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Thai Lemongrass, Van Dorn Station - Neighborhood Thai on Edsall Road and S. Van Dorn Street

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I don't mind Sakulthai, either, as a neighborhood Thai place.

One thing I like is that they have Salted Fish Fried Rice which I can't seem to find many places. And it is good, although they don't add the chicken breast which seems to always be in the dish at Chinese restaurants. (Anyone know of any other places with it?)

Their tom kah kai was pretty good when I had a cold, as well.

I will say, though, that I like the vegetable fried rice at Thai Lemon Grass further down Van Dorn better. That's the one in the Van Dorn int'l strip mall.

Thai Lemongrass was recommended to me by a Thai gentleman as a simple, unfussy place for weeknight-carryout Thai food. I had dinner there this evening, and that was my impression: a decent neighborhood restaurant, worth your Tuesday-night dining dollar, but not something you'd travel for.

Everything on the menu is marked with a maximum of one chili pepper (one being mild), with the scale on the bottom noting that the dishes can be ordered with two (medium), three (hot), or four (very hot).

Spicy Squid Salad ($6.95, ordered medium) came with all body meat, nicely scored, and not overcooked. The thin sauce had the roasted flavors of a chipotle-based salsa, and seemed to get the majority of its heat from a powder.

I was impressed with the Tod Mun ($6.95), fried shrimp cakes which often come in uniform disks, but these were much more irregular, and hot out of the fryer. The cucumber in the salad showed a similar spirit in knifework as the scored squid.

The Thai Lemon Grass Steak ($12.95) was five strips of a tough, flankish sirloin, marinated in herbs with a soy-based dipping sauce. Ordered medium-rare, that's exactly how it was served, but this was the one clunker of the evening.

Mus-Sa-Mun Chicken ($10.95, ordered hot) is a southern Thai yellow curry with redskin (!) potatoes (*), onion, thick-cut carrot, and roasted peanuts that were pan-fried separately and added on top of the dish. Incidentally, I believe Mus-Sa-Mun is a similar word to the French <<Musulmans>>, which means Muslim (there is a large Muslim population in Southern Thailand).



(*) For those of you who don't know, redskin potatoes are potatoes that don't perform very well when they're on the same field as giant potatoes.

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We stopped in for lunch last week - my advice would be to skip the 'lunch box specials' - or at least the chicken (or pork) with ginger and spring onions and the chicken (or pork or beef) with mixed vegetables. They were both overly sweet, with runny, thin sauces, and seemed more like so-so attempts at Chinese. Perhaps the Pad Thai and the Thai Curry would have been better choices from the lunch menu, or anything from the regular menu. A table of Thai diners had much more interesting (and tasty) looking dishes. I'm not in a rush to go back, but if I do, I'll order more carefully.

The service was very nice and the setting is clean and cheery (even if the parking lot is crazy).

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