When the food moves you to "clean your plate," it's probably a good sign the kitchen is working above basic expectations to produce a good meal. Lemongrass Thai Cafe is the first in my series of cleaned plate reviews(CPRs) that celebrate food so good, it motivates you to finish all of it. This CPR focuses on the simplicity of great Thai food and how a back-to-basics interpretation can produce outstanding results with the right ingredients and insights.
I am a slave to Thai food. I really appreciate the effort from kitchens that embrace the freshness notion and deliver it in every dish. With Lemongrass Thai, it means a smaller selection, but the results are worth a stop.
Tucked away in a tiny strip-mall on the fringe of a college town, the restaurant has no curb appeal. Once inside, you realize the investment in the business is not in the dining room. The aroma lofting out of the kitchen is your cue to trust your instincts. Lemongrass is the theme for several menu items, but there is enough diversity in the offerings. Fresh salad rolls, Tom Yum Soup, Lemongrass Stir Fry and the Pad Kee Mow were the plates we cleaned.
The crowd was young and local. Most seemed like they knew the staff and menu. They have a full liquor license along with familiar and unusual Thai beer. The food came out fast and hot and very flavorful. Staff were helpful with suggestions and we saw quite a bit of take-out activity. This clean plate restaurant is an easy pick.