Gingergrass - PK's Review W/Photos
7.26.06 - Wednesday, 12:30 PM
Moi + Noah
Mmmmm Vietamese food. I love the fresh veggies, spring rolls, pho, and minty/citrusy goodness. I guess there are other sides to this culinary world, and Gingergrass delivers.
It's an interesting, unfinished looking space with no frills, but I like it. Loud as all get-out on a busy weekday afternoon, but I don't mind - the hearing is totally shot. Yet.
Service was consistent and non-evasive - great for a lunchtime buzz, as everyone seemed rushed. I loved the very fresh and yummy sounding menu, loaded with unique ingredients (Asian jackfruit, pickled veggies, etc.) and all priced super duper reasonably.
My hat's off to the uniqueness, and to the inexpensive dishes here. I was not at all impressed with the spring rolls (which I was gleeful about ordering) or the vibrant flavors. But I would absolutely return, for another go-round, minus the rolls.
My full review with pretty pictures: http://omgfood.blogspot.com
RESTAURANT REPORT CARD
Ambiance - B-
Service - B-
Food (Taste) - B-
Food (Presentation) - B-
Wine/Drinks - C
Value - B+
Vibe/Energy/Scene - C+
Overall Experience - B-
If you are a fan of vietnamese food, you either (a) cant like Gingergrass or (b) like the food there but admit its hardly Vietnamese.
There are so many authentic vietnamese places in los angeles that its almost a travesity to call Gingergrass Vietnamese.
The one time i ate there, i asked the waiter if they made the pho with everything in it (the one that is always #1 on a pho restaurants menu...with tendon, beef, flank, etc) and he said "no...but you dont want to eat that". At that point i was pretty much done with him and the place. Thanks for telling me what i want to eat...and by virtue of the fact that you are shocked that someone would ask for that, you are clearly not very vietnamese.
Sorry...it really bugged me.
My impression of Gingergrass is that it's fine for a neighborhood place -- it'll do in a pinch, but it's not anything worth traveling for. Actually, Thai Taste over on Fletcher appeals to similar palates (Americanized SE-Asian) but has more complexity and flavor for about the same price.
I like Gingergrass because it is very reasonably priced, veg-friendly, Americanized Asian food. It's nothing to rave about, but everything is very fresh and that's important to me!
I have two questions:
why would you give wine/drinks a C if all you had was soda?
why would you want to return to a place that was a B- overall?
well B- is still an "above average" grade ;) and it's a cheap place to get quick Asian.
I, too, am also perplexed by PK's report card--her last review, of ZenZooTea, was a C-range grade but she didn't get their specialty... the boba milk teas! (oddly enough, even just getting tap water herself, she gave the place "B" for drinks.)
But, alas, it's her system and her opinions, so take it for what it is. Tastewise, her views are probably just as valid as LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold or LA Time's S. Irene Virbila (though Gold and SIV tend to review based on several visits and usually with a group [i.e. opp to taste more dishes], then again---we can't all get a media outlet to comp our meals, now can we? ;) )
Ah, fabulous questions, one and all *smile*
1) Why give drinks a C if all i had was soda - their menu for drinks is limited, regardless of what I actually ordered, hence the low grade
2) B- is actually a decent score in my book, all things considered, and since the higher marks were on food and value, I'd definitely return for a cheap fresh lunch.
As for the Zen Zoo, I gave them higher marks for drinks because of the incredible variety and yummy sounding samples - of which I obviously didn't sample :)
Keep me on my toes, I love it!