Before you even taste anything on the menu at Renton’s newest restaurant, Blossom Asian Bistro, you are struck by how fresh and “pretty” everything sounds on the menu. There’s the Blossom roll, with papaya, sun-dried tomato and Japanese pesto wrapped in soy paper. Or, the bamboo princess roll — a combination of shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado and daikon, also wrapped in soy paper. The selection of salads and sushimi is also equally fresh and tempting—noodle salads, fresh oysters, seaweed salad and marinated salmon served Japanese style.
Blossom’s Asian bistro, a combination of Japanese and Vietnamese food, is a true standout in Renton’s growing restaurant scene. Blossom’s official grand opening was June 16, and I was happy to be a guest. The opening was a festive celebration, complete with dragons and drums, in the Asian tradition, to ward off the evil spirits. The beautifully redecorated space that Jubilante used to occupy on Burnett Avenue gives a soothing ambience. Popular restaurateurs Gene and Huong Sens, owners of The Red House Beer and Wine Shop and Tapas Bar, are co-owners, along with Tim Tran and Jacquelyn Nguyen, and they have given this new restaurant their magic touch.
At the opening, they demonstrated their usual gracious hospitality with stunning hors d’oeurves and beverages. The full bar near the front of the restaurant is elegant, as is the décor in the restaurant. Its outdoor patio is a perfect place to spend time with friends or your significant someone enjoying a cold drink and an appetizer. In addition to the items noted above, Blossom offers a super selection of small plates (or agemono — deep- fried items) such as the panko crusted shrimp that I tried. It was absolutely to die for. Small pots include clam miso, beef tongue stew and a traditional seafood soup with squid. My favorite salad was Goi Tom Xoai — mango and prawn salad with the fresh flavors of mango, carrots, mint roasted peanuts and tossed in a lime chili dressing. Their selection of drinks and sakes are impressive. They offer a lychee cosmo — mixed with lychee and cranberry juices and vodka, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I spotted the green tea martini. A healthy martini! Well, I can pretend can’t I? Those in the know say that the selection of sake, both by the bottle and the glass are impressive. A friend from Jamaica raved about the rum drink that he had at Blossom recently — and he knows rum drinks!
Blossom Asian Bistro offers a rare Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m., and the menu selection is not only impressive, but reasonably priced. When you are ready for a delightfully tantalizing Asian experience, head no farther than Burnett Avenue in downtown Renton. Plus, how can you not love a place that has a drink called “Tiny Bubbles” on the menu?
Susan Bressler is an active member of a number of Renton organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.