22205 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA
VALUE - 9
When it comes to good food, I do not discriminate between fine dining establishments and just great hole-in-the-walls (HITW). This is the latter. If you're just looking for plain 'ol good Asian food, Lemongrass has to be at the top of your list. Aside from having some of the best Thai dishes I've ever tasted and great portions, the prices alone can make it worth your while. As far as HITWs go, this is one of my favorites.
TASTE - 9
This is Thai food made by Thai people for Thai people. Surprisingly authentic for a HITW establishment, I always leave satisfied. I have been to this place so often that I've pretty much ordered everything on their menu. You will gorge yourself. If you're a waify supermodel, don't even bother coming here. Your heart can't take it. The tom kah kai is creamy and substantial, with just the perfect amount of heat. The seafood curry is a hearty oceanic delight chock-full of shrimp, crab, mussels, fish, squid and herbs. The prik king is savory with a kick. For people fortunate enough to be in-the-know, you will definitely order their special spicy catfish, hands down their best dish. Right off the wok, the catfish is crunchy, topped with a spicy-sweet curry sauce. One warning though, do not order this dish to go or for delivery. By the time you eat it, the sauce would've soaked in the fish into a soggy mess. This definitely does not do the dish justice! Of course, no Thai meal is complete without the Thai-iced tea. I know it's going straight to your thighs, but just get it! Guess what, they come in LARGE!
Amazingly, they also carry a plethora of good vegetarian dishes, a rarity in HITWs. Almost every menu item has a tofu or veggy counterpart.
PRESENTATION - 7
Because this is a HITW, I don't expect much. I'm just happy they serve the food in real dishes and silverware. Don't expect and creme brulee volcanoes.
AMBIANCE - 8
The place has a great casual, friendly atmosphere, perfect for conversation, as long as you don't mind seeing passersby through the window.
SERVICE - 8
The waitresses are cordial and will help Thai food virgins on picking the perfect dish.
WOULD I RETURN? - 10
Absolutely. I probably already went back as this review is being published. It's a hidden jem in the San Fernando Valley that truly transcends beyond its 7/11 strip mall location.
SOCIAL INTERACTION - 9
This is a great place to have a casual lunch or dinner with friends. They remember their regulars and treat them extra-special.
OVERALL RATING - 8.82
Lemongrass not only is one of my favorite HITWs, it has become a great fall back restaurant on days where I cannot risk dining on mediocrity. Every menu item is a hit time and time again. Anyone who enjoys plain good food must give this place a try.