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Red Lotus a disappointment

Original post made by Suzy, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights, on Dec 13, 2006

Three of us were disappointed recently with our lunch at the new Red Lotus restaurant featuring Southeast Asian food in the Ladera shopping center in Portola Valley. The location formerly housed a different eatery, New Bamboo.
The menu seemed pricey (rack of lamb $26), so we ordered the lunch special at $8.95, which included a small salad, rice, entree and tea. Our entrees were chicken with lemon grass, kung pao shrimp and Mongolian beef. All were rather sweet with a goopy sauce. The salad also had a sweet dressing.
The slow service was not helped when our server brought jasmine tea with a tea bag hanging out of the cup. Where was the customary pot of tea? Red Lotus has white tablecloths (with paper on top), nice cutlery and dishes, but the little storefront restaurant lacks charm.
The owner/chef David Yeo has an impressive background, according to an article I read recently. He worked with Joel Robuchon in Paris and at Tavern on the Green and Le Cirque in New York. Most recently he was executive chef at Asian de Cuba in San Francisco.
His dinners are probably much better than the lunch, but after a disappointing experience you aren't too eager to find out. Has anyone had a better experience there? If so, what menu items can you recommend?

Comments (3)

Posted by Jim
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 29, 2006 at 8:03 pm

I totally agree with all of the above.

Posted by john
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jan 2, 2007 at 12:12 pm

I disagree greatly with your assesment. First off 25$ for a rack of lamb (which is enough for two portions) at that quality is a steal. There are many delicious appetizers on the dinner menu (not sure if they are available for lunch) including shitake mushroom potstickers, banana , mango, and shrimp egg rolls and fantastic samosas. I would reccomend you try it again, and if you still don't like it then I imagine you simply don't like south east asian food. This is some of the finest you will find.

Posted by Andria
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jan 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I'd also agree with John's comments. My husband and I have eaten at Red Lotus several times. We enjoy the Chargrilled Ahi Tuna (which at $18 is about the same price or less than the price of a Ahi Tuna filet at Bianchini's Market). My husband is also a big fan of the Wok Shaken Beef Tenderloin.

We feel lucky to have such high quality food available in our neighborhood.

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