Restaurant Review: Red Lotus, Hidden Oasis

Sometimes, The Practical Cook craves a Calgon moment. She has found that satisfaction at Red Lotus, an undemanding little Chinese restaurant hidden away in a strip mall. The former location of the renowned Charlie’s (still miss him) holds some secret pleasures, including a hot towel for one’s hands upon being seated.

Hot Tea and Fried Noodles at Red Lotus

Hot Tea and Fried Noodles at Red Lotus

Take-out is great, and I do love Chinese take-out, but this unassuming little place is dimly lit, surprisingly peaceful, and has remarkably good service. I always order a pot of Jasmine tea, steam my hands, and consider taking a nap. What a treat! The food’s pretty tasty, too.

First, they’ll do most anything as vegetarian, subbing either tofu or soy chicken. Though I’m not a vegetarian, I am allergic to shellfish, and this is a major bonus at a Chinese place. Hello summer rolls. Plus, I just like tofu, I’m not afraid to say so. The Thai inspired dishes are quite nice with tofu, as are things with high-veg content.

Red Lotus Curry with Tofu and Extra Veg

Red Lotus Curry with Tofu and Extra Veg

The hot and sour soup is both, and very fresh tasting, and the dumplings are available as meat or veggie. Again, a treat. I do wish for a bit more chew in my veggie dumpling, the uniform texture of the filling is not my favorite, but I feel so healthy for having eaten them.

There is also an authentic Chinese menu available, and frequently there are parties of Chinese students eating at one of the large communal tables, a very good sign indeed! So if you’re looking to perfect your chopstick skills in a relaxed setting, try Red Lotus. It’s affordable luxury, served with great style.

Do you have a favorite restaurant for just relaxing? What and where? Post a comment!

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