|All photos ©2013 Mary Brace all rights reserved.|
Lucky Bamboo only re-opend on Thanksgiving Day of this year and the current verdict is: they're still finding their feet, but it's worth supporting while they try to work out the kinks. I went with a group of 8-12 on both visits and each time, some of us were thrilled with our take, and some were deeply disappointed.
First a look at what Lucky Bamboo is doing right:
Reaching for authentic: Appetizers include chicken feet (although I can't say I enjoyed it) and and wontons stuffed with real crab meat and two types of cheese, neither of which come in a little silver cardboard box and foil wrapper.
Pretty much anything in chili oil seems like a safe bet, as long as you like spicy food. Wontons in chili oil, cold noodles in chili oil, and whatever meats they cook in chili oil are making people happy. The pic on the top left is Lucky Bamboo's Chongqing chicken and everyone enjoyed it. The kitchen will spice it up or down to order.
Cold noodles: something I never saw on Nashville's Chinese restaurant menus until now. Lucky Bamboo offers two versions, one in sesame oil and the already mentioned chili oil version for people who like it a little spicier.
Firecracker shrimp was another winner, with a crunchy exterior and tender interior.
Service is also still very spotty. I get the feeling that they're still working out the plan for who does what, and have some inexperienced people on their wait staff.
So, it's not the Holy Grail. Not yet. But it's still worth going back to be taunted a third time.