Lemongrass Grill Reboot Lemon Leaves Is A Change For The Better
It’s not unusual to have a Japanese restaurant selling Thai food. What is uncommon is having a chef from a decent, but mostly expensive Thai restaurant like Lemongrass Grill that shuttered on William St. last November, move to another restaurant and start serving the same food for a better price. Lemon Leaves is that reincarnation, opening in the Koodo Sushi on Nassau St. (btw. Maiden Lane & Liberty). When I called in my order the other day, the addition of the Thai menu was so new that the woman on the phone had to figure out what I was trying to order. It all worked out though, and I ended up with a great lunch.
There are some dishes on the Lemon Leaves menu that you don’t normally see, like curry laksa and nasi goreng (OK, these are not really Thai, but still) and things like what I ordered – the chiang mai mee ($9), which you may also know as khao soi. It’s not exactly ideal for summer eating as it’s basically a curry noodle soup, but it was mighty fine. The curry is pretty spicy, so be warned, and there were plentiful chunks of fried tofu, broccoli stalks and green beans. There were a whole lot of thin egg noodles down at the bottom, too. It’s pretty messy to eat from a to-go container, but also really tasty. I appreciate that they didn’t dull down the flavors as seems to happen so often at restaurants in the Financial District.
If I were ranking Thai eateries in the FiDi, I’d put this on par with Bennie’s Thai Cafe. It will take a couple more lunches at Lemon Leaves to fully evaluate the food, but it seems promising.
Lemon Leaves (inside Koodo Sushi), 45 Nassau St. (btw. Maiden Lane & Liberty), (212) 766-8661