Lemongrass Fusion Bistro
641 N. High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Sun & Mon: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Tues – Sat: 11:30am – 11:30pm
Happy Hour Mon-Fri: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Lunch Appetizers: $4
Lunch Entree’: $8-12
Dinner Appetizer: $5-10
Dinner Entree’: $13-28
I had heard from a few friends that I should try out Lemongrass Fusion Bistro – though every time I drove by the place I usually was stopping at Columbus’ North Market or grabbing some sushi from Haiku. I now know that I’ve been doing myself a large disservice!
Lemongrass looks tiny from the outside and a bit dated (older building and fixtures). Walking inside is a completely different experience, however – nice pastel colors in a modern and trendy setting. They also use the word fusion in their title… So it must be cool!
I checked out the website prior to going and it was nicely designed and rather helpful. It’s not iPhone friendly, though, so that bothered me just a tiny bit. The site, however, lets you book reservations which could be helpful on a busy weekend night. Menus and times are also easily found.
We drove right up to the restaurant and got a parking meter right in front of the place! How awesome is that! AND it was Sunday – which meant no meter fees! … Then… A knocking on the window… (knock knock)… Tim and I turn our heads….and there was a crazy (appeared to be) homeless lady speaking incoherently. Now, I honestly feel for those who are less fortunate… But this lady was asking for money and had on nicer clothes than most of the people on the street. So we chose to remain captive in the car until the next victims pulled up and she went to them.
We ran into Lemongrass right as it opened. We were the only ones there and it stayed that way the entire time. I thought that was a bit odd since there were plenty of people walking by.
Service was great. The server did squat down so he could talk to us eye-level which bothers me… But I forgave him when he began recommending menu options. I asked about the “Willow” Noodles on the menu (a Lemongrass specialty) and he flat-out said that they weren’t that amazing. Most would be shocked by this but honest advice from the people who work around the food all day is always welcome!
I ended up getting the Pad Thai and Tim ordered the Ginger Chicken, both reasonably priced.
While waiting I had a cup of Thai Tea. It looked a little orange to me but the flavor was rather amazing – and I’m pretty picky when it comes to teas! This gave me plenty of time to browse around the place. Nice color pallet (they pulled off gold ceilings without being tacky… Unlike Cheesecake Factory) and the decorating was minimal but effective.
Lunch was served and Tim and I didn’t do much talking – we were too busy eating. I’ve had bad Pad Thai and I’ve had bad Ginger Chicken but Lemongrass did nothing but succeed with these dishes. The Ginger Chicken had just enough ginger to make it work without it overpowering the veggies and chicken. The Pad Thai was the most surprising in that it focused more on the citrus than the peanut sauce. Usually Pad Thai tastes like peanut butter, however, this dish only hinted at peanut butter and went for more of a lime flavor – I was really surprised and had no problem finishing!
Lemongrass can be everything from casual to classy. A quick lunch or a nice dinner–this place can accommodate. The food is amazing, but again, talk to the waiters. They really seem to know their stuff and are more than happy to voice their opinion. The menu is pretty well balanced, though I’m not too sure why the word “fusion” is thrown around so much. Then I hear the word I usually expect a little more. Not just a new take on Asian cuisine.
Appetizers or some kind of bread basket would be easy to do and a nice addition. We did go for lunch, so dinner may pull through on this.
My only real grievance really would have to be the building layout. The bathrooms are in a lower level and the decorating stops at the stairs – this means walking down into a basement of sorts and watching the cooks and other workers. Not the biggest deal in the world, just a bit odd.
Being the only people in the place seemed a bit strange to me as well. A busy Sunday afternoon with dozens of people walking by should mean more business than two foodies…maybe the crazy lady was running them off?!!!
All in all Lemongrass is a definite must see if you’re in the High Street area of Columbus. The area is also full of numerous shops and galleries, so make a day of it!