Case in point (see preceding post): The Lemongrass Cafe. Everyone said we “had” to try it. Even a palate as sophisticated as Dr. Pat Moreo’s (major domo/Dean at the Hospitality School at UNLV) said it was a find. And it was…somewhat tough to find tucked away in a defunct Five and Diner at that shopping center on the Northeast corner of Eastern and the I-215.
But find it we did, first for a feast with the good Doc, wife Rosalie and friends, then twice more in rapid succession to see what all the shoutin’s about.
And it was good. Very good. And in taste…exactly like the last fifteen Vietnamese restaurants we’ve been to.
We liked the fact that it (along with some other Asian restaurants around town) took over one of those abandoned diners. We also liked the pho, and the bun, and the goi cuon (spring rolls) and the 7 courses of beef — that were truncated to 6 because of some unavoidable beef emergency that wasn’t made too clear to us by our well-meaning waiter.
The same waiter went bananas when he saw us pouring our Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk into my glass of ice before thoroughly mixing the two. We tried to explain that’s the way we like it — the gooey milk goes to the bottom of the glass where we carefully balance the bitter to sweet ratio — but the good fellow would have none of it, and furiously stirred everything up, chastising us all along for our (apparent) breach of Vietnamese coffee etiquette.
Another time, our waitress looked like she had just come from a cocktail party (backless, short red dress, lots of makeup, black cfm pumps) — at noon.
On our last visit, three different people came to take our order, and we figured out that who actually brings it to you is a constant crapshoot.
Coming from a long line of Greek waiters, we at ELV are more than acquainted with haphazard, family-run operations. In our book, amateurish service is more than forgivable as long as it’s done with a smile and the best intentions — and here it is.
Once the food arrives — sometimes quickly, sometimes less so — you won’t be disappointed, but neither will you be thrilled.
As with all Vietnamese pho parlors, the food here is criminally cheap. The 7 (or 6) courses of beef for two people at $25 is a steal.
8820 South Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89123