If you are craving Chinese but there are people in your party who shy away from restaurants that look a little run down (i.e. most restaurants in the ID) they will not fear the Gourmet Noodle Bowl. It is in a newer building shared with the ID library branch. Feel free to judge this book by its cover, the interior and exterior of the building are easy on the eyes and will not scare anyone off, no matter how picky they might be.
The hot pot at the Gourmet Noodle Bowl offers three different choices, plain, bbq or spicy broth. Both the plain and bbq are delicious but the bbq side of the pot seems to disappear at a much faster rate than the plain. The waitress set up our hot plate and brought out a large pan of broth split down the middle with a divider separating the bbq and plain broth. Following this came all the adornments. This included a bowl of minced garlic, chopped green onions, cilantro, satay dressing, two types of noodles, chinese cabbage, enoki mushrooms, chop suey greens, tofu (fried, in the pot as well as fresh, on the plate), thinly sliced pork and thinly sliced beef. It was a generous supply of food and the waitress replenished the noodles and asked if we wanted more meat as well. We were just charged for two adult servings of hot pot even though our kids were there eating too (hence the extra noodles).
The pork bun (pictured below) was delicious, accented with greens, cilantro, a tangy satay sauce and flavorful meat. The bun was a light doughy texture which contrasted nicely with the moist easily shreddable meat, fresh greens and sweet tangy sauce all acting as a perfect compliment to each other.
After going there to eat with some friends, I went back the next day for lunch with my family. I had to let my husband experience it because I knew he would love it. He came out of there saying it was the best chinese food he has ever eaten in Seattle. This was followed up by a conversation with a friend who sent him a long list of other restaurants we need to try before we make such a bold statement but irregardless, it is worth a visit.