Join us for our Community Reception on Thursday, December 6, 2012!

The International Examiner is pleased to announce the winners of our 3rd annual NW APA Reader’s Choice Awards and invite you to attend our Community Reception and Awards Ceremony to honor the winners on Thursday, December 6!

Thousands of votes were cast for community favorites in over 50 categories! Join us as we bring the Reader’s Choice Awards to life, recognizing the best of the APA Northwest, as voted on by the Asian Pacific American community!

Past and present winners will gather to enjoy 2012 Reader’s Choice winning restaurant food and entertainment on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2012 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at the Mount Baker Community Club.

Click HERE for more info!


Thai Curry Simple.  Photo credit: Dave Greer.
Thai Curry Simple. Photo credit: Dave Greer.

Favorite Thai Restaurant Thai Curry Simple
406 5th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 327-4838 |

Albeit small and often crowded during the lunch hour, customers should be glad there is indoor seating at all. With a small and carefully chosen menu, Thai Curry Simple describes their food as traditional Bangkok street food typically found at a cart in Thailand. Despite not having the authentic ambience, the food and its spiciness and flavors are spot on.

Favorite Vietnamese Restaurant
Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant
418 8th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 340-1388 |
Amazing pho, fresh spring rolls, banh xeo and many other authentic Vietnamese favorites are what makes customers believe that Green Leaf serves some of the best Vietnamese food in Seattle. After years of success with one location in the International District, owner Ridgley Kuang opened a second location in Belltown earlier this year in May.

Favorite Indian Restaurant
Cedars Restaurant
4759 Brooklyn Ave. NE., Seattle, WA 98105 | (206) 527-4000 |
Cedars Restaurant serves a wide variety of deliciously spiced Indian and Mediterranean cuisine. Along with their casual atmosphere, cheap prices and generous portions, it’s the food that keeps people coming back. A few favorites include naan bread, chicken tikka masala and curries.

Favorite Coffee Shop/Tea House
Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House
607 S Main St., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 515-4000 |
The Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House serves as both a hotel and teahouse; it’s also a museum of Seattle’s Old Japantown, showcasing old photographs and mementos that document the neighborhood before World War II. Built in 1910, the café and hotel combines both old and new. The building contains the only Japanese bathhouse left intact in the entire country. Customers can smell different imported teas, be recommended good pairings and munch on Japanese cookies, pastries and panini sandwiches.

Favorite Bubble Tea Café
Oasis Tea Zone
519 6th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 447-8098 |
The wide selection of drink combinations, growing menu of snacks, shelves of board games, late-night hours, and a loud playlist of recent pop songs all come together to make Oasis the perfect spot for young people to hang out and grab a quick bite. Along with locations in the ID and University District, a new Oasis stand has opened recently in Renton’s Uwajimaya.

Duk Li Dim Sum. Photo credit: Dave Greer.
Duk Li Dim Sum. Photo credit: Dave Greer.

Favorite “Hole-in-the-Wall” Restaurant
Duk Li Dim Sum
664 S. Weller St., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 340 – 6122

Eating dim sum at any restaurant in the ID would be fairly cheap to begin with, but prices for dim sum at Duk Li are unbeatable, ranging from 60 cents for baked and steamed buns to $3 for sui mai. Although the restaurant is small and patrons only order by filling out an order sheet, it is not necessary to wake up early to beat the usual dim sum rush. Duk Li serves from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Best Sushi Restaurant
Maneki Japanese Restaurant
304 6th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 622-2631 |
If there is one single thing one must have before entering Maneki, it is not a lot of money: the sushi and entrees are reasonably priced for their quality. It is not a knowledge of the restaurant: the reception hall is filled with historical photos, awards and old newspaper clippings the restaurant has gathered in the past century of business. It is not even shoes: the tatami rooms in the back are filled with crowds dining casually and comfortably without them. If there is one single thing you need before entering this historic restaurant, it is luck in getting a table at all. Regular customers and Japanese food fans who have been coming to Maneki for generations know to call in advance to be able to get a table. Once seated, the sushi, sashimi, sake and classic Japanese dishes like black cod and sukiyaki make all the wait and effort worth it.

Best Korean BBQ Restaurant
Palace BBQ Korean Bar & Grill
15932 NE 8th St., Bellevue, WA 98008 | (425) 957-3522 |
At about $16 per person, there doesn’t seem to be a place that rivals Palace BBQ’s deal for “all-you-can-eat” Korean barbeque. Palace offers various options like marinated short beef ribs, tendered beef, marble brisket, spicy pork belly, chicken, sliced pork belly, jumbo shrimp and more.

