The signing and the Christmas lights leave a little bit to be desired…and the strip mall was moderately decrepit…with a few empty storefronts.
Looks can be deceiving… The good news is that the inside of the restaurant was warm and inviting with dark woods and relatively soft lighting… There weren't very many customers when we arrived. It was an early dinner for us and it was Sunday. Business picked up later and a number of patrons came by to pick up their take out orders as well.
(Missing Photo)We eagerly started out with a 3-item appetizer that was off the menu… Sorry for the missing photo! For folks who like to blog about food, you’d think that we’d learn to take our photos before demolishing a combination platter full of tasty goodies. The platter included Lettuce Wraps with Shrimp, really nice Spring Rolls and 2 other lightly fried rolls that I didn’t catch the name of. This appetizer was served with both a tamarind and a peanut sauce for dipping. When we finally remembered to take the photo, the remnants were too far gone to publish! This was a great appetizer platter…really tasty…apparently too tasty for amateur food bloggers!
This may be a Thai restaurant…but when we saw the Sushi chef and his set-up, just waiting for a customer, we decided to throw some of our business his way.
First we ordered California Rolls, (left), with crab meat, cucumber and avocado. Then we added an order of Tuna Rolls with Cream Cheese. (right) The results were nice, although I thought that the Wasabi was either too diluted or mild. Still, with the ginger, it all worked well together.
Laurie ordered the Crispy Duck Breast in a spicy yellow curry with Jasmine Rice. Her dinner came with pieces of pineapple and bell peppers…and it was spicy as described. The slices of duck breast were delicious! (I can attest to that fact) Laurie enjoyed this entrée, but after all of the other food we’d had and we wanted to share a dessert, she couldn’t come close to finishing all of this food. (Note to the file…leftover Crispy Duck Breast in curry sauce doesn’t work out too well)
When it was my turn, I chose the Pad-Prik-King…stir fried white meat chicken and fresh string beans with red curry paste and flavored with kafir lime leaves. Of course, I ordered it “Hot” or, as shown on the menu, 3 hot peppers. I also had the Jasmine Rice (Note: Brown Rice is $1.00 extra) The spice level was right the entrée was very nice indeed. However, I also utilized a take home box… (My entrée made for a nice lunch the next day)
Well, as long as we were here and Laurie had saved a bit of room thanks to her take home box, we ordered a dessert to share. This was the Fried Banana & Ice Cream… drizzled with honey. Yummy!
We will be coming back to Lemon Grass! The food was good, the ambience was warm and comfortable, and the service was very efficient and pleasant. There is no doubt that we over-ordered…but hey, it had been a long time since we’d had a taste of Thailand or Sushi for that matter!
A little chart or guide is provided on the menu that lets you pick the heat level for your food. One Pepper is ‘Mild’, two peppers are ‘Medium’, three peppers are ‘Hot’, (i.e., glow to fire but the exotic flavors come though), and ‘Thai’, for the ‘heat addict’ and Thai Nationals.
Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM. On Friday and Saturday, dinner is served until 11:oo PM. Dinner is served on Sunday from 12:00 Noon until 10:00 PM. Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar is at 9117 Executive Park Drive in Knoxville, Tennessee. The phone number is 865-539-8059. Website: www.lemongrassknox.com.