Du’s Teriyaki a worthy hidden treasure

What is lacks in polish is made up for with quality food

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Dining out review: Du’s Teriyaki

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays.

Telephone: 360-694-6331

Where: 900 Grand Blvd., Vancouver.

Health score: Du’s Teriyaki received a score of 10 on June 30. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

Why: Du’s Teriyaki, located just north of Evergreen Boulevard on Grand Avenue, serves up teriyaki noodles, rice and a few American options six days a week for dining in or take out. The restaurant boasts that it serves “the best grilled teriyaki in town.” It is certainly among the aged restaurants in Clark County, and you sort of feel like you may have stumbled upon a good find in an unlikely place when you sit down for a meal in its humble dining room.

What I tried: I settled on the spring rolls, the spicy chicken, the vegetable yakisoba and the broccoli beef.

The spring rolls were piping hot from the fryer and served with a sweet chili teriyaki sauce for dipping. They were greasy, tasty and delicious. The ingredients within the wrap included rice noodles and chopped chicken, and the richly flavored dipping sauce was very complimentary to the rolls.

The spicy chicken is a must-have if you like incredibly spicy food. Stay away from it if you do not though, because it is that hot! I wanted to try it to gauge Du’s definition of “spicy.” The chicken was tender and juicy, but I could not taste it past the spice. It is served on a bed of rice and a traditional teriyaki restaurant iceberg salad with that sweet mayonnaise and rice vinegar dressing. The lettuce was crispy and watery fresh.

The vegetable mix-ins for the yakisoba were mostly broccoli, cabbage and celery, and the noodles were cooked just right. I enjoyed this dish and appreciated the freshness of the vegetables.

The beef in the beef broccoli dish was very thin, somewhat shaved, similar to what you find at a Mongolian grill. The beef was drizzled with a savory brown sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, and the broccoli flowerets were fresh and not overly soft.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: House specials include a chicken teriyaki sandwich with fries and a cheeseburger with fries. Chinese dishes represent the popular orange chicken, sweet and sour chicken, general chicken and chicken fried rice. Chicken, pork, beef, shrimp and salmon are the protein choices on the menu. Udon, bibimbap and hot and spicy noodle soup are on the menu. Shrimp tempura, pot stickers, fries and kimchi round out the side options.

Atmosphere: Du’s does not have the luster and modern refinement of the newer teriyaki establishments. The masonry block exterior walls are painted red with the grout lines in white to resemble giant bricks. The entrance door is a common house door with an oval window; inside, the walls are white, accented by red, trimmed archways between the two main dining rooms. Tables are dressed in classic red checkered tablecloths and chairs are cherry wood with black upholstered seats. There is a TV for entertainment and just a few framed prints on the walls in addition to food posters.

Other observations: The service was very friendly and polite, and the food arrived fast with portions and quality worthy of the cost. Though the restaurant shows its age, the atmosphere is quaint and surfaces are clean. Catering is available.

Cost: Entrees cost $6.50 to $9.45. Noodle dishes are $6 to $8.25. Bento and bowls range from $5.95 to $11.25. Teriyaki combos are $8.50 to $9.25. Chinese dishes are $6.50 and $6.95. House specials are $5.50 to $7.50 and sides are $3 to $4.50.