Best Dim Sum
Jade Garden
424 7th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 622 – 8181
Jade Garden has been dominating in this category for the past three years, and lines to wait for dim sum on weekends still stretch the block. It is no secret that this is the place to go to for dim sum. There are plenty of options, but a few favorites include shrimp dumplings, sticky rice and egg tarts.

Favorite Local Chef
Tom Douglas
Seattle-based chef Tom Douglas called Seattle a “new culinary melting pot,” in his book, “Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen.” Douglas’s creativity with ingredients from the Pacific Northwest and respect for Seattle’s ethnic traditions seem to have helped contribute to that melting pot. He currently has twelve restaurants in Seattle, including Dahlia Lounge, Etta’s Seafood and Lola.

Fuji Bakery. Photo credit: Dave Greer.
Fuji Bakery. Photo credit: Dave Greer.

Favorite Bakery
Fuji Bakery
526 S. King St., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 623 – 4050 |
Amidst dozens of bakeries in the ID, Fuji Bakery stands out for serving French-meets-Japanese-and-Korean-style baked goods and great coffee. Some of the bakery’s delights are the curry-filled bun coated in panko crumbs, cube-shaped brioche with salmon inside, and light, flaky, butter croissants.
Favorite Chinese Restaurant
Tea Palace asian Restaurant & Banquet
2828 Sunset Lane NE, Renton, WA 98056 | (425) 228 – 9393 |
Tea Palace serves as the largest fine Asian cuisine restaurant in the Pacific Northwest. Along with being the place to go south of Seattle for good-quality dim sum during lunch, the large venue can accommodate private functions and banquets of up to 800 people.

Favorite Winery
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
14111 NE 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072 | (425) 488-1133 |
Chateau Ste. Michelle is the largest wine producer and winery in Washington state with roots stretching back to 1934. The large French-style chateau offers free tours on the weekend every half-hour. This includes a free wine tasting of four of their featured wines. The amphitheater on the grounds of the winery also holds outdoor concerts during the summer.


Favorite CEO – Yale Wong
Growing up in a crowded house in Beacon Hill with a large family working in restaurant and laundry businesses is what gave way to Yale Wong’s entrepreneurship. In 1994, he co-founded Compass Communications, becoming the first Asian American in Washington state to own an Internet service provider. Ten years later, Wong sold the company and founded a new one, General Biodiesel in 2006. General Biodiesel collects grease and oil waste and converts it into energy. The daring entrepreneur with humble beginnings in Beacon Hill is considered a pioneer in green energy production.

Tomio Moriguchi, Chairman of Uwajimaya, stands in front of the store’s expanded produce section at the Seattle Uwijamaya on King Street.  Photo credit: Dave Greer.
Tomio Moriguchi, Chairman of Uwajimaya, stands in front of the store’s expanded produce section at the Seattle Uwijamaya on King Street. Photo credit: Dave Greer.

Favorite Entrepreneur
Tomio Moriguchi
Tomio Moriguchi is currently a Chairman of Uwajimaya and served as the CEO in 2002 after his parents and founders of the store passed away. Moriguchi built Uwajimaya’s expansion from its 3,600 square foot Main Street location to its current 20,000 square foot store location on King Street. Moriguchi and his five siblings still hold onto the business principles modeled by their parents. They’ve kept Uwajimaya a distinct and impressive grocery store known for variety, freshness, quality and authenticity.

Favorite Happy Hour & Favorite Karaoke Hotspot
Bush Garden Restaurant
614 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 682-6830 |
Bush Garden’s lounge becomes a center of community activity in the ID during the evening, when people come together at happy hour to eat inexpensive Japanese bar food, order stiff drinks, and sing karaoke loudly with friends. The casual and chaotic vibe of the usual crowd welcomes anyone to let loose on stage. Rest assured that people will be cheering you on and singing along.

Favorite Casino to Indulge At
Snoqualmie Casino
37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, WA 98065 | (425) 888-1234 |
Seattlelites can take a day trip east of the city to experience Vegas-style gambling at Snoqualmie Casino. Along with the gambling floor, the casino has a cigar lounge, bars and five restaurants including Terra Vista and a grand buffet. The casino is also home to a renowned concert venue.

