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any info on Lemongrass in B-more?

I drove down Central Ave. yesterday and saw the sign for Lemongrass on a building right around the Little Italy parking garage (but on the east side of Central). I know I had read somewhere this was coming (maybe here?) - does any one have an ideas when it is actually opening? And can anyone share any experiences eating at the one in Annapolis? I think Thai in the Inner Harbor East/Little Italy/Fells Point area could do well, if it is a good place.

An aside, I also think I saw a banner for Tsunami (another annapolis place) on the same building. Does this seem right - both of them so close together?

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  1. Scuttlebutt says that they're going to be together joined by a courtyard. September-ish opening if I hear right too.

    1. Tsunami is really good and the place in Annapolis has a great vibe. We like to sit at the bar and eat. Lemongrass is also very good, but the service is terrible and very slow.

      1. It is right - both are intended to be opening around September under the same ownership group...I'm looking forward to the additions (and the bowling alley/lounge that is opening up in the building sounds like it could be a fun spot too...)

        3 Replies
        1. re: rawdog

          ooh - is there a place to find out more about the bowling alley/lounge? duckpin? that building just doesn't seem that big. glad to hear some Annapolis opinions. And that Lemongrass is good - maybe the service here will be better?

          1. re: a70wilson

            www.mustangalleys.com

            8 regular and 4 duckpin lanes - looks like they're shooting for an upscale pub / comfort food menu also.

            I'm REALLY looking forward to the Lemongrass / Tsunami duo. I hope they don't disappoint.

            1. re: rawdog

              Just got back from Mustang Alley - soft opening yesterday, but open to everyone as of tonight. No sign on Bank Street, but if you go through the glass doors and up in the elevator to the second floor, it is an amazing site to behold.

              We didn't bowl (and the duckpin lanes were out of commission - waiting on some parts to be fixed), but did have food. Nachos had fresh chips, but not quite enough cheese, and a bit of salsa would have done wonders. The boy's reuban was solid with good french fries. My pizza was huge and had a tasty combination of cheeses. We got a crazy Elvis dessert with banana and peanut butter fried in a tortilla. It was good, but maybe chocolate ice cream would have added more than the coffee ice cream did and pushed it to very good?

              We should have asked about happy hour as the bar space was pretty cool. And flat panel TVs everywhere for those who need their O's fix. Could be a fun place to watch football in the Fall. Definitely worth checking out.

        2. I really like lemongrass in Annapolis. I haven't been in a while, but my Mom lives right down the street and still goes often. It is pretty solid thai for the area.

          Tsunami is fabulous and I absolutely love it. Everything I have ever had there was excellent, very fresh, creative and well prepared. If Baltimore gets a Tsunami, I hope it is by the same owners and has the same great food. It is one of my faves in Annapolis.

          1. If Lemongrass is really Thai, then I'm the Queen of Siam. I am not a fan of any of the restaurants in the mix (Tsunami, Metropolitan, Lemongrass). I wouldn't say the food is bad -- it's pretty average -- but the service is really, really pathetic.

            2 Replies
            1. re: thatfarmgirl

              We have been to Lemongrass several times and found it to be noisy. The first time we went the crispy duck was to die for. Something happened and the crispy duck was mediocre at best the next 2 times. It really suffers when you do carry out!

              We really like Tsunami. Had fish en papillotte with Thai seasonings a couple of years ago that was wonderful, but they have taken it off the menu. The shrimp tempura roll is good. They also have an app you could miss because it is on the sushi form-tofu with eel sauce and fish flakes was yummy, but you can OD on it.

              1. re: thatfarmgirl

                It will serve to cheer up the Central Avenue corridor as an extension of restaurantable real estate as it may attract the hip crowd like Pazo does. Wonder if it will hurt Talay Thai or Thai Landing or Ban Thai--they all have low traffic. Visit them now if you want them to persist.

              2. The word - on - the street is early November for both restaurants. Lemongrass and Tsunami will be adjacent with a shared atrium. Same owners. Lemongrass will be the larger of the two - two floors.

                17 Replies
                1. re: irishrose

                  Let's hope that these restaurants get their prices in line. Stopped at the bowling alley there a few weeks ago, and my jaw dropped when I learned that the cost for bowling was $55/hr.

                  I can rent up the entire upstairs at Patterson Bowl (and I have!), for $100 an hour, and have over five lanes!

                  1. re: baltoellen

                    $55...an hour?????

                    1. re: hon

                      shocking, isn't it?

                      1. re: baltoellen

                        yeah it's quite a price. I see what the owners were going for and don't understand what they were thinking. I would be amazed were they still here in 18 months..

