Chef Blanca Rodriguez in the bar of Pimienta Bistro & Bar, located at 34029 Hoyt Road SW, Suite C in Federal Way.

Chef Blanca Rodriguez in the bar of Pimienta Bistro & Bar, located at 34029 Hoyt Road SW, Suite C in Federal Way.

Why did you decide to open a restaurant in Federal Way?

Q&A with local restaurant owners.

Pac Island Grill (2012 S. 320th St. Suite H)

David Landon, co-owner of Federal Way’s Pac Island Grill, knows the power of good food and family spirit. He recently answered questions about Pac Island Grill, a family owned and operated restaurant since 2005 — and one of Federal Way’s most delicious hidden gems

Q: Why did you decide to open a restaurant in Federal Way?

A: “The dream was to have a place that we could share our style of comfort food and the Aloha spirit that comes along with that. Since we decided to put down our roots and call Federal Way home, it only made sense that the Pac Island Grill be here too!”

Q: What is your favorite part of operating a restaurant/working in Federal Way?

A: “Being able to work with family and (still) living the dream that we started 16 years ago and counting. Creating lasting bonds with so many of our guests throughout the years and the community support and regular customers that keeps us going through both the good and the tough times. It’s having families and their kids that were playing with crayons come back to celebrate their graduation from UW 15 years later! We look forward to welcoming new guests that hopefully will enjoy what we created and keep coming back as well. I also really enjoy the 8-10 minute commute to our home in Twin Lakes.”

Q: What are your most popular menu items?

A: “The BBQ Loli-Loli Chicken & Slow Smoked Kalua Pork are our two most popular entrees. The Ahi Poke or Spam musubi are also wonderful pu-pus but I recommend (a great way to feed a crew is) our Ohana Sampler which includes Family sized portions of the Loli and Kalua as well as Katsu Chicken, Gyoza, Steamed Rice, Island Slaw and Auntie Mama’s Mac Salad. Don’t forget to leave room for a slice of our Pineapple Upside down cake or Haupia Pie.”

Pimienta (34029 Hoyt Road SW)

Opened in 2010, Pimienta Bar and Bistro is a fusion of Latin American and European cuisine located in Federal Way. Chef and owner Blanca Rodriguez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised with a passion for food that she learned from her mother.

Rodriguez said she opened Pimienta Bar and Bistro in Federal Way because she thought the city needed something fresh. Since opening, Rodriguez has found the community to be very supportive, even throughout the pandemic.

Rodriguez’s favorite dish at the restaurant is the scallops. Visitors will find a variety of options on the menu, including a unique spin on tapas: Dinners Around the World, a four-course meal offered every third Wednesday and Thursday of the month from January through October.

East India Grill (31845 Gateway Center Blvd S.)

Kabal Gill opened East India Grill, located in Federal Way, in July 2009. Gill chose Federal Way for its community and peaceful location.

East India Grill’s menu is filled with authentic, flavorful dishes created by Gill. East India Grill also is not currently offering its daily lunch buffet, however their catering is still available.

East India Grill has won Federal Way Mirror Best of Federal Way every year from 2016-2021.

Melody Boba House (31406 Pacific Highway S.)

If you’re looking for a sweet treat in Federal Way, Melody Boba House is a necessary trip. Melody Yujin Choe opened the dessert cafe in February 2019 and fans have flocked to milk teas, smoothies, cakes, soft serve and other delights.

Q: What’s your favorite part of doing business in Federal Way?

A: “This city has very diverse population and it’s very rewarding to see people of different color and age enjoy our desserts.”

Q: Why did you decide to open a restaurant in Federal Way?

A: “I grew up in Federal Way all my life and I just wanted to give back to my community by serving yummy desserts.”

Q: What are your most popular menu items?

A: “Our shaved ice is a must and also bubble waffles with ice cream!”


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Co-owner David Landon shows off dishes from Pac Island Grill. Courtesy photo

Co-owner David Landon shows off dishes from Pac Island Grill. Courtesy photo

Melody Yujin Choe. Courtesy photo

Melody Yujin Choe. Courtesy photo

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