Dining Out review: ChefJet
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays. 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays. 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Where: Ilani Casino Resort, 1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield.
Contact: 360-768-5452 or www.ilaniresort.com
Health score: The Ilani Casino Resort does not fall under the purview of Clark County Public Health.
Why: ChefJet provides fresh and flavorful modern Asian cuisine at the fast casual food restaurants located inside the Ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield. The menu offerings cover the essentials — vegetable and meat combinations, salads and appetizers.
What I tried: I settled on the teriyaki chicken with honey ginger slaw and vinegar cucumbers, and my dining companion had the Mongolian beef with lo mein with oyster sauce paired with sweet chili steamed vegetables. We both tried the miso glazed sweet potatoes, and we had the crab rangoon from the appetizers.
The teriyaki chicken consisted of breast with rib meat portions basted in teriyaki sauce, grilled and cut crosswise — similar to what is served at most other teriyaki establishments. An appetizing, char-grilled edge was present on some of the pieces, and the chicken was not dry. The slaw contained lettuce, cucumbers and carrots that were cut slaw-style and tossed in a gingery dressing, and the vinegar cucumber slices were slightly sweet and tangy with a little bit of snap around the edges. Both sides paired well with the chicken for a light, summery meal.
My dining companion noted that the Mongolian beef, stir-fried with red bell peppers and onions, was pleasantly lean. The steamed vegetables consisted of a colorful medley containing zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and broccoli. The vegetables were not overcooked, and the sweet chili sauce complemented the mix.
The highlight of our meal was the miso glazed sweet potatoes. The flavor of the sweet, savory glaze seemed to reach to the center of each slightly firm piece of potato. In the world of sweet potatoes, where brown sugar, butter and marshmallows are so commonly used in preparation, we found ChefJet’s recipe a welcome, delicious departure.
The crab rangoon appetizer is a trio of crispy, golden-brown wontons stuffed with a tablespoon of cream cheese and imitation crab.
Atmosphere: Like the other fast-casual dining restaurants at the casino, which are presented food court style, ChefJet is located on the west end of the building. A brick-faced wall with a colorful painted mural depicts Northwest bounty, and dining tables are paired with woven upholstered benches and chairs covered in a complimentary light green color. Lighting consists of contemporary pendant fixtures and halogen spots. Trash and tray receptacles are located at the entrance end of the court for diners to use.
Menu highlight beyond what I tried: During my visit, the menu also included prawns with oyster sauce available for an entree; chilled, sesame broccoli salad for a side; jasmine and brown rice for an entree base and vegetarian egg rolls and chicken pot stickers among the appetizers.
Other observations: The service was friendly and knowledgable about menu items. At ChefJet, diners selections are plated as they are chosen so there is no wait time. The food is made in small batches and replenished as it runs low. Bottled beverages are available to drink.
Cost: Appetizers are $2 to $6. Salads cost $9 to $14. A single entree combination is $9 and a double entree combination is $11.