Lotus B.B.Q & Thai Chinese Food 6/12/99
1111 Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) #19, Harbor City, CA 90710
phone 310-534-8111, fax 310-534-3073
Location. This is in a shopping strip at the north east corner of PCH and Normandie Ave. It's at the east end of the trip.
Geography. As I mentioned in the Tin Yuan review, there is a concentration of oriental restaurants extending from this intersection, along PCH to the west through Lomita, to Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance. Yes, there are a couple to the east and several to the west, some quite good, but this area could be called the South Bay's Chinatown. Many of these restaurants are full of oriental customers, at least at lunch, and, that's a good sign for me.
Prices and hours. Their printed menu is out-of-date and shows lunch specials with side dishes for $4.95. The current plan is a lunch special with rice, an egg roll, and a dipping sauce for $3.95. They also have dinner specials and you can order from the menu, but I won't go into the details. The hours are listed as 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days, and the lunch specials may go from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but call to double check.
Menu. I haven't eaten here for a few years, but I believe the menu then was mostly Thai and there were only about eight lunch specials. Now there are 18 lunch specials and they list Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, and Filipino dishes. For the lunch specials they don't indicate any nationality, so you might want to ask. They also show eight dinner specials at about $6.95, but that may have changed also. The most expensive item on this old menu is $7.95
Lunch. Ribs were the number 2 lunch special, and I jumped on that. That came with rice, an egg roll, and a dipping sauce for $3.95. There were two medium-sized meaty pork ribs with a slightly sweet and fruity sauce. Looked like these were baked and then marked on a grill. A little tough, disappointing, and I wouldn't order them again. The rice and egg roll were ordinary. The tablespoon of dipping had a spicy, sweet, fruity taste, and more might have helped. It's my fault -- I should have explained my displeasure with the ribs and given them a chance to respond.
Summary. This is a small, ok looking restaurant. I got there after 1 p.m. on a Saturday, and I was the only customer. Now that they have several lunch specials for $3.95, I will have to try them again. I might mention that I didn't care for the ribs and see what they suggest. There are several more traditional Thai dishes on the lunch special menu, and I'll go for one of them.