Since I'm such a fan of Star Ginger, I don't know why it took me so long to check out the mother ship of Mai Pham's dining establishments, Lemon Grass Restaurant. But yesterday, I finally had lunch at Lemon Grass, and it did not disappoint.
As with Mai Pham's other restaurants, the menu at Lemon Grass indicates which items are vegetarian or can be made vegetarian. In looking at the list of ingredients for each vegetarian dish, it appears that they are vegan as well. My friend Kristine and I started with the Crispy Veggie Rolls, which are filled with shredded taro, carrots, wood ear mushrooms, green onions, and herbs, and served with lettuce and basil leaves in which to wrap the rolls and lime-soy dipping sauce. These were very tasty, and a nice start to the meal.
For my main course, I had the Ginger Tofu Salad, which consisted of fried cubes of tofu, green beans, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and fresh basil, with a roasted chili-soy vinaigrette. The tofu was fried to a perfect golden brown and the vegetables were cooked to just the right level of crispness.
Other vegan items on the Lemon Grass lunch menu include Garden Rolls, made of soft rice paper-wrapped tofu, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and mint; Vegetable Stir-Fry on Cool Rice Noodles with shiitake mushrooms, tofu, vegetables, herbs, and roasted peanuts; Su Co's Delight, which is tofu, baby bok choy, broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms sautéed in shallot-soy broth; and Monk's Curry, which consists of tofu, kabocha squash, broccoli, zucchini, and carrots in a mild Thai yellow curry sauce. The dinner menu at Lemon Grass includes a special vegetarian section with some of the same items that are on the lunch menu, plus a few additional items.
Lemon Grass Restaurant is located at 601 Munroe Street, just behind Loehmann's Plaza. Their phone number is 916-486-4891, and their website address is http://www.starginger.com/lg-restaurant.php. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They are open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.