Welcome one and all to another fantastic chapter in the food epic that is Mastication Monologues! Today’s entry is going to be a short one, but that doesn’t mean a lack of quality. If you haven’t been reading, I’ve been reviewing various restaurants I’ve visited throughout my vacation to Delray Beach, Florida. So far I’ve come mouth to burger, dog, and even mushroom. However, this post is a definite shift as I move away from foods that might be considered classic Americana to more exotic meals. So lets start with Lemongrass Asian Bistro, an upper echelon Asian eatery which has branches in other Atlantic coast Floridian cities.
After a filling lunch at Doc’s All American and an afternoon of scuba training, I wanted to have a light dinner that wouldn’t leave me bloated like a beached whale. So, I decided that sushi would be something that would be rich, filling, yet light. Lemongrass fit the bill. The establishment has both indoor and outdoor seating, but I went for the latter since the weather, per usual, was quite pleasant. I also love outdoor seating because it gives one ample opportunity for people watching as they pass by on the avenue. While I was enjoying the sights and sounds of Delray Beach, I wasn’t too satisfied with the service. I had to wait ten minutes for someone to welcome me and ask if I wanted anyone to drink. I know it is hard for the servers and kitchen staff when a restaurant is slammed (“filled to capacity” in customer speak), but Lemongrass at that time would hardly fall into that category. Eventually I got a menu, and it seemed that they had specialties from mainly Japan with an extensive sushi menu, Thailand with a few satays and curries, and Vietnam with a plethora of stir fried noodle dishes. However, I was surprised that their drink menu didn’t even offer plain sake given the litany of sushi meals they offer. After a long time of contemplating between choosing the Vietnamese grilled pork and sushi, I got the Sex on the Moon sushi roll ($13) simply based on the name and spicy pepper next to the moniker. After another long period of anticipation, my food eventually came out, and it was well worth the wait. The presentation was interesting to say the least, but I personally think they went a bit overboard with the tempura bits sprinkled about the sushi roll. It made it look like my food was swimming in sawdust, tasty, scallion-laced sawdust nevertheless. I’m not quite certain why they call it “Sex on the Moon”, but I was over the moon after tasting it. On the outside, there was a light sprinkling of the aforementioned tempura flakes, a moderately thick slab of raw tuna, and masago (Capelin fish roe). The real magic of the meal resided within the snowy white nest of sticky rice where I was quickly introduced to the cordial and spicy family of fried shrimp, asparagus, avocado, eel, and pepper seeds. While I naturally tasted the buttery shrimp and fiery pepper seeds, the other elements were not as individually impressive. This meal was more of a team effort as the scallions enhanced the smooth avocado, and the asparagus provided a much needed crunch to balance the more delicate seafood ingredients like the fish eggs. I spiced it up even further with the hefty dollop of wasabi they provided on the side, and that took it to another flavor galaxy. By the end of Sex on the Moon, I was proverbially lighting up a smoke and lying back on my pillow with a sigh of satisfaction as I looked up to the stars in the Florida sky.
So if you’re willing to put up with slower than average service to experience some out of this world sushi, moonwalk on over the Lemongrass Asian bistro.