Favorite Weekend Hangout Spot
International District
The International District neighbors two sports arenas, downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square and the waterfront. The neighborhood offers more than 100 dining options from restaurants, bakeries, cafés, bars and grocery stores, with hundreds of bus and light rail lines to transport ID denizens. You can count on neighborhood restaurants to open early for dim sum and close late past 2 a.m. Other miscellaneous activities are available in Hing Hay Park, the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle Pinball Museum and more.

Favorite Local Journalist
Lori Matsukawa, King 5 News Anchor and Reporter
Lori Matsukawa is a news anchor and reporter for KING 5 News weeknights at 10 and has been working at KING 5 since 1983. Last spring, UNITY: Journalists of Color named Matsukawa a “pioneering Asian American broadcast journalist” in its first list of the top journalists of color in the nation for the past century. Another one of the many honors she has received includes the 2005 “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asian American Journalist Association for mentoring aspiring journalists.

Favorite Empowered Youth Monique Phung
After years of working on WAPI Youth Services youth council as a young student at Franklin High School, Phung has already been organizing events, writing and advocating forAPIs. And she’s just starting her work in the community. Much more can be expected from Phung in the future.

Favorite Mentor
Ron Chew
Through each of his jobs and leadership roles, Ron Chew continues to fight for social justice in different ways. Since starting as a reporter at the International Examiner in 1975 and eventually editor for 13 years, Chew covered local events, social concerns and political issues APIs faced in the community. It was at the Examiner where he honed his skills in community organizing. Chew then served as executive director at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience from 1990-2007, where he blended cultural identity, civic participation and museum programs to redefine museums as a tool for social change. Since 2010, Chew has been serving as executive director at the International Community Health Services (ICHS) Foundation. Chew also owns and operates Chew Communications, a community history and resource development consulting firm.

Most Inspirational Speaker
Ron Sims, former King County Executive
Ron Sims served as the former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2009 to 2011 and also served three terms as King County Executive prior to this. The fierce and visionary speaker has inspired many over the years with keynote addresses on issues he has worked on, including social equity, health care and environmental justice.
Favorite Volunteer
Robin Park
As a recent graduate from the University of Washington, Robin Park has worked as a teaching artist and a grassroots organizer for LGBT rights and higher education. Park’s volunteer experiences focus largely on youth, education and social justice.

Favorite Executive Director
Diane Narasaki
Diane Narasaki is the executive director of Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), helping to advocate for multicultural, multilingual, and multi-generational human services for APIs. “I do this work because few things are more rewarding than to work with my community for a better world, and to see the results from that work,” says Narasaki after receiving an award from Leadership for Change in 2005.

Favorite Local Political Figure
Seattle City Councilmember
Bruce Harrell
Bruce Harrell has spent more than 20 years as an attorney, community volunteer and public servant in Seattle. He’s advocated for Seattle’s children, workers and seniors. Harrell was elected to the Seattle City Council in 2007 and won his re-election overwhelmingly in 2011. His original campaign platform emphasized public safety, quality schools and environmental stewardship.

Activist/Engaged Citizen
Al Sugiyama
Al Sugiyama is the founder and former executive director of the Center for Career Alternatives (CCA), an organization dedicated to creating and fostering spaces where disadvantaged adults and youth in King and Snohomish counties can get free education, employment and career training. In 1972, Sugiyama co-founded the Asian Family Affair newspaper and actively promoted API history in education throughout the ‘70s. He currently helps organize the annual API Heritage Month celebration at Seattle Center and serves as a member of the President’s Minority Community Advisory Committee at the University of Washington.

Favorite Philanthropist
Bill Gates
After his career as CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates pursued many philanthropic endeavors. Since 2000, Gates has been donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates have donated more than $28 billion and plan to give 95 percent of their wealth to charity.
Favorite Local Sports Figure
Felix Hernandez, pitcher for Seattle Mariners
Felix Herandez has been given the name “King Felix,” and rightfully so. In August, the Venezuelan, right-handed starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners threw the first perfect game in Mariners history and 23rd in Major League Baseball history. Hernandez is a volunteer spokesman for the Seattle King County Humane Society and is the Seattle Mariners Ambassador for the Pepsi Refresh Project, which raises money for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Favorite Annual Asian Event You Most Look Forward To
Chinatown-International District Dragon Fest
The Chinatown-Dragon Fest is the largest pan-Asian American street fair in the Pacific Northwest. Since starting as a community event in 1975, the annual two-day summer event includes activites for kids and families, cultural dances, musical performances, costume contests, and in recent years, a food walk. The event on average attracts 25,000 people and gives those who don’t usually venture into the neighborhood a taste of what they have been missing out on.

