I took all the recs on Lao and went with my parents on Saturday.
The Wait: We showed up at 6:30pm and only waited 15 minutes. Though it got really crowded later in the evening. They take reservations for parties over 10 only.
The Service: VERY quick - we only had one lag and thats was fine since we barely had any room left for more food. You rarely have the same server twice.
The Food: Oh the FOOD!
What we ordered:
Pot Stickers - if you are a fan, go for it! They are huge. Definitely handmade. The dumpling layer is very thick and the inside is flavorful. Some pot stickers are just grisley - this had wonderful flavor and the sauce was really lovely, not too salty.
Chili Platter - If you can take the heat get this dish. You are served a plate ful of slightly cooked (sauted?) peppers ranging in heat. I stayed away from the dry red chinese pepper. Previous bad experience. But the rest were wonderfully warm. We just ate forksful. Some may be disappointed that it is served by itself. But if you love chilies give it a try.
Boiled Beef - Beef boiled in a flavorful broth topped with dried chilis. The beef was very tender, but this dish was a little bland compared to the others, so I would recommend it but it was not my favorite.
Garlic Pea Shoots - I may have the name wrong but these were delicate and lovely. A very green taste with a subtle garlic sauce. Tasted like spring.
Sweet and Sour Prawns - (for my dad) Prawns were a bit skinny but I liked the sweetness as a break from all the spicy we were eating. Good choice for a more cautious palate.
Cumin Ribs - definitely a must have if you enjoy rib tips and cumin. These were a bit too fatty for me but the rest of my party devoured them.
Smoked Tea Duck - I am not a duck fan so I bow to my table mates who loved this dish with the accompanying sauce.
Reasonably priced Chinese beer - standard sake.
This was a great experience and you can't beat the price. $86.00 for 4 people and all those entrees.
We are going back - there is so much more to try!