Family creates a stir-fry of tastes of the Far East
Bamboo City has its roots firmly planted in Chinese cuisine.
When owner Lonh Luong opened his restaurant three years ago in Grand Junction, he had 30-plus years of experience under his belt.
His specialty was, and is, creating Chinese-American food and Mongolian barbecue.
Father-and-daughter team Lonh Luong and Lisa Luong moved to western Colorado to “escape the craziness of L.A,” Lisa Luong explains.
Since Bamboo City’s opening, the Luong family has bowed to supply and demand and America’s new love of all things Thai, and hired a Thailand-born chef to create a dual menu of Siamese delicacies.
My only disappointment was to not see green papaya salad on the menu.
Bamboo City is in a nondescript strip mall location, but care has been taken to give it a warm feel. Wood details, wainscoting and recessed alcoves give the place a more refined appeal.
It’s the kind of comfortable restaurant in which you want to linger awhile, as did many of the diners on a recent late-lunch visit.
We decided to sample three dishes from the three main culinary disciplines: Chinese, Mongolian grill and Thai.
On our server’s recommendation, those dishes were pad Thai, Szechuan shrimp and an individual creation from the barbecue grill.
Because it was still technically lunch — hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — we could order from the lower-price menu.
All-around raves for the three choices.
The Szechuan shrimp, $7.50, was loaded with crisp, fresh vegetables and not just cheap cabbage and onion filler. The chef will kick it up a notch if you like hot-spicy.
The pad Thai, $7.95, was classic and tasty and devoured in one sitting.
And the grill, a concept created in 1970s Tapei and with only a vague connection to Mongolia and to barbecue, is great if you want to create your own meal. The grill has a good selection of meats, shrimp, tofu, fresh vegetables, spices and sauces. It’s perfect if you have a bugaboo about certain ingredients, say broccoli or tofu.
One trip to the grill is $7.95; unlimited trips, $10.95.
Most lunches are served with rice, cup of soup and an egg roll.
The staff could not have been more inviting, from giving directions to the restaurant to helping us pick favorites from the menu.
Bamboo City is not breaking the mold in its cooking, just serving individually prepared, good quality pan-Asian meals.
Of special interest to me, a member of the Bamboo City family, Lisa’s husband, Kevin, is versed in Vietnamese cooking and prepares pho at certain times, usually every other Saturday night.
The beef noodle soup is to the Vietnamese what miso soup is to the Japanese, matzo ball soup is to Jews and what chicken noodle soup is to middle-America.
Add to that a side helping of onions, bean sprouts, basil, mint leaves, cilantro and limes, all to flavor the steaming hot broth.
And where does the Luong family go when they want a night out on the town? Texas Roadhouse, “for the lobster,” Lisa Luong said.
KEEN ON PEACHES: It’s time for the Peach Recipe Contest in Palisade.
On Aug. 21 at Palisade Memorial Park, entrants will prepare their best peach creations and vie for cash and prizes.
After the judging is complete at 11 a.m., the Palisade 4-H Club will sell very generous “samples of the entries,” according to Jill Fasken, Palisade 4-H leader. Proceeds benefit the club.
Some of the past winners have been peach salsa, peaches and cream pie, peachy cheesecake and peach cobbler.
For details, go to http://www.palisadepeachfest.com/recipe_contest.html.
SPECIAL OF THE WEEK: Main Street Caf&233;, a 1950s style diner, serves a breakfast special every weekday from 7–11 a.m. for $3.25.
Monday: English muffin sandwich with egg, sausage and cheese.
Tuesday: Two eggs, potatoes and toast.
Wednesday: 1 hotcake, 1 egg and bacon.
Thursday: Danish or muffin, OJ and coffee.
Friday: Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.