Red Lotus Restaurant Review, Portola Valley
Posted by Foodnut.com
3130 Alpine Road Suite 300
Portola Valley, CA 94028
This restaurant is now closed. Old Port Lobster Shack will be opening here in 2011.
Red Lotus is a “Modern Authentic Southeast Asian Cuisine” restaurant in Portola Valley, just off Highway 280′s Alpine road exit. We were surprised to find this restaurant here in the local strip mall. Our latest visit occurred in April 2010.
Decor, Vibe – Nice clean looking albeit sparse interior with Asian accents. Handful of tables on the outside patio. Mostly middle aged locals and some VC’s were lunching when we were there.
Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
We ordered off the à la carte menu and mostly ignored the lunch specials, which seem like typical Americanized Chinese dishes.
Salt and pepper calamari ($9) tossed calamari with salt, pepper, chilies, red onions, sweet chili sauce was a very good starter. A lot spicier than we thought it might be. It came with tender calamari that was lightly battered and fried perfectly. It came with three different dipping sauces.
Louise’s Green chicken ($12) was on the specials menu. Chicken breast meat and green curry sauce with Cardamom, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves served with eggplant, okra, and long beans was a nice curry dish with a little bit of zing. It came with lots of sliced chicken along with tender eggplant.
Apple Prawn Salad ($8.50) Poached tiger prawns julienne of fuji and granny smith apples, mango, jicama, carrots, cucumbers, cashews, crispy taro with mint dressing was a very good. A simple and refreshing salad, with lots apples slathered with a sweet dressing. There were only 3 sliced prawns in this salad.
Lobster and Tiger Prawn Curry ($25) with pineapple, bell peppers and asparagus in a red Malaysian curry sauce was excellent. A very good sweet curry that was not spicy, covered 2 small but tasty lobster tails and about 4 pieces of prawns. Complex flavors made this curry a must for ordering rice.
Roti ($2) was not on the menu, but apparently is complimentary during dinner. Well done, crunch, delightful with a robust peanut dipping sauce.
Fish in black bean sauce ($12.12) Basa fish with onions and green bell peppers and black bean sauce was a decent dish but not extra special. The sauce was slightly sweet possibly from hoisin sauce, and the fish was cooked fairly well.
Thai Ice Tea ($3) was a huge drink but was on the sweet side.
Honey Sesame Pork Lunch Special ($8) was a nice looking lunch but the pork failed to have much flavor. Value is definitely there though.
Red Lotus had decent service once our food started to arrive. They were out of sync seating us, getting an order taken, and recommending items. The lunch specials are definitely good values but the one we ordered was uninspired.
We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the other dishes and would not have a hard time recommending this place. Prices are not cheap though. It is located off the beaten track though. Other reviews cite a good Seabass with Garlic Sauce. These are all on the Chef’s Specials menu. This restaurant reminds of us of Straits cafe, but does not have the atmosphere of it.
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