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Restaurant Review: Asian 1

“You can’t appreciate what you are eating until you know what you are eating” – Rick Phan, Company President and Owner of Asian 1.
Trinity Kerr
Outside of Asian 1, Zoomed Out

What is Asian 1?

Outside of Asian 1, Zoomed in
Outside of Asian 1, Zoomed in

Asian 1, located on 4285 Meridian Street, is a local Asian restaurant specializing in low-calorie dishes with Japanese and Thai roots. On October 31st, 2003, they opened up their first restaurant in Bellingham. Following that came Burlington’s location, opening in late November of 2007. Burlington was the first to be called Asian 1, and the Bellingham location changed it’s name on their 10-year anniversary.

Their strong suit and claim to fame is their healthy and nutritious food options, as well as their high-quality ingredients. Asian 1 prioritizes not only customer satisfaction, but also being upfront about what they use in their meals.

I was recommended Asian 1 by a friend of mine, as well as a few family members. As I’ve always liked Thai food and have wanted to try new things when making this article, I decided to stop by. Reading further through this article, there will be photos attached of my visit and an honest, short review at the end if you don’t want to deal with the small and intricate details of the visit. If you’re willing to try a new restaurant, Asian 1 just may be for you!

Asian 1 Experience

My mom, my little brother, and I went on Thursday, March 14, when we had an early release day. It was around 2:35 pm, meaning that Asian 1 was close to finishing up their lunch specials in 30 minutes to make way for Happy Hour. Since it wasn’t as busy, we were sat down almost immediately when we came inside. Looking around the place, one thing I had noticed right away was how the inside of the restaurant was quite dark. Even with the sun poking through the windows in the front, it felt like the curtains were drawn. It was likely because we were sat in the back, but it wasn’t a big deal to me personally. However, the darkness may not be for everyone.

Interior of Asian 1 – Rather dim. (Trinity Kerr)

Another small nitpick I had with the seating was that there were barriers behind our backs that could easily come down if you leaned on them. With a little kid it’s hard to tell them to not touch because they’re likely to do it anyways and won’t understand why. Thankfully, no barriers came crashing down on our visit, but that is something to be wary of if you’re bringing a younger kid or if you want to lean back during your visit to Asian 1.

We were given menus the minute we sat down. The staff are quick at prioritizing customer service, which I appreciate. Our server also gave us enough time to order and consider our choices on the menu, as it is diverse in its options. Asian 1 has vegan and gluten-free options, which are both marked on the menu with an apple to the side. You would have to request that your food was made gluten-free, but it is still a great idea to put that on the menu. They also have a kids menu, which I’m sure many can appreciate for young, picky eaters. There are foods such as fries and smaller portions of other menu items for the kids.

A small thing I’d like to add is about the water. As I’ve mentioned before, my little brother came along with us for the trip. So, the server deliberately gave him a water with a plastic lid on it so it would prevent spilling. Not only was it a pleasant surprise, but it lives up to Asian 1’s name of prioritizing customer satisfaction and service. Way to go!

Complimentary Soup before the Meal (Trinity Kerr)

Before the food, we got some really good complimentary soup. This is rather common at Asian restaurants, so I wasn’t surprised. It was nice, filling, and a good start before our main course.

We got our food rather fast since there was not a lot of people there. I order the Pad See Ew (See-iu) level 1 spicy with chicken, and the others got both Pad Thai with level 1 in tiers of spiciness also. The plates were neatly done and they had great portions. The only thing I’d want to do differently is to try another topping or level of spiciness to make it more flavorful and enjoyable. Still, the food was great nonetheless!

Pad See Ew (See iu) From Asian 1 (Trinity Kerr)

My family enjoyed the Pad Thai as well, along with the side salad that the meals had come with. I also liked the Pad Thai, but, once again, I’d try more spice, just to see if it would make the meal more enjoyable and interesting.

Short Review

All in all, my experience at Asian 1 was great! Not only was the service top notch, but it was also quick and efficient. If I had to give Asian 1 a rating, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Asian 1 for the wonderful food!

What I liked: Food, service (thank you!), Attention to detail, Treatment of customers 

Nitpicks: Odd lighting, worries about barriers, odd times for sushi bar

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Trinity Kerr
Trinity Kerr, Reporter
Trinity Kerr is a current Freshman at Bellingham High School, and one of the Reporters in the Newspaper Club. She was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, but she moved to Bellingham when she was a young baby and has lived there ever since. She loves reading, writing, and sleeping in for long periods of time. Trinity joined the Newspaper Club to further explore her love of writing, but also to get involved in her school and community as a Bayhawk at Bellingham High School.