                        1. re: sylsyrf

                          Agreed!

                    2. re: baltoellen

                      Patterson Bowl is the best deal in town. They keep saying they don't know how much longer they can stay open.

                      1. re: Tugboat

                        Should we be thinking of a chowouting there? We can all bring carryout from places in the 'hood!

                      2. re: baltoellen

                        WHAT?!?!?!? Even the "upscale" bowling I've been to in Bethesda, Philly, and DC is 1/2 that price.

                        you've got to be kidding me.

                        unless they're some fabulous gourmet place with exceptional food and service, that's insane.

                        1. re: Jeserf

                          They had been open maybe two weeks when I went there. I actually asked the server about it twice, since I, too, found $55/hour too hard to believe.

                          Now I'm curious. I'll try to give them a call to see if they've become more reasonable! Will report back!

                          1. re: baltoellen

                            heck to that! let people show up, go "good lord!" and never return, and watch them go under. I looked at the menu - nothing special...but, if you're going to charge $55/hr, you should make your own potato chips. I know Utz are good and local, but c'mon...

                            I found Strike, in Bethesda, to be insanely overpriced and that's $25 an hour. It's bowling. Unless they are feeding you grapes and truffles while you bowl, what's the deal with $55? yikes.

                      3. re: irishrose

                        Does anyone know if it's actually open or not yet?

                        1. re: aunt kelly

                          I would presume so since they had a big grand opening event last weekend.

                          1. re: BmoreHound

                            Eh, I'm not so sure. I was in the vicinity two nights ago; it sure didn't look open and there is still a sign hanging out front that says "coming soon." I think they are close though. At least, I think they are at the point where they are hiring wait staff. I saw them giving potential servers a tour of the rest of the businesses in the same building.

                            1. re: charmedgirl

                              I went to the grand opening. Was more of a scene thing, then a chow thing. Had a good a veggie summer roll from a server. Place is impressive inside, of course that doesn't mean anything about the food. Also checked out Tsunami, sushi they were serving wasnt very good, but I certainly wouldnt judge a place on california rolls they were handing out to drunk patrons. Also went to the bowling place, its nice, and the bar food I had was quite good (i went there for happy hour, so i actually ordered food, they have been open for a month or so). Yeah, the bowling price is a bit much, but I think its $40 an hour during the week. Im hoping for good things for all of these places, since I live right there. I do find it a little strange that neither lemongrass nor tsnumai have a website (unless im missing something). The bowling alley does though, http://www.mustangalleys.com/, I guess if your charge that much for bowling, you can afford one from the get-go.

                              1. re: ingramcol

                                I've eaten at the Tsunami in Annapolis and trust me, the sushi there was very unimpressive.
                                $40 an hour for bowling ain't gonna fly in Mobtown!

                                1. re: hon

                                  $40 an hour for a lane is not bad at all. A group of four can play two games for $10 a person, with shoes included. Seriously, why should it be any lower? Bowling equipment is expensive to maintain.

                                  I think the place is great, and will be going on a regular basis.

                                  1. re: mobtown hound

                                    I believe they were shooting for late November. However with it being just around the corner, who knows. I have almost never heard of a restaurant opening when they were originally projected to.

                                    $40 is better than what it was originally. Before 7 any day it's $30. I'd consider grabbing some co-workers for happy hour, that's a much better deal. Lane rental at every bowling alley I have been too, means just that. Are shoes included I wonder.

                      4. So we tried Lemongrass tonight and had a really nice experience. Solid tofu pad tai. My boy had some chicken thing that was recommended, and he really really like it. Spring and summer rolls to start were good. And overall, reasonably priced, I thought. My pad thai was about $10, as an example. The service was fine. Lots of different servers delivering things, so they did have to ask each time they came to the table who ordered what, but I don't mind this when it is not the main server bringing out the food.

                        The place was jumping - definitely slightly younger crowd and more beautiful people than I've seen in Baltimore in a while. I think it could be the hot place for a while. Dim lighting; bar downstairs and upstairs; middle bar connecting the two restaurants that is "outside" so smoking is allowed (not allowed in any of the inside bars already).

                        We walked through Tsunami and glanced at the menu. The entrees there looked much more expensive ($25-$30 for some things), but we didn't look at the sushi menu.

                        I think we'll give it another try and perhaps see if the curries hold up. Any other reports?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: a70wilson

                          Went to Lemongrass last night. Great atmosphere - feels very New York chic. Not something we have much of here. The prices were really reasonable compared to other Thai places around too - $10 for pad thai is on the low end price-wise for most placed I've been in town.

                          The crispy string beans, green curry chicken and drunken noodles were all winners.