites love Happy Hour. At Grand Ridge Plaza, it’s a perfect time to relax, raise a glass and enjoy great menu specials. Here’s a look at our Happy Hours:

Sip at the wine bar & restaurant: With one of the largest wine selections in the region, Sip at the wine bar & restaurant is a wine aficionado’s paradise. Enjoy Happy Hour from 4 pm to 6 pm nightly and again from 9 pm to close with featured fine wines by the glass for $7. Small Plates including Fried Shrimp Toast, Crispy “Tails and Trotter” Pork Belly, and Prosciutto and Melon are all $3 off, while House Spirits are $5 and House Martinis are $7. Cheers!

The RAM Restaurant & Brewery: When the clock strikes 3 pm, it’s time for RAM 18 oz Flagship Beers, Well Drinks or a glass of house wine for $3.75. Food specials include Pretzels and Beer Cheese Fondue, BBQ Chicken Quesadilla or Boneless Wings for $6.95. The RAM’s classic Mulligan Burger is $5.95. Add an order of Pickle Chips for just $2.95. Happy Hour at The RAM is Monday thru Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm and again from 10 pm to close.

AJI Sushi Photo Credit Rina KangAJI Sushi & Grill: From 3 to 5 pm nightly, sample AJI Sushi & Grill’s delectable sushi. The perfect bite before a movie, the Hawaiian Poke Salad is $8, Spicy Salmon Roll is $5 and Sashimi Combo is $11. Sip warm sake and add an order of Fried Gyoza for $4. AJI also offers hot, cooked Japanese cuisine including classics such as Pork Katsu and Chicken Teriyaki. AJI regulars recommend their Bento boxes, which are available for both dinner and lunch.

Bai Tong Thai: Enjoy early Happy Hour from 3 pm to 6 pm or late Happy Hour from 9 pm to close. Featured drinks include Singha Beer by the bottle for $3, draft beers for $4 and a glass of their Columbia Valley house wine for $6. Food specials include Chicken Satay with house-made peanut sauce for $4.50, as well as Spring Rolls or Fresh Rolls for just $3.50. Try their famous honey-infused Crispy Garlic Chicken for $7.50 – it’s a favorite for sharing. Happy Hour is available in both the lounge and restaurant seven days a week.

Agave Happy HourAgave Cocina & Tequilas: Tacos for $3? Yes, please! Agave Cocina & Tequilas’ Happy Hour is offered nightly from 3:30 pm to 6 pm and again from 9 pm to close. Savor a glass of Red Sangria for $4 or Dos XX Draft Beer for $4.50, as well as specialty margaritas and sipping tequilas. The selection of $3 house-made tacos includes Carne Asada and Braised Pork Carnitas. Seasonal specials include Jalapeno Cheese Dip and Grilled Asparagus & Spinach Salad, both for $5. For those who dare, an order of Diablo Wings is $6.

Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill: From sushi to pho, Chinoise offers Pan Asian dishes from Japan, Vietnam, China and Hawaii. Happy Hour is 4:30 pm to 6 pm nightly and includes draft beer for $4 – choose from Kirin Ichiban Lager, Space Dust IPA and Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale – plus sake and wine specials. Chinoise’s Happy Hour food menu features both sushi and small bites, including the California Roll or Swamp Roll for $4. Enjoy the six-piece Chicken Gyoza for $4, Jicama Summer Rolls for $5 and Honey Walnut Prawns for $8.

The Big Fish Grill: The perfect pit stop before or after a movie, Happy Hour at Big Fish Grill’s lounge overlooking Regal Cinemas is from 3 to 6 pm and again from 9 pm to close. Big Fish’s Happy Hour menu features their famous Clam Chowder for $3, Dynamite Shrimp for $4 and Wagyu Beef Tillamook Cheddar Cheese Burger with Fries for $6, plus seasonal seafood specials. Happy Hour drink prices are available Sunday thru Thursday and include $2 off all draft beers (choose from 11 on tap) and $6 wines by the glass. Happy Hour food specials are available seven days a week.

Sip at the wine bar tastingWhether you’re looking for a spot to enjoy drinks with friends or want to grab a bite before a movie, you’ll find a great Happy Hours and more at Grand Ridge Plaza.

Photos of Sip at the wine bar & restaurant and Agave Cocina & Tequilas by Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC. Photo of AJI Sushi & Grill by Rina Kang.