Favorite Northwest Neighborhood
Chinatown-International District
(See “Favorite Weekend Hangout Spot,” p. 12)

Favorite Doctor/Nurse
Dr. Kenneth E. Mayeda, MD
Making the list of “Top Doctors” in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine in 2011 and 2012, Dr. Kenneth E. Mayeda has been working in family medicine for more than 35 years. Dr. Mayeda’s clinical interest and special procedures performed include family practice, general practice, geriatrics, pediatric care, preventive medicine and primary care. He currently works at Polyclinic Family Medicine in Jefferson Park.


Favorite Corporate Giver to Asian American Causes
Boeing has been a force in charitable giving in the Puget Sound area. The multi-billion aerospace corporation’s giant, direct corporate giving worldwide has grown to $57 million in the past decade, with $18 to $20 million directly given to Washington state every year for the last decade. The company invests in health and human services, education, arts and culture, environment and civic activities.

Favorite Mom & Pop Business
Phnom Penh
Noodle House
660 S. King St., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 748-9825 |
As a young man and aspiring chef, Phnom Penh Noodle House owner Sam Ung had always dreamed of owning a restaurant in the future, despite a horrific and brutal present in the Khmer Rouge. Once the Khmer Rouge ended and Ung immigrated to the U.S., he survived several restaurant jobs despite linguistic and cultural hurdles. In 1987, he opened Phnom Penh Noodle House, Seattle’s first Cambodian restaurant. Ung’s family-run restaurant has a conscience for doing greater good in the community with pride for their food and culture.

Favorite Health Organization
International Community Health Services (ICHS)
720 8th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 788-3799 |
The International Community Health Services (ICHS) is the largest API nonprofit community health center in Washington state. Established in 1973, ICHS provides culturally and linguistically appropriate services to improve the health of APIs and the broader community. They have a full range of primary medical, dental and preventive health care and educational services, as well as Chinese traditional medicine.

Favorite Asian-Owned
Green Business
General Biodiesel
6333 1st Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108 | (206) 932-1600 |
Founded by API entrepreneur Yale Wong in 2006, General Biodiesel collects grease and cooking oil from restaurants along the West Coast and converts it into biodiesel. The company is described as “double green,” says Wong, since the oil and grease they collect from restaurants normally gets dumped. The company trucks collect up to 2,200 gallons per day of vegetable oil, lard, and rotisserie and deep fryer grease. The national biodiesel industry market has been tough, but General Biodiesel has been steadily growing.

Favorite API Senior Organization
Kin On Community Health Care
4416 S. Brandon St., Seattle, WA 98118 | (206) 721-3630 |
Kin On has won awards for their skilled nursing and long-term care for APIs in greater Seattle, offering a wide range of health, social and educational services to Asian seniors and families. The majority of those served at Kin On are low-income Asian seniors, most of whom are low-income and receive Medicare assistance. The seniors have many sensitive cultural, linguistic and dietary needs that Kin On makes sure to meet with culturally and linguistically appropriate long-term care services.

Favorite Professional Association
National Association of Asian American Professionals-Seattle (NAAAP-Seattle)
The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is a nonprofit leadership development organization for API professionals with chapters across the country. The organization is run entirely by volunteers. The Seattle chapter organizes professional development, community service and social networking opportunities. NAAAP-Seattle also gives scholarships to high school and college students and supports local nonprofits and small businesses.

Favorite Community Center
Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS)
3639 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., Seattle, WA 98144 | (206) 695-7600 |
Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) has long been a recognized hub for the API community, offering a wide and comprehensive range of human services and behavioral health programs to those who need them in King County. Since it’s founding in 1973, ACRS has been providing services to low-income, culturally and linguistically isolated immigrants, refugees and native-born Asians and Pacific Islanders. The community center’s large bilingual and bicultural staff speak more than 40 languages and dialects collectively. ACRS serves over 23,000 people annually.

Favorite API Youth Organization
WAPI Seattle
606 Maynard Ave. S. #106, Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 838-1851 |
WAPI Community Services strives to help youth of color, ages 10-20, deal with substance abuse/dependency issues and provide youth with healthy alternatives to substance use. WAPI uses social justice and cultural identity building to help young people critically think about the underlying issues of drugs and alcohol in the community. The organization uses hip-hop culture to engage youth and build relationships through leadership, music and urban art.

