rating star

I was greeted with a blank, uninviting expression and no words of welcome by one of the waiters when I entered the restaurant. The other looked at me obliquely with a really unusual expression that could be described as aloof and quirky. No smiles here.

I appreciated that the menu made note that some dishes contain egg and milk, and those that contain egg are marked as such, though in nearly microscopic print which is rotated 60 degrees from normal reading direction. No magnifying glass accompanied the menu.

The restaurant takes cash only so I had to swing by the Chinese grocery, buy some organic soba, and do a cash back transaction to pay for my take out dinner from Lu Lai. I wasn't asked if I wanted rice with my order, an obvious omission a good waiter should address when a restaurant doesn't automatically include rice with entrees as is unfortunately the case here. My take out order was handed to me with no rice and no utensil of any kind which is again a thoughtless oversight considering all the hotels in the area and the many transient forkless customers this restaurant must serve.

The dumplings (appetizer) included a very small amount of sauce, perhaps 2 tablespoons, that seemed to be nothing more than vinegar with red food coloring in it, very unpalatable. The dumplings themselves were bland and brought no pleasure to the taste buds.

Entree 1, Szechuan vegetarian shrimp with mushrooms, was advertised as a spicy dish. It was painfully sweet and greasy and hardly spicy at all. The coating on the shrimp and mushrooms convincingly imitated the consistency and taste of chicken skin, which was truly unpleasant. I peeled the coating off the veggie shrimp to get at them but didn't bother trying to extract the mushrooms which were outweighed 3 to 1 by their slimy coating and got lost in it.

Entree 2, Black Pepper Beef, again advertised as a spicy dish, was a puddle of nondescript brown sauce, certainly not at all spicy, which reminded me of turkey TV dinners I had decades ago. Very little to distinguish the sauce from any other gravy. Salty and greasy with overcooked vegetables that looked and tasted like the stringy stems and remnants left after the best parts of the veggies were taken to prepare a real dish. The veggie meat swimming in the sauce was generic in flavor.

Nothing to recommend here other than convenient location right off highways 880 and 237 and assurance that the food is vegetarian.

Write your review