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Aug 14, 2013 06:25 PM

Lucky Garden, Providence, RI [split from SGV thread on Los Angeles board]

Just curious if your partner got to try Lucky Garden. In RI currently, tried to go today, but they've been closed for renovation. They're actually done but just waiting for the city to approve their re-opening.

Really bummed, we went to another dim sum place in RI that isn't as good.

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    1. re: kevin

      Yes, I'm in Rhode Island right now.

          1. re: PeterCC

            Get thee to Apsara in Providence. It's been 10 years since I've been but I remember it was excellent Cambodian/Thai.

            I thought everyone from that area knows Apsara.

            1. re: Porthos

              Whew, I thought you were calling me a water nymph.

              When did this place open? I guess at least 10 years based on your last visit, but oldest Yelp review is from 2006. I moved to L.A. in 2003 and have only been back to visit less than half a dozen times, and didn't hang out much in Providence (South-Central RI boy).

              Might have gone there with my parents a long time ago--I remember them taking us to a Cambodian place with good nime chow. Didn't pay attention to the name. What did you remember as being good at Apsara?

              1. re: PeterCC

                Looks like there is another one now. I went to this one. Looks like someone's house from the outside:


                It was so long ago. I think something fried (I think hae kaigne), a stir fried noodle dish (either the drunken noodles or lort noodles or both), the Apsara fried rice, maybe the beef loc lac, and I'm sure plenty I'm forgetting.

                Regarding how long it's been open, I'm not sure. My classmates from Brown talked non-stop about this place. It's probably one of those places that pre-dates Yelp.

                1. re: Porthos

                  You went to Brown? I did occasionally make runs to Thayer Street with high school friends 20 years ago (wow, I feel old now).

                  I confirmed with my dad that we used to go to Apsara quite a bit when I was younger.

                  It definitely pre-dates Yelp. Found an old CH post from 2000:

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    My graduate school classmates from Brown raved about the place. I did my undergrad work in Baltimore.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      Now Baltimore is another great food city.

                      I never knew Brown had graduate programs and always ignorantly thought it was primarily an exceptionally fine, prestigious undergraduate institution.

                      1. re: kevin

                        It's an Ivy. Pretty sure all the Ivys, as hallowed institutions of higher ed., have grad programs.

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          pretty much anything that's a "university" has grad programs. "colleges" don't (amherst college, for example).

                          sister went to brown and took me to lucky garden in providence, i think. solid from what i remember.

                          1. re: tentacles

                            Dope. Thanks guys. I barely got my Assiciates Degree from SMC as you can tell.

                            1. re: tentacles

                              Back in the day -- this is before Brown's med school opened and it also became a hip school for children of celebs -- Brown was considered the bottom of the Ivies, and was known as "more than a college, but less than a university."

                        2. re: Porthos

                          Porthos: When did you graduate from JHU? 8>D

                            1. re: kevin

                              Yes, "I did my undergraduate work in Baltimore" is usually code for I went to Johns Hopkins. Porthos is clearly a modest fellow.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                He is an extremely modest fellow or gal.

              2. re: Porthos

                There are two Asparas in Providence.

                The original, simply Aspara, is located on Public Street in South Providence.

                The other, Aspara Palace, a newer institution, is on Hope Street on the East Side. I seem to remember it was opened by a relative of the Aspara owners.

                Aspara has a bit more atmosphere than Aspara Palace, not so glaringly bright, but both have a wide selection of excellent pan Asian dishes.

          2. Glad I saw this (turned off the e-mail notification option).

            Nope, he never did make it out. =(

            1. Bad news - we went to Lucky Garden yesterday after looking forward to dim sum all week. We got there and the waitress put down the menus, missing the little photo album of dim sum that they used to have. We asked about dim sum, and they explained that they just had their grand opening under new ownership and they now have a "limited" dim sum menu. We never did figure out what that was, besides the appetizer items like dumplings that are on the regular menu.

              Since we had driven out there and didn't have a back-up plan, we stayed anyway. The food was good, but service was iffy - normal for a newly opened place. We don't really have a reason to go back there if they don't have dim sum. We live an hour away in CT.

              They do have one interesting concept - there is a chef's specials menu posted on the wall with about 10 dishes, and you can choose one of those dishes for half price. We tried the beef stew. It was interesting but we had no idea what some of the things in the pot were and I don't think we wanted to know.

              1 Reply
              1. re: candaceb

                I hadn't been to Lucky Garden for years. I thought it had been in decline, and after about 3 straight mediocre meals I gave up.

                It was actually the first restaurant in RI I went to when I moved here. I went for dim sum, actually. They were in Warwick at the time and then moved to North Providence to merge with another restaurant and I thought it had been a slow decrease in quality from then onward.

                It's also been a while, but Golden Chopsticks in Westerly, RI had what I thought was the best dim sum in the state. And, being closer to CT than North Providence, that might be a better option for you at this point.