Favorite Student Group
UW’s Filipino American Student Association (FASA)
The Filipino American Student Association (FASA) is a student-run, nonprofit cultural organization at the University of Washington. FASA is the culmination of various Filipino/Filipino American student groups at the UW such as the Filipino Student Association, Filipino Literary Club, Filipino Alumni Association, Coalition of Filipinos for Equal Education and more. The organization’s mission is to foster unity and pride within its members and surrounding community through educational, political and cultural advancement. FASA organizes many events throughout the school year from an annual formal to monthly community service opportunities.

Favorite API Media Outlet
International Examiner
622 S. Washington St., Seattle WA 98104 | (206) 624-3925 |
Established nearly 40 years ago, the International Examiner is the only pan-Asian American nonprofit media organization of its kind in the country, and the oldest API publication in the Northwest. The Examiner serves more than 20,000 print readers and 50,000 unique web visitors a month. Exciting community events, including its staple Community Voice Awards, and now, the Northwest APA Reader’s Choice Awards build support and visibility for a true community voice and institution. The IE strives to be a catalyst for change and works to create awareness in and for APA communities in the region and across the country.

Favorite Cultural Preservation Institution
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 S. King St, Seattle, WA 98104 | (206) 623-5124 |
Patrons get an interactive learning experience at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience as they immerse in uniquely American stories of survival, struggle, conflict, compassion and hope. A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the museum is dedicated to exploring and engaging the public with issues of culture, art and history of APIs. It is the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in America. The museum is named in honor of the late Seattle City Council member Wing Luke and opened in a small storefront on 8th Avenue in 1967. In 2008, the museum relocated to a much larger location on King Street and continues to address civil rights and social justice issues artfully while preserving history.

Favorite API Advocacy Organization
OCA of Greater Seattle
OCA is a national nonprofit organization with chapters around the country dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. The organization was founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, but has since transformed to be for pan-Asian Pacific Americans. The Greater Seattle Chapter was formed in 1995 as a champion in the fight for civil rights. The chapter has supported Dr. Wen Ho Lee’s fight for due process, law enforcement investigations into hate crimes, and recently, Washington’s push for marriage equality. Their goals include advocating for social justice, equal opportunity and fair treatment, fostering cultural heritage and more.


Favorite Local Artist
Alan Lau
Alan Lau has been a pioneer for APIs in art since he arrived in Seattle from Japan in the late 1970s. He has had work exhibited regularly in solo and group gallery shows, and in addition to being a prolific painter, is an avid writer and poet. His style stems from Chinese literati tradition and Northwest modernism. He has served as the arts editor for the International Examiner for more than 30 years, showcasing API artists, writers, musicians and more.

Favorite Local Author/Writer
Dori Jones Yang
Doris Jones Yang has worked as a reporter, writer and bureau chief at Business Week for 15 years. Some of her work includes “Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time,” which she wrote with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, “The Secret Voice of Gina Zhang” and “Daughter of Xanadu.”

Favorite Local Bookstore
Elliot Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 | (206) 624-6600 |
Elliot Bay Book Company carries more than 150,000 books, some of which support local and ethnic writers. The cozy, independent, quiet bookstore has a café below and schedules hundreds of anticipated writer readings and meet-and-greets throughout the year.

Favorite Local Hip Hop Artist
GOWE (Gifted on West East)
Growing up in South Seattle’s Beacon Hill, GOWE joined Seattle’s underground hip-hop scene after performing at Kollaboration Seattle in 2011. GOWE was raised in a Chinese American family, but discovered when he was 18 that he was adopted and actually had a Korean background. His song “I Wonder,” is dedicated to finding his biological mother. GOWE also raps to glorify Christ and to voice the struggles of Asian Americans.

Favorite Local Photographer
Dean Wong
Dean Wong was a child of the International District, growing up in a converted storefront on King Street. Wong’s photojournalism career started at the International Examiner, where he worked on and off for eight years, writing feature stories and perfecting his photography. Wong believed his photos served the community by telling their stories. In the past 20 years, Wong’s art photography has been exhibited in a variety of venues.

Favorite Northwest Blog Jagged Noodles
“Jagged Noodles,” whose real name is withheld, has been the humor columnist for the International Examiner for years; he writes about social and political issues, his personal life and miscellaneous opinions. The humble and sarcastic blogger welcomes thoughts and advice from his readers (all three of them, he says) on things in his life, like whether he should have had glowsticks at his wedding reception.


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