banana leaf used to be one of my favorite restaurants when i used to live in fremont a few years back. i remember fondly when they opened and the first time i tried their food. it was so good that my dinner companions and i wouldnt complain too much about the usual thirty minutes to an hour wait for a table.
i moved away from the area and have had only a couple chances to revisit. a few months ago, i noticed they expanded to about twice the original size, added some sake cocktails, a few extra items on the menu, some more beers and even a wine list. that particular visit, i had a visitor from overseas staying in the southbay and we ended up indulging our thirst more than our hunger.
i visited last night with the s/o. i went with a familiar spread, a spread ive gotten many times over.
wrapping up quickly, its seems inevitable. anytime a restaurant does well and goes from a small ma/pa run type establishment to a eatery, the quality goes down.
first came out the roti prata and chicken satay. these were great. actually, the chicken satay was better than great, however thats where the quality i was used to from banana leaf stopped.
the rest of the meal, pineapple fried rice, asam seabass, mango prawns and pad thai came quickly after. every dish by itself was good. im sure if i wasnt so biased because of earilier visits, i would be singing the praise of the food, but i am biased by the wonderful food they had.
i guess it just cant be helped, with expansion comes shortcuts.
on the way home, i had this slight "coating" in my throat. msg. i never "felt" msg there before.
that all said and down, i would still visit again and would still recommend to anyone.