Thou shall not lie...yah, I'm pretty dang sure that's one of those rules you should live by. Nobody likes to have their integrity questioned, but mine unfortunately was this past weekend when I took my husband to Lemongrass for his first time.
You see, I have dined at this Thai restaurant in Olympia, WA on five different occasions. Each time, Lemongrass has had it's pros (nice bathroom sink...yes, I just said nice bathroom sink, and excellent entree selections) and cons (sketchy service, dirty tables), but the food was generally quite delicious and I have been telling my husband I'd take him there for months.
My first experience was wonderful. Beautiful Asian art decorated the main dining area. The other dining room made me laugh a little. It reminded me of a Chinese disco with purple florescent lights that sent the bar a-glowing. Gam-bei!! I, along with several other friends ordered a variety of entrees such as the Honey Walnut Prawns, Lemongrass Chicken and Coconut Chicken. Prices generally range from $10-$15. You are able to order your dish using the spice-o-meter on the back of their menu. Mild to Thai hot. I like spice (cause that's how I roll) so I decided to order mine hot. I personally fell in love with the creamy, dreaminess of the Coconut Chicken and was amazed at how much I was able to steal off my friend's plate before she noticed. The chicken, which had a nice grilled flavor, and the veggies were cooked in a delicate coconut sauce. The Lemongrass chicken had a bold zing to it, but the chicken was a definitely overcooked. The Honey Walnut Prawns were a surprise for me. I generally do not like shrimp. I may have been scarred for life when I witnessed my husband throw back about a dozen shrimp cocktails in Mexico one year. Those poor lil' shrimpees!! Regardless, even though I have an aversion to them, I actually really liked this entree and was very pleased with the texture of the prawns and the pleasing flavor of the sauce.
On other visits, I have had the Chieng Mai Chicken Salad, which was delightfully refreshing, the Almond Chicken, which was dry and tasteless, and the Pad Thai...ok I guess, for a plate full of noodles.
With so many relatively positive experiences at Lemongrass, you would think it would have been a safe bet to take my hubby there for his birthday. I mean I have raved about this joint for months! Unfortunately, we must have hit Lemongrass on an off day and my integrity went right out the window. The Crab Wontons had hardly any filling to them and at $7.50 one would think they are getting more than a fried wonton. I ordered the Coconut Chicken and it still is a solid dish in my book. My husband ordered the Lemongrass Garden with beef. This dish was a real let down. The beef was tough and over cooked. Beef jerky anyone? The spice (hot) was just right, but unfortunately the amount of savory flavors did not make up for the sweetness of the canned pineapple used. It was prevalent through the dish and killed the sauce.
I still really like Lemongrass and will continue to dine there, but I cannot stress the importance of a restaurant providing consistent positive dining experiences. It only takes 2 or 3 negative ones to turn a customer away. Luckily my husband said he'll give it one more shot because he trusts my judgment and doesn't completely think I'm a big fat liar. That's love baby! Give Lemongrass a shot and hope you catch them on a delicious day!!