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Lemon Gross in Eagle Rock

Granted, Vietnamese blood doesn't course though my veins.. but I have eaten enough pho to be sour on Lemongrass.

We went there for dinner last week had the fatal combination of terrible food and horrible service. It took over 35 minutes to place our order, and when the food arrived it wasn't even the food we had ordered. (We ordered the bun (noodles) and were given sandwiches.) When my husband pointed this out to our server, we were corrected, the food was placed on the table, and the waitress walked away and hid. The waitress and I were both caucasian, so there was no misunderstanding due to different languages. Infact, we had held up the menus and pointed to the items as we ordered.

The food was flavorless and greasy. I'm not a huge fan of the Blue Hen, but their chicken sandwich blows away the depressing Lemongrass offering.

A meal that should have taken 45 minutes took nearly 2 hours. And watching the wait staff interact with the kitchen and other customers, it was obvious that several other tables had been given incorrect orders as well! The only thing consistent in the service was the apology that the wait staff provided with every order.

I guess we still have to make the drive to downtown, Silverlake, or Alhambra to get the real deal....

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  1. We tried Lemongrass this weekend. Even though it wasn't the greatest Vietnamese meal I've had, I wouldn't go as far as to call if "Lemon Gross". The Pho was serviceable and the spring rolls were OK. I thought the service was very friendly. The menu was very limited, but that might be because it was their 'soft opening'.

    We live in WeHo so driving to Eagle Rock is comparable to driving to Alhambra. That said, Nem Nuong Kanh Hoa is quite a treat for us (for Bun Bo Hue and amazing spring rolls) and Saigon Flavor has good Pho and Egg Rolls. For us, we might as well drive to SGV.

    If I lived in Eagle Rock, Lemon Grass would be a decent place for a quick dinner (but at $8 for an order of spring rolls, a little expensive). Of course, it is across the street from Oinkster, which has an amazing Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fries, so maybe I would eat there instead.

    LA could really use a good Vietnamese restaurant. We don't mind driving to Alhambra or Little Saigon, but it would be nice to go somewhere without having to get on the freeway.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bsquared2

      Okay... so a friend talked me into giving Lemon Grass another try since my original visit 10 months ago- swearing it was now quite good. Well, the service was better, but the food at Lemongrass is still terrible! Sad excuse for broth and terrible greasy meat!

    2. Every time I eat at Lemongrass, I feel like I've been conned or something.
      Then, as quickly as I can, I head for Pho So 1, Pho 99 or anywhere else.

      1. I've got to agree with you, Amuse Bouch. I've been there twice, and while I didn't wait long for my meals, the food was mediocre. Pho was served with a meager side of basil and didn't have much flavor. , and my chicken tomato rice dish was greasy. The owners also run the nail shop down the street.

        1. I've tried Lemongrass twice already. the meatballs in my pho had chunks of bone or gristle in them. totally disgusting. The service is awful too. Entrees arrive before starters. I will not be going back ever again. I hope now that this place will close down soon and another person will take over the space with a better restaurant. However, Eagle Rock is starved for restaurants, so I'm sure people will be going there in droves and keeping them busy for a while. bummer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tag heuer

            It really bums me out when these mediocre Vietnamese Pho shops open anywhere west of Alhambra. I often have conversation with people whose first experience with Pho is at one of these places.

            It is such a great dish when it has a good broth, meat and noodles, but one of the most important ingredients are the veggies on the side. In Vietnam they give you a big platter to add to your Pho. That is the crucial element.

            Also, as I said before, $8 for bad spring rolls is also a crime.

          2. another AWFUL experience at Lemongrass. Hardly anyone there when we got there, so you'd think the service might be decent? nope. Over an hour after we placed our orders (!!) they arrived, not all at the same time, and were less than impressive. The appetizers we had we good and served within a reasonable time. But the food was far from worth the wait. And despite admitting to "forgetting to put our order in" we didn't even get one of the meals free... Won't be headed back there anytime soon. Or ever. Or recommending it to anyone...

            1 Reply
            1. re: worldleadrpretend

              Since there are so many places that are better, it is hard to recommend Lemongrass. It isn't the worst Pho I've had in LA. That would be Pho 97 (used to be Pho 79) on Broadway. Everything about it was horrible. From the tepid soup to the brown shredded lettuce in the Spring Rolls, I hope nobody judges Vietnamese food by either of those places.

            2. I know this thread is from a long time ago but i have to agree. Lemongrass is not good. I went there once and don't have plans to go back. What about Gingergrass in Silverlake (on Glendale Blvd.) I've heard good things about it. And it's right across from Silverlake Wines- convenient for post tastings!

              5 Replies
              1. re: amytana

                Gingergrass is good. Not real authentic Vietnamese, but I like it. There was only one thing I had there that wasn't good. Even the waiter admitted that it looked terrible when it came out of the kitchen. It get's a little crazy but it is a nice space when it isn't crowded.

                1. re: amytana

                  I LOVE
                  Fresh, good food at great prices served up by nice people in a cute place with friendly patrons.

                  1. re: tatertotsrock

                    I was having dinner at the bar at Campanile a few weeks ago and sat next to a really nice couple and their friends who were also having dinner at the bar. I eventually got brought into their fun and we hit it off great. We spent the rest of the night there eating and drinking wine. Come to find out the couple owned Gingergrass. I believe their names were Mako and Kevin ?
                    Anyway: we started to talk about Gingergrass (I had never been) and she told me then that its not intended to be a super serious Vietnamese restaurant. Rather, just good Viet inspired food that tastes good and for a good price. And I think she said that she was Philipino so there is no Viet connection. She just makes what she likes. Like Tatertotsrock: I have friends who know food, go all the time and love it. I wonder why the inconsistancies?

                    1. re: thomtompkins

                      I think you're confused -- this thread is mostly about Lemongrass in Eagle Rock. The few people at the bottom talking about Gingergrass in Silver Lake are mostly positive.

                      1. re: Chowpatty

                        Oopppsss....your right. I was queing off of tater and screwed it up. Sorry!

                2. It's hard to imagine pho any worse than Blue Hen's, which tastes as if they used generic canned ("but it's organic!") chicken broth for the soup. Eagle Rock doesn't seem to have any decent Vietnamese food.