Monday, November 7, 2011

Lavender Cafe

Lavender Cafe is one of the highest rated restaurants on Urbanspoon. I always assumed it was just another Chinese takeout place, but that assumption has turned out to bite me in the butt. I saw that it was rated so highly, so I wanted to check it out. Lavender Cafe is located right along Beechurst, near Papa Johns and WVU's Life Sciences Building. There is a gravel parking lot located behind the building, so some parking is available - always nice!

The sign features a drink - bubble tea, specifically. I actually tried bubble tea from here a long time ago and wasn't a fan. I knew I wouldn't be getting it this time either. We opened the door, and there was a small little entryway that listed their specials that day. We opened the next door to reveal the restaurant. For its location, the restaurant is quite large. I was very impressed. The room is long and slightly narrow, with a dozen tables. A second room is located to the left, where a sushi bar is located. We were seated in the the large room, near the back. The tables were also very roomy - something else that surprised me. If you go to Ogawa or Volcano, the seats are fairly close together. I felt more comfortable already.

The waitress took our drink orders and handed us menus. The menus were very impressive and extensive. I was surprised to see the typical American-Chinese fare, like General Tso's Chicken, but there was also a full sushi list, as well as Korean-style Kim Che, and Taiwanese style dishes. The restaurant has Chinese and Thai and Taiwanese! So many options - I was blown away. The variety isn't limited by just Chinese or just Japanese or just Thai. It really has an amazing variety, and there's something there for everyone. I could go on about this menu - but you really just need to check it out.

I was really feeling the Chinese menu just to see how it compared to the others in town. I definitely will be back to try the Kim Che and the Thai dishes. There's not a ton of options for those in Morgantown. But I went with the General Tso's Chicken and an order of sushi - the Boston roll. I took in the scenery as we waited. It's really a basic restaurant - a few decorations, but fairly basic.

The Boston roll was very light - with lettuce, cucumber, shrimp and a mayo sauce. It was refreshing and was a nice intro for my heavier entree. The ingredients were fresh and had a nice crisp to them. A light sushi roll was just enough to prep me.

Our entree came out with a gorgeous presentation. It was garnished with a large flower. I actually asked what it was made out of, and the waiter told me it was radish. It was so intricate. I wanted to keep it, but I knew it wouldn't last.

The General Tso's Chicken was a good blend of sweet and spicy that left a bit of a kick. The chili peppers it was cooked with were potent, so it was definitely flavorful. The chicken was of good quality - not those chewy, stringy pieces that other takeout places specialize in. The sauce was very tasty, and the white rice soaked in the flavor and complemented the chicken well.

I really liked this place, and I love that there are options to go further out of my comfort zone. I can't wait to try some of the other dishes to see what all this place has to offer.

Grade: A
Lavender Cafe on Urbanspoon