I have fond memories of Cedars in the U District from my college days. It was widely known as one of the best restaurants in the area. It's not that expensive, but back in those penny pinching days I only got to go there once or twice, and was impressed. However a few years and many more restaurants later, I was disappointed to find thier food merely good, and not outstanding like I remembered. Except for the Chai
Yes, the Chai is the reason to go there. For $1.50, you get a bottomless cup of their wonderful Chai, a delicate and mildly sweet spiced milk beverage. It's not at all like Chai you can get at Starbucks, and it's got that addictive quality. On this visit, I managed to down at least four cups. The food, on the other hand, was okay, but not really worth the drive across the lake. The Tika Masala was fine, but Kanishka's in downtown Redmond is much better. We tried a combination plate with all sorts of mediterranian grilled meats and stuffed grape leaves, which were kind of bland and not as good as I expected. The Garlic Nan was good, but the pita bread that came with the hummus plate looked like it came from the Safeway across the street. What's up with that? Also the Baklava for dessert was good, but again I've had better.
Service was also pretty spotty. I think Cedar's ought to focus on one cuisine type and do it well, instead of being mediocre at so much. Besides the Chai, it's not really worth driving across the lake for.Bottom Line: Great Chai, but just so-so at everything else.