Lemongrass Grill –
80 University Place,
New York, NY 10030

Ladies and gentleman, friends and acquaintances,
loyal readers and casual
browsers all, I come bearing a bit of good news –
and exceptionally great
news if you are fans of Thai cuisine.

There is, at this moment in time, in a tiny corner
of the area near Union
Square on University Place, a formidable presence
in
the world of Thai
cuisine. The name of the establishment is the
Lemongrass Grill, and seldom
has so much been offered in a package so simple.

Indeed, "simple" is the thought that first enters
your brain as you are
welcomed by the exceptionally friendly staff (more
on the hospitality
later). However, as you gaze upon the bar and then
the dining area, and as
your view shifts to the tall shoots of bamboo
strategically placed
throughout the restaurant to convey space and
comfort, you start to
appreciate the subtlety of the restaurant.

The menu offers selections that further emphasize
the "simple-but-strong"
approach the restaurant takes towards Thai food.
The
appetizer and entrée
choices are focused, mostly requiring you to decide
whether you are in the
mood for chicken, beef or shrimp. Dishes worth
trying are the enticing curry
puffs and the steamed dumplings that display a nice
blend of pork and shrimp
or vegetables. There is also a grilled chicken
entrée offered on their
special lunch menu that would make anyone gain a
new
respect for how well
grilled chicken can be prepared. Combined with the
fact that the chicken is
slathered with some of the most delicious
peanut-based sauce you can find in
the city, this meal is definitely a steal at only
$10.

The traditional Thai curry dishes are also expertly
done, such as the pad thai.
The portions of all entrées are more than
generous, and many a patron
would be hard-pressed to finish their entire plate.

There is an excellent sake selection, including, of
course, lemongrass
coconut sake, because what would a restaurant
with
"lemongrass" in the title
can be excused for not carrying lemongrass
coconut
sake. The wine selection
by comparison is rather basic, and not quite worth
the prices.

Now we come to the aforementioned hospitality of
the
staff. Everyone, from
server to bartender to host is as polite as they can
be, which is to say
they are only slightly less polite than, say, the
service you would expect
at the Burj al Arab in Dubai. In fact, if you happen
to drop your napkin, a
server will cross the entire length of the dining
area to pick it up for you
before you can do so yourself, rather than let you
inconvenience yourself.
Miraculously, the gesture feels welcome and
pleasant
rather than forced and
awkward (ask for Kim).

The dessert selection is what you would expect
from
a Thai restaurant, with
coconut ice cream (with shavings) and Thai iced
tea.
However, the green tea
ice cream is not to be missed. Rarely does one
compare green tea ice cream
to the depth, complexity and sheer pleasure of dark
chocolate.

The Lemongrass Grill is an ideal location for a
regular lunch and the
occasional dinner. Even though it may be located
near the deeper waters of
Union Square, it is definitely making waves in Thai
cuisine, a reminder of
strength and finesse in its simplicity.
Neighborhood:
Manhattan/Greenwich Village
80 University Place
(between 11th St & 12th St)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 604-9870

Nearest Transit:
Union Square (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q,
R, W)

14th St-6th Aves (F, V, L, 1, 2,
3)

9th Street (PATH)

anonymous

In my opinion I personally
think that this reataurant is
spectacular i would go there
and take all my friends there.
There's always good food and
friendly smiles. The Pad Thai is
the best but i think my favorite
dish would have to be the Thai
Garlic Chicken Sauce dish. It
savors in your mouth for hours
on end until you go back to the
restaurant to eat more. I go to
Manhattan every weekend just
to eat this amazing food.

From Timout.com
Brought to us by the owner of
the Sushi Hana and
Lemongrass Grill chains, Izu
specializes in Japanese bar
food: a selection of traditional
Izakaya fare like buta kakuni
(braised pork with potato and
onion in a thick soy broth) and
maguro natto, a
love-it-or-hate-it dish of
fermented soybeans and tuna.
Less intrepid diners can fill up
on yakitori skewers and
teriyaki plates while wannabe
warblers can have their
karaoke and eat, too: The
downstairs lounge has a full
menu and your choice of
private karaoke rooms.









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The New York Optimist
January2009