Two weeks ago my eating club went to Lulu, a Chinese place renowned for its dim sum, which is only available on weekends. We sampled the non-dim sum menu. The atmosphere is a little dank, which is typical for St. Louis Chinese restaurants. Florescent overheads always ruin an eating setting, in my humble opinion. Also tacky cheap Chinese decor everywhere. The wooden chairs at the tables were comfortable. There was a pretty good-sized crowd in the restaurant, including mostly Asian people at the tables. A beautiful bar is wasted here, just pushed off to the side and decorated with more advertisements for gross-sounding nonalcoholic drinks. The menu was huge, but not overwhelming, with decent descriptions underneath. There are several unusual dishes that did not appeal to me personally, but would please a more adventurous eater. Weird cuts like hog jowl and even rabbit appear on the menu. My, how Midwestern I sound!
Before we were brought dinner, the waiter placed hot tea, iceberg salad, seaweed salad and peanuts on the table. We thought he had the wrong table, but after a few more diners came in, we noticed that this was standard opening treatment. Potstickers were unusual, with very finely ground meat, not much cabbage and an unidentified zingy flavor that was not ginger. The skins were thin, just the way we like them. Crab rangoon was fairly pathetic, with no visible crab (or fake crab), and not much flavor. Moo Shu Pork came already assembled into largish Chinese burritos. The ingredients were standard - sweet plum sauce, thinly sliced pork, mushroom, cabbage, bean sprout, green onion and egg. Kung Pao Shrimp was nice and spicy, with boiled peanuts, great shrimp, peppers and big hunks of ginger. The breading was soggy, but tasty. The sauce on this dish was almost velvety in consistency. The big winning entree was the Szechwan Boiling Beef with veggies. It was beautifully hot and spicy, with thin slices of beef and bok choy chunks. All of the entrees were enormous and rice is served upon request, with no additional charge.
Children would be welcomed here. Sorry, we did not check out the bathrooms. I enjoyed Lulu, but would urge anyone wanting to go to wait until dim sum day. Also, I personally prefer In Soo to the regular food at Lulu.
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