Moonlight Cafe's Vegetarian Sesame "Beef" Has a Magnetic Pull on Me

I've Been Eating It for a Decade, and I'm Still Not Sick of It


Moonlight is a treasure, but I'll never understood why they removed the karaoke. They had a serious setup - stage, light bar, projection TV, etc. I still remember the backing video for "Born to be Wild" was comprised of natural disasters, animals attacking, and a dude on a Harley. Wireless mics for everyone who wanted them. Without it it might be a more pleasant place to eat, but I'm sure with legal weed, it would have been worth it for the holistic bizarre experience.
Hey Sarah,

I have peddled past Moonlight Cafe a number of times on my bike but never stopped in.

And here is my "beef" with them: the signage is dirty and looks crappy. And for ME that reflects on the restaurant and what might be inside. So I have never gone there because of that. Look at that sign you posted on the Stranger, it's totally gross. All stained and disgusting.

When I see that I imagine the kitchen might reflect the sign. Maybe it's superclean and amazing on there. But I don't want to eat there and possibly get whatever botulism their sign has. Because that sign looks to me like they don't care.

I know my architectural/signage sensibilities might be petty in regards to the food they serve. I see they have lots of nice Yelp ratings. But can't they get a fkkin' power washer out there and clean up the damn thing?

Seriously, a clean sign could attract a lot of new customers to the venue. I don't think I am the only one that is put off by their icky signage and passed them by.

Or maybe I'm just a solitary weirdo with a snobbish graphic design background who cares about how signage presents itself to the public. but fk, that's who I am!!! Clean up your sign!

ATTRACT customers! Don't repel them with a gross sign! Give some juice to your presentation FFS!

All said, I loved your review, I'm a vegetarian and like finding good restaurants that cater to my fare. So I will stop in regardless of their disgusting signage and the possibility of botulism thru signage osmosis.

I hope you pass this message on to the owners of Moonlight Café and they will power wash their sign!

@1 They used to serve alcohol and had karaoke for that clientele. There were problems with drunken fights, so the family that owned it got tired of the business and sold the restaurant to the cook, and the new owners chose to not serve alcohol and didn't buy the karaoke equipment, possibly because they were high end $$$ stuff.

@2 Not going to happen, this is an (immigrant) mom - and -pop - and - kids - roped - in to work at the family's restaurant place. Food is reliably good, prices are extremely cheap, service is minimal. If you want clean signage for hipsters' and yuppies' sensitivity, go to Monsoon, Tamarind or head to Bellevue for the Asian "fusion" places. People go Moonlight because cheap, good, and lots of vegetarian choices that are more than tofu, grains and seeds. There's gluten of course, but also bamboo, lotus, water chestnuts, taro, jicama, several different types of rice noodles and flour, many herbs and Asian vegetables and seafood.
The former owners were extremely clean. They even boiled the flat wear and chopsticks. I don't know how clean the new people are. They've not had any problems with people getting sick from salmonella, botulism, E Coli, Hep A, unlike Nordstrom, Chipotle, Jack in the Box etc.
You clearly haven't traveled much, nor associated with people who are not like you often. Moonlight is not one of my favorite restaurants, because the servers can be glum and surly. But you might consider that poor/immigrants/low profit margin businesses might =/= unsanitary.

Do remember to tip cash, often at these immigrants' businesses, the servers don't get the tips charged on credit cards.

that sign needs a scrubbing
Hey @3, thanks for the history. It's nice to know a little about places in the community, and people rarely think to write this stuff down...
Rita @2: Where were you peddling from, Bellevue? Go to McDonalds. They have shiny signs, super clean. Food tastes like shit and they are a principal contributor to deforestation and climate change, but oh! those clean signs!!
Oh, and please don't stop in to Moonlight. It's awesome as is, and they don't need your snottiness.
Love this place. Go with a crowd and get an array of "meat" to sample.
@3 Thank you. For both parts of your reply. Spot on.

Moonlight is the best.