Grace Crocker, Staff Writer
MiSo Asian Bistro is a small, locally owned restaurant that has a signature menu with recommended specials as well as the ability to create your own custom dish. MiSo is less than a mile away from St. Martin’s University at 4514 Lacey Blvd SE, Lacey, WA 98503. Once you enter, you stand at the ordering counter, order your food and pay, and then seat yourself once the transaction is complete.
The seven specials are the Classic, which is made of steak, corn slaw, kimchi, field greens, and bibimbap sauce; the Seoulmate, made with chicken, greens, corn slaw, carrots, cabbage, and creamy sesame; the Dragon Bowl, which is comprised of curry, chicken, carrots, edamame, and wontons; the Tsunami, made with ahi tuna, cucumber, radish, corn slaw, carrots, and cucumber wasabi; the Evergreen, consisting of tofu, greens, cucumber, radish, corn slaw, carrots, cabbage, edamame, and creamy sesame; the Gangnam Style, made with crab, avocado, cucumber, and cucumber wasabi; and the Sumo, which is steak, corn slaw, wontons, cheese, and sweet teriyaki.
If you choose to customize your meal, you first need to pick your style of either rice bowl, nori wrap, salad, or a burrito. Then you can choose your protein, which can be either meat or vegetables. After that, you can pick toppings, which range from vegetables to cheese and wontons, with a sauce in the end.
There is also an option of adding extra snacks to your order, like chips and dip, miso soup, and mochi ice cream. The drink options are standard soft drinks, water, or bottled beverages along with hot honey ginger tea.
My friend Ryan Patterson and I went to MiSo on Sept. 27 at around 3:30 p.m. to get something to eat. There weren’t an overwhelming number of options on the menu, but enough to make the initial choice difficult. After some thought, Ryan and I both ordered the Sumo specialty, but I ate mine in a white rice bowl, whereas Ryan ate his in a spinach wrap in the form of a burrito. The price wasn’t too low or too high for an ordinary lunch meal, with $22 as the total for the both of us. The serving size wasn’t too large or too small, either. We were both able to eat our food in one sitting and within a reasonable amount of time, though Ryan’s burrito seemed huge. The steak was soft and flavorful, while the teriyaki added a kick of sweetness to the whole dish. I didn’t expect the shredded cheese or corn to go well with the beef and rice, but I was pleasantly surprised that the flavors all worked well together. Ryan agreed it was tasty and mentioned that he would like to visit again to try out more menu options.
The restaurant atmosphere is cozy and minimalistic. There weren’t too many people that came in after us, even on a Friday afternoon. The music that played seemed to have come from a standard radio station. The decorations that hung on the walls and atop dividers gave the restaurant an authentic Japanese feel, especially the hanging picture of what appears to be a sakura tree, just behind a bonsai. The red-painted walls helped bring the cultural theme together. Even after eating, Ryan and I sat and talked for a good while afterwards, feeling comfortable within the bistro and having no rush to leave. The employees are friendly, helpful, patient, and greet you as you arrive and exit.
MiSo Asian Bistro is also available through Uber Eats and a catering service. If you’re in the mood to try something new, craving Asian food, or want to support a local business, consider checking out MiSo.