I noticed on the way by last week that the China First on 45th has been replaced by the Asean Eatery. It couldn't be any worse, I figured, so I stopped in for some laksa ($7.50).
It was great. Nice, chewy fish balls, fish cake, and a few shrimp. The noodles didn't soak up the broth quite as well as I'd like, but the broth was delightful--very spicy and complex with hints of both dried and fresh spices.
They also have a cheaper lunch special which includes mostly Chinese-American dishes but also nasi and mee goreng, phad thai, and lemongrass chicken. I'll go back within the next week and report in if I try anything that represents an improvement or a disappointment. They also have one of my favorites, roti canai, although I can't imagine it's better than the one at Malay Satay Hut.
Incidentally, this isn't the only restaurant I know of that uses the unpronounceable "Asean" in the name to signify that they serve the food of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (there's a Cafe Asean in New York), but it's the only one in Seattle, and please let this not be a trend. Luckily, the food is much better than the name.
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