Money Frog is permanently closed

photo credit: Nate Watters

Money Frog review image

Money Frog


1449 E Pine St, Seattle
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When you’re desperate for a last-minute group dinner spot on Capitol Hill, there are a few ways your night can go. You can waste most of your evening waiting for a table, continuously get turned away from place after place, or just give up altogether in favor of a greasy slice of pizza. Next time, use Money Frog to your advantage. This physically enormous pan-Asian restaurant located on the corner of Pine and 15th is never too crowded, despite just how precious that real estate is. And while the food isn’t as exceptional as their sister Laotian restaurant Taurus Ox, you’ll always walk away satisfied.

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

The menu has a lot to navigate, from steamy Tibetan chicken momo tossed in a chermoula-swirled tomato chutney to craggy fried frog legs with pickled fresno chilis and a maple fish sauce drizzle. And while the food covers a lot of ground, some items are just too complicated, like a bacon cheeseburger piled even higher with an entire battered soft shell crab. But there are some hits, like crisp green beans in a well-balanced sambal agave mustard with whipped tofu tahini, lemongrass grilled pork belly over rice with kimchi, and carbonara made with miki noodles and cured duck egg yolk. If your night leads you to Money Frog, stick to those dishes and you’ll have a great meal—but also know that there’s enough range on the menu to please a bunch of people who aren’t shy about their opinions.

Money Frog doesn’t have that buzzy Capitol Hill energy where the enthusiastic, unintelligible conversations of strangers become the night’s soundtrack. But the perpetually-snoozy dining room is exactly the reason you’re able to even get in without any advance notice, so it’s easy to look past that. Plus, if you fill a table with five friends who know how to make you snort-laugh between cocktail sips, that’s buzzy enough.

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Food Rundown

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Green Beans

This plate of green beans is Money Frog’s best dish. Tossed in sesame seeds and agave-sweetened sambal mustard (and served with tangy tofu tahini), it’s one of the greatest incarnations of string beans we’ve ever had. It’d give a French’s-topped Thanksgiving casserole seething jealousy.

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Chicken Momo

Tibetan momo are usually served with tomato chutney on the side, but at Money Frog, these chicken dumplings get tossed in the sauce like Frank's Red Hot on wings, resulting in a substantial amount of glossy chutney in every bite. Between that, the incredibly soupy filling, and splotches of bright chermoula, they're a must-order.

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Condensed Milk Pecan Prawns

These crackly, condensed milk-drizzled shrimp are fried in their shells, so proceed if you love prawns and don’t mind crunching on an exoskeleton. Otherwise, there are better small plates to be had.

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Duck Carbonara

If you want a comforting bowl of creamy pasta, this dish will do. The chewy miki noodles are coated well in a silky, eggy sauce, and we like the shredded duck incorporated throughout, even though some pieces are on the tough side.

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Grilled Pork Belly

A fluffy rice bowl complete with tart kimchi, a runny egg, slaw, and the guest of honor: lemongrass-rubbed grilled pork belly. This is a great option if you’re in the mood for a satisfying pork dish. Mix the egg and kimchi into the rice and enjoy.

Money Frog review image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Soft Shell Crab Burger

Plopping a fried soft shell crab on top of a bacon cheeseburger sounds like a surf-and-turf fever dream. And the crispy crab is certainly tasty. So is the burger patty. But the transitive property doesn’t work—the flavors and textures of both compete too much for us to fully appreciate the novelty. Not to mention that this thing is pretty impossible to eat without making a catastrophic mess on the table. Our advice? Skip this towering behemoth of a gimmick and order the soft shell crab on its own, which comes with sweet chili sauce, cucumber, and a Hawaiian roll to make your own slider.

Jaew Bong Bacon Cheeseburger

This (much smaller) burger is available during Happy Hour from 4-6pm, and contains no crab. Instead, there’s jaew bong mayo, bacon, and gooey yellow american, all on a toasted english muffin. Despite its strong breakfast sandwich energy and great taste, the meat itself is tough and overcooked. Head a few blocks down to sister spot Taurus Ox for their legendary burger instead.

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