Getting Creative with Plants
Pad Thai proved more popular, with lots of crunch from peanuts, a fresh hint of lime (and another wedge to squeeze for full pucker), crisp cukes, and cilantro--all very tasty in a subtly different way. After reading the menu quickly, we expected mung bean sprouts, and it took several forkfuls to realize there were none. The menu, read more carefully, reveals the noodles are actually made from mung beans. In fact, several dishes had fewer apparent vegetables and fruits on the plate than you might expect, because every entree is basically made from plants. So quit overthinking, vive la difference, and enjoy.
Monday is "Sushi Night" at the Lunch Room. Since it serves no fish, raw or otherwise, creativity abounds. Many of the giant, two-inch-diameter rolls, which differ each week, are gorgeous sunbursts of color with oranges, greens, pickled red beets, and other veggies. The olive tapenade in the Ritzy roll is an interesting attempt to re-create the umami and the briny intensity that eel provides in traditional maki rolls, but it seemed oddly Mediterranean in the seaweed-wrapped setting. My favorite roll was the Bear Hug, which combined slightly crunchy "cashew sour cream" with avocado, sauteed portabella mushroom, scallions, and cucumber.