thanks for all the great suggestions in OLY. I actually need to return there for next week, so was re-reading the posts, and it made me realize that I never thanked anyone and gave my general take on the grub.
Xinh's: sort of neat excursion from OLY (went with a brand new friend), and oysters in black bean sauce were very, very good, however, the fried oysters were no better than the...
Olympia Oyster House: where I went my final day, and actually thought both the fried oysters and french fries were well above average. (Note: Back in the other coast, I generally eat raw oysters, so I don't know what got into me by ordering cooked.)
Went to Rambling Jack's my first night. Quite a shock to walk down 4th, with all the hippie kids somehow thinking it cool to panhandle. I had a very, very good hamburger at RJs...although I found the place incredibly generic, like so many places I end up eating while on the road.
Speaking of RJ's, their sister restaurant, Mercato was similar in the generic, non-offensive, food-by-committee department. I actually know two people (Evergreen State faculty) there, so I was at Mercato's for a birthday party. I would not have eaten at a place like that otherwise.
The farmer's market was medicore at best, and thought that perhaps they'd have better offerings. The meatballs were fine, as were the tacos. Nothing amazed or delighted.
Lemon Grass was better than expected. I did have dreadful pho somewhere....I forget the name, but it was next to some Thai place called Mekong (I think).
The best meal of the trip was at my friend's house. He's really the master of polenta.
I still have some places I haven't tried from last post (around April 20), but if there have been any new developments in OLY, I'd love to hear them.
thanks again for all the suggestions. ciao, Ellen