FTLToday Quik Bite - Lemongrass Asian Bistro, Oakland Park
(Lemongrass Asian Bistro - Ft. Lauderdale)
I've driven by Lemongrass Asian Bistro countless times. It's located on US1, just North of Oakland Park Blvd and is a free standing building. In this part of Ft. Lauderdale/Oakland Park that is rare (most seem to reside in a strip-mall). We stopped in on Friday since we had a taste for sushi.
(Lemongrass - patio dining area)
Upon entering, we were greeted and sat immediately. We seemed to be a little early (around 6PM) and we pretty much had our choice of 'inside' or 'outside'. They have an outside patio that looked quite large and really nicely put together…but August in Florida isn't the best time to eat outside of the A/C. They have a sushi bar you can sit at or at one of the many tables inside. The restaurant looks very comfortable with some soothing colors and looks a little 'trendy' without being too pretentious.
(Lemongrass - Sushi Bar and inside)
(Lemongrass - Diningroom)
(Lemongrass - window overlooks patio dining area)
Our server greeted us right away with menus and took our drink order. No Saki for us…only iced tea and soda. She gave us some time to look over the menu and kept checking back with us to see if we had questions. The menu is quite large…so if you are new to this restaurant…you will probably need the time to look it over. They have sushi rolls, sashimi and soups (appetizer and noodle soups). They also have some entrées that span the Asian spectrum (from Chinese to Thai to Japanese). After looking over the menu we went for an appetizer soup each and 2 sushi rolls.
The server checked back on our drinks…and kept Jeff's iced tea filled. He actually liked the tea and found out it is a 'blend' and the server was quite excited to tell him about it. Everyone we had met at this restaurant was very friendly and helpful. One of the owners/chefs even went around the dining room and checked with each table to see how their meal was going.
Our soups came out first. They were served in bowls rather than 'cups' that you might find in other Asian restaurants. I ordered the Wonton Soup and Jeff went for the Tom Yum Seafood soup. The wonton soup contained cabbage and asparagus and the broth tasted a little different than your typical 'Chinese' version. The wontons were soft and the meat had a slight spice to it and were made with chicken. I liked it. The only thing we would change on the soup…is the spoon. It was a regular 'soup' spoon and this is the kind of soup that should be served with an Asian Soup Spoon.
(Lemongrass - Wonton Soup)
Jeff's Tom Yum Seafood soup has lots of fresh seafood and also was spicy. Calamari, muscles, tilapia and shrimp with cilantro and tomato in a lemongrass broth made for a great hearty soup that was quite filling. This soup is also served as a noodle soup…which is a few dollars more…but is served in a large bowl and would probably be a nice meal portion. Everything was very fresh in the soup and Jeff liked it (but wanted a different spoon).
(Lemongrass - Tom Yum Seafood Soup)
We ordered the Lemongrass sushi roll and the Extreme Rainbow Sushi Roll. The presentation was nice and the rolls were actually quite large.
The Lemongrass roll contained salmon tempura, eel, cream cheese, avocado, inside out with fish eggs. It was very tasty and the tempura was fresh and crisp.
(Lemongrass - Extremely Rainbow roll and Lemongrass roll - sushi)
The Extremely Rainbow roll - kani, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese and sesame seeds topped with assorted raw fish was really good. Each roll was extremely fresh and tasted really good. The fish was really fresh. This was actually one of my favorite sushi experiences in Ft. Lauderdale. They rolls were tight and held together (even for the novice chopstick user) and the portion was just right. Overall we really liked Lemongrass Asian Bistro. It feels like a hidden spot for locals (even though they have a few other locations around South Florida), and the service and quality of food was great. The menu is large enough that you can keep trying new items and not get bored for quite some time too. We'll definitly go back.
(Lemongrass - the bill)
The prices are not that bad here…but your bill can add up if you are not careful. Oh...no free refills on soda
Lemongrass Asian Bistro location:
3811 North Federal Highway
Oakland Park, FL
FTLToday Score: B (to B+)