Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

South East Asia, Lowell: Good larb, lousy everything else.


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Restaurants & Bars 12

South East Asia, Lowell: Good larb, lousy everything else.

Parsnipity | Jul 13, 2009 07:05 AM

I saw mention of this place on this board, but no threads devoted to it. We headed up to Lowell for a concert on Saturday and decided to check it out, thinking it would be some quick tasty chow. Arrived at 6 to a mostly-empty restaurant and were promptly seated, then ignored for about 10 minutes. A large table behind us left just as we arrived and their dirty dishes remained on the table for the entire hour+ that we were there, contributing to the sub-par vibe of the place. We finally ordered and had hoped to get drinks promptly- no such luck. A family sat down next to us and proceeded to try really hard to remain upbeat while scraping and scrubbing grungy dried food off the high chair they were given using their own diaper wipes.

Half an hour after ordering and forty minutes after arriving (and no food had come out of the kitchen during that time) we were getting antsy about making our show when the food finally arrived. We immediately requested: chopsticks, rice which was supposed to have come with it, hot sauce and the check. The chopsticks arrived promptly. The rice took another 5 mins and was slimy and tan on the edges. The check took a while longer.

So, the good news: the chicken larb was delicious. Deep flavors, beautifully balanced. Really excellent. Unfortunately, the bun we also ordered (can't remember the Lao name) was not great. Noodles were overcooked and conglomerated into a mass. The sauce and spring roll were okay, not great. This veggies and shredded lettuce did not seem fresh. The pork was flavorless- appeared to have been boiled.

Perhaps it was an off night for the kitchen. I wasn't expecting 4 star service or atmosphere, but given that the place was less than half full, I think 40 minutes from sitting til getting our 2 dishes was a bit excessive, and despite the really good larb we won't be back.

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