Lulu’s Noodle Shop has been on the scene for years, but it recently moved around the corner from its old venue into a very cool retro space. It’s quite a bit larger than the original, which cuts down on those pesky lunch lines, yet there are so many alcoves and nooks that it doesn’t feel cavernous.
After two visits, I’m still eager to return, though my food experience each time was mixed.
For the most part the menu is the same, though there’s now a “Street Food” section that is the focal point of Happy Hour. Crab cakes, egg rolls, crab rangoon, satay are among the offerings. We ordered corn cakes and vegetarian spring rolls.
When the corn cakes were placed before us, my first thought was that I had not thought to ask if they would be fried, which they most definitely were. Though initially disappointed since I try to stay away from fried foods (except French fries, which I consider a completely separate food group), once I took a bite, I was a happy camper. Steaming hot, with chunks of corn in the filling, they were enhanced by the spicy sriracha aioli dipping sauce.
The Vietnamese spring rolls were fairly typical, but rather than a sweet red chili sauce, they were accompanied by a yellow tinged, coconut milk-based sauce that was billed as peanut sauce.
Of the entrees we sampled, the Khun Ma Pad Thai was superior. In fact, it has surpassed the Thai Place’s Pad Thai as my favorite noodle dish of the moment (I know I need to try Hot Basil, which many people rave about). Khun Ma Pad Thai is a bit sweeter, but we ordered it hot, and that provided a nice contrast.
I also ordered Drunken Noodles, one of my favorite selections at the original restaurant. This time the sauce was not as rich or flavorful as I remembered, though it still had plenty of fresh vegetables tossed in with the wide rice noodles. I’m hoping it was an aberration–I’ll definitely try it again.
The menu at Lulu’s is large and has a number of interesting dishes that you don’t find everywhere. I suspect it’s one of those places where you go a few times, find your favorites and then stick with them.
If you carry out on a regular basis, consider buying one of Lulu’s new pinto pails. Designed primarily to cut down on waste, these steel boxes will also keep food hot up to an hour. Patrons pay a one time fee of $30, and then receive each carry out order in a clean and sanitized pinto. Here’s hoping that other Asian restaurants that do a large carry out business will consider following suit. It’s an eco-friendly idea that deserves to be replicated, and owner Malisa Monyakula should be applauded for